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  Programmers' Tools >  GridBuilder >  How it Works

How it Works

The idea behind GridBuilder is to turn what is otherwise a tedious manual process into an automated one.  You do your form entry in GridBuilder grids and, when you're done, click the Build Grid icon.

Using GridBuilder in general is easy.  GridBuilder is, after all, for the most part a standard GridMonger application.  It works just like GridMonger, which in turn is a dirt-simple spreadsheet/grid application.  All icons are either self-explanatory (i.e. 'Add' will add a line/record in the grid; 'Delete' will delete it and so on) or they have explanations right on the same screen, in the Help area at grid bottom.  In addition, many line items are explained via help text just to the right of each field item when you are in edit mode.

However, GridBuilder is here to do what its name implies:  Build grids.  Its not here to teach you everything about how the free GridMonger tool works. 

This isn't as bad as it may sound if you are used to the hand-holding you get from full-blown commercial software.  Frankly GridMonger was made to be pretty simple, and after thousands of downloads its pretty clear that most everyone can figure it out without trouble.  

If you need more instruction you should download the free GridMonger tool and read the very extensive documentation inside of /embeddeddemo.cfm.  This file is the documented version of a grid config file, whose format will be familiar to folks who started using GridMonger prior to the advent of GridBuilder.

Creating and implementing a new grid is easy

  1. From the GridBuilder home page, create a new grid  -- click Add  :-) .
  2. You will immediately be placed at a rather long screen that holds the grid-wide parameters.  Fill it in and save it.  It may be helpful to first open up another grid (several samples are provided) and look at how thats set up (eventually you will want to use the Grid Copy icon to save yourself this step).
  3. Once you have saved your grid-wide parameters, you need to add fields.  Click the Add Database Fields icon to see your grid's field list.  Add fields with the Add icon.  View an individual field's field properties with the Expanded View icon, and edit them by clicking Edit (yes, I know this is very simple but some people like to read manuals).  Note that, even if you do not need Expanded Window Field Help (particularly if you are not using an Expanded mode) this can be a great field to use to document a particular field's contents.
  4. Once you have finished your field assignment, you have a basic grid completed.  At this point you can create the grid (there are other, fancy features you can explore later) by clicking the Build Grid icon.  A new window will open up.  This window will contain the complete code necessary to display the grid.  To make it work instantly, copy this data off the screen (via click and drag with your mouse) and save it in the GridBuilder root folder.  Then run the grid.  It should immediately work.  You can of course install the grid you just created anywhere, provided you have a basic understanding of ColdFusion and include file paths.

Deploying Your Grid

The best thing to do is treat GridBuilder as an entirely separate application from a deployed instance of GridMonger.

  1. Copy your GridBuilder installation.
  2. If using a GridBuilder copy, remove all files in the root folder that start with "gm_".  Delete the /data/ fdolder.  Delete the demos from the root folder.

You now have a deployable, blank instance of GridMonger.  Copy your created grid to the folder of your choice, put the GridMonger installation where you want it to be in your web folder structure and you're pretty much done.  Place your built grids in the root folder, or wherever you want (so long as you change the accompanying cfinclude paths accordingly).

It took you longer to read these directions than it will to just do it.  Enjoy!  

The Robertson Team,
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