It's easy to start developing web apps with OutSystems. If you have an Excel file with your data, you can import it into a database and quickly create an enterprise-grade application to manage your data. Don't worry if you don't have an Excel file ready, we provide a sample file for you.
To create an application with data imported from an Excel file, you need to:
- Create a database model, and import the data from the Excel file into the database;
- Create a screen that lists the data from the database;
- Create a screen that allows creating new records, and updating existing ones;
- Implement functionality to delete records from the database;
- Publish your application.
Let's do this! In this example we'll use a provided Excel file with contact information, and create a simple contact management application.
Create a Web App
We are going to create a new web app to manage contacts. An application contains one or more modules that can be used to encapsulate different parts of the application. A module is where you design the data model, implement the logic, and design the UI of your applications.
In the Development Environment, create a new web app called ContactPortal and create a new module for the application.
Create a Database Table from an Excel File
OutSystems stores your application data in a relational database. This means that the first step in creating an application is defining the data model.
To do this, we are going to use a sample Excel file that already contains the following contact information:
- Job title;
In the Development Environment, open the Data tab on the top right-hand corner, right-click the Entities folder, choose Import Entities from Excel..., and select the sample file
Contacts.xlsx available by default in the directory
C:\Program Files\OutSystems\Development Environment 10.0\Service Studio\TutorialResources.
When importing an Excel file, OutSystems creates a database table (called an Entity in OutSystems) with the necessary columns (called Attributes in OutSystems) to store the data in the database.
Behind the scenes, OutSystems also creates logic to import each row in the Excel file into a database record. After publishing your application that logic runs automatically, and you get your database populated with the data that is in the Excel file.
Create a Screen to List Contacts
Now that we have contacts stored on the database, we can create a screen that lists all the contacts.
Open the Interface tab on the top right-hand corner, and double-click MainFlow under UI Flows. Then, drag and drop the entity Contact from the Data tab to HomeScreen in the Main Editor window.
This updates the HomeScreen to include a list that displays 50 contacts at a time, along with pagination and search functionality.
Create a Screen to Create and Edit Contacts
Creating a screen to create and edit records is similar to creating a list screen.
Drag and drop the entity Contact from the Data tab to an empty area in the Main Editor window.
This creates a new screen with a form to create new records or edit existing ones. OutSystems also adds the server-side logic to create and edit records automatically.
Allow Deleting Contacts
To implement an application to manage contacts we are just missing the delete functionality. Let's implement that!
Double-click the screen ContactDetail to open the screen. Drag and drop a Button widget from the toolbox to the right of the Cancel button of the screen, right-click the new button and choose Link to New 'DeleteContact' Screen Action.
OutSystems adds server-side logic to delete the contact record and associates the button to that logic.
Publish Your Web App
Now we just need to make the application go live. Click the 1-Click Publish button to publish the application to your environment.
When the application is deployed, click the Open in Browser button to test your application in a browser.