VOLUME LXXVII               03/17/2021

Getting Started with HTML in Ninox Formula Fields

By Adam Davidson, Director of Product Management

This article outlines the basics of getting started with HTML in Ninox formula fields, and assumes no prior knowledge of HTML.  I will go through the html() function in Ninox as well as elements in HTML, and provide further resources to help you get the most out of inserting HTML into Ninox via formula fields.

THE HTML() FUNCTION

The html() function is a special function in Ninox that allows HTML to be rendered in a formula field. The html() function takes a single string parameter which is the HTML string to be inserted into the formula field. It often looks much better to set the background color of the formula field to the background color of the table view you are in (the default is white). The background color can be set under style > Background color when editing the formula field. Below is an example of how the HTML function is used:

							
					html("<div style='font-weight:bold; color:white; background-color: MediumSeaGreen; text-align: center;'>MY HTML ELEMENT</div>")				
			

HTML BASICS

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, and is the language that defines the structure of almost all webpages on the internet.  It is composed of elements which are rendered by browsers as visual elements in a webpage.  Here is an example of an HTML element:

An element is composed of a start tag (or opening tag), element content, and an end tag (or closing tag). 

START TAG

  • The start tag always starts and ends with “<” and “>” respectively.
  • The “p” in the example above is the tag name, and specifies the type of element to be rendered; in this case, “p” denotes a paragraph element. This determines the default visual appearance and functionality of an element. Some common tag names are “p” (paragraph), “a” (link), “button” (button), “input” (user text input), and “div” (most generic and ubiquitous element type). Here is a list of all element tag names separated by category.
  • The start tag contains an optional list of attributes.
    • The attribute name defines what attribute is being set. Some common attributes are height, width, style, class, onclick, and many more. Here is a list of all HTML attributes.
    • An “=” separates the attribute name from the attribute value (no space)
    • An attribute value is enclosed in either double quotes or single quotes. The above image shows double quotes, but it is much easier to use single quotes in Ninox, to avoid ending the string being passed to the html() function.

END TAG

The end tag is always in the form of “</tagname>” and simply delineates the end of the element’s contents.

ELEMENT CONTENTS

The element contents can be either plain text, which will be rendered to the page, or can be one or more HTML elements Nested within the parent element. An example of this is shown below.

							
					html("
    <ol>
		<li>item one</li>
		<li>item two</li>
		<li>item three</li>
	</ol>
")
				
			

The “ol” tag name specifies an ordered list element which is rendered in a specific way by the browser.  In the above example the “ol” element contains three “li” (list item) elements, each of which contains its own text contents.

FURTHER READING

This article barely scratched the surface, but thankfully there are a host of free resources online for learning HTML.

  • Go here for a getting started tutorial in HTML.  
  • Go here to write HTML online and see the results immediately.

You can also pay for online courses at sites like udemy.com to get excellent content to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript inexpensively. 

API Basics

By David Gyenes, Director of IT

So many people ask us what APIs are and want to know how they work. API is controlled communication between two programs. Let’s start with some basics. API stands for Application Protocol Interface. API does not automatically exist in a program. It is enabled so that we can connect programs together and exchange information.

There are four common request types of API: GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. There are many more, but these are the most commonly used ones. GET is to read information, POST is to write, PUT is to update and DELETE is to delete information. Note: Depending upon the actual web application one should always check the documentation.

An API request has four parameters: Request Type, URL, Headers and Body. We just saw the four most common Request Types (GET, POST, PUT & Delete). The URL or End point is where we send the request. The Headers are where we define communication types/permissions. Finally, The Body of the request is to send information.

This is a controlled information exchange. It can be secured or unsecured. You might ask, “What could be an unsecured information exchange?” An example of an unsecured information exchange would be when we surf the web and click on a link that is an API / information request. This is because in this example we don’t need a password for opening a web page and that is considered unsecured. But when we access some sensitive information and we need a password or key, that is most often called an API key or access token. If we maintain this information, then we can start making connections.

At the Learning Lab on March 18, 2021 at 12pm EST we will be hosting a beginner API course. Register for the Learning Lab below.

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This Week in the Learning Lab

Don’t miss out on this week’s Learning Lab for our API class! Learn how you can use API code to connect Ninox Applications to other Applications

This week’s Learning Lab will be on the 18th at 12pm EDT!

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Just Jim

By Jim Harris, Stargazer

Most of you now familiar with our Gold Star Program (GSP). If you are a newcomer and would like more information, please check it out here. I am so thrilled that the GSP was truly successful. This is such wonderful news for me to hear and so we will have another prize redemption month this December 2021. We are also very proud to be the only company in the industry to offer this kind of client recognition program.

I personally want to thank all who continue to attend the Learning Lab. Your active participation and presence are the key to its continued success. Please keep asking the hard questions so that the entire Ninox Community benefits, but never be afraid to ask beginner questions. We want to help all of you! Please continue to give us your thoughts and ideas as well. Don’t forget to join us on March 18th at 12:00pm EDT for the Learning Lab API class. You have asked for it and we are delivering it to you! I myself, someone with 40 + years of programming experience, and a little experience in API, am excited to learn it along with the rest of you who will be attending.

See you then!

Jim@nioxus.com

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