Introduction to Data Engine

Past versions of Liferay DXP included a robust framework for creating form and list-based applications, either programmatically or from the Dynamic Data Lists Application. While Dynamic Data Lists continue to exist, the new Data Engine framework was written. It’s much easier to use, and it supports the new headless approach to writing APIs. In Liferay DXP 7.2, only the back-end APIs are available for developers. Future releases will add a front-end tool on top of the new Data Engine API to allow non-developers to create applications. For now, developers can use the API to

  1. Create front-end applications running outside Liferay DXP, making service calls from a REST client to the Data Engine APIs.

  2. Create applications inside Liferay DXP that call the Data Engine’s local APIs APIs for their persistence code.

To start discovering the Data Engine API and the other headless REST APIs of Liferay DXP, read here.

The Data Engine framework has four fundamental entities. You’ll be familiar with the roles of each Data Engine entity if you used the Dynamic Data List framework in the past.

  1. Data Definitions
  2. Data Record Collections
  3. Data Records
  4. Data Layouts

For detailed information on the Data Engine API, visit the SwaggerHub profile.

Data Definitions

Data Definitions (DataDefinitions) hold the form’s field types (e.g., text, boolean, date, radio buttons, selector menus, etc.) and those fields’ labels and settings. Data definitions effectively serve as data models for a Data Collection. For example, you could create a data definition with two text fields: one for users’ names and one for their comments.

It’s important to understand that deleting a data definition simultaneously deletes all the entities associated with it (Data Record Collections, Data Records, and Data Layouts).

Data Record Collections

Data Record Collections (DataRecordCollections) collect Data Records. They’re used to associate a displayed form with the data records it holds and its backing data definition.

Data Records

Data Records are the individual form entries for a given Data Record Collection.

Data Layouts

There’s another important piece to the Data Engine framework: data display.

Data Layouts display the form fields (defined in the data definition) in rows and columns.

The articles in this section show example calls to the Data Engine REST API for each entity. For a complete reference guide to the API, visit the SwaggerHub profile.

« StagingManaging Data Definitions with the REST API »
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