dhtmlxGantt with dhtmlxConnector

This tutorial will teach you how to create a basic Gantt chart on a page that will be able to save and update tasks in the database (i.e. on the server).

The current tutorial is intended for creating Gantt with dhtmlxConnector. If you want to use some server-side technology instead, check the list of tutorials describing available integration variants below:

Related sample:  Basic initialization

Step 1. Downloading dhtmlxGantt Package

Let's start the tutorial with getting the library package on your computer.

Do the following:
  • Download the dhtmlxGantt package here, if you haven't done it yet.
  • Extract the package to the root directory of your local web server. The extracted files will be stored in a folder with the same name as the package file - dhtmlxGantt.

Step 2. Including dhtmlxGantt Code Files

Then, we need to include dhtmlxGantt code files in your HTML file (to be able to use the functionality of the library). The dhtmlxGantt code files are:

  • dhtmlxgantt.js
  • dhtmlxgantt.css
Do the following:
  • Create an HTML file in the 'dhtmlxGantt' folder (the folder with the dhtmlxGantt files). Name it, for example, 'myGantt.html'.
  • Include dhtmlxGantt code files to myGantt.html (both files reside in the 'codebase' folder).

    myGantt.html

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <head>
       <title>How to Start with dhtmlxGantt</title>
       <script src="codebase/dhtmlxgantt.js"></script>      <link href="codebase/dhtmlxgantt.css" rel="stylesheet">   </head>
    <body>
        //your code will be here
    </body>
    </html>

Step 3. Initializing dhtmlxGantt

Then, we need to create a DIV container and initialize dhtmlxGantt in it.
Beware, dhtmlxGantt is a static object and can be instantiated on the page once. To refer to the dhtmlxGantt's instance you can use dhtmlxGantt or simply gantt.

Do the following:
  • Define a DIV container in the myGantt.html file.
  • Initialize dhtmlxGantt with the gantt.init("gantt_here") command. As a parameter, the method takes an HTML container where a Gantt chart will be placed in.

    myGantt.html

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <head>
       <title>How to Start with dhtmlxGantt</title>
       <script src="codebase/dhtmlxgantt.js"></script>
       <link href="codebase/dhtmlxgantt.css" rel="stylesheet">
    </head>
    <body>
        <div id="gantt_here" style='width:1000px; height:400px;'></div>
        <script type="text/javascript">
            gantt.init("gantt_here");
    </script> </body> </html>

Note, if you use the full-screen mode, specify the current style to guarantee the correct work:

<style type="text/css" media="screen">
    html, body{
        margin:0px;
        padding:0px;
        height:100%;
        overflow:hidden;
    }
</style>

Step 4. Loading Data to the Gantt Chart

Then, we need to populate the Gantt chart with the data from a sample data source. We will use the easiest of the ways and specify the data source as an inline object.
To load data, we will use the parse method that takes the name of the data source as a parameter.

The properties of the object are:

  • data - specifies the gantt tasks
    • id - (string, number) the event id.
    • start_date - (Date) the date when an event is scheduled to begin.
    • text - (string) the task description.
    • progress - (number) a number from 0 to 1 that shows what percent of the task is complete.
    • duration - (number) the task duration in the units of the current time scale.
    • parent - (number) the id of the parent task.
  • links - specifies the gantt dependency links
    • id-(string, number) the event id.
    • source-(number) the id of the source task.
    • target-(number) the id of the target task.
    • type-(string) the type of the dependency: 0 - 'finish to start', 1 - 'start to start', 2 - 'finish to finish'.
Do the following:
  • Declare the 'tasks' variable in the myGantt.html file:

    myGantt.html

    var tasks = {
        data:[
            {id:1, text:"Project #1",start_date:"01-04-2013", duration:11,
            progress: 0.6, open: true},
            {id:2, text:"Task #1",   start_date:"03-04-2013", duration:5, 
            progress: 1,   open: true, parent:1},
            {id:3, text:"Task #2",   start_date:"02-04-2013", duration:7, 
            progress: 0.5, open: true, parent:1},
            {id:4, text:"Task #2.1", start_date:"03-04-2013", duration:2, 
            progress: 1,   open: true, parent:3},
            {id:5, text:"Task #2.2", start_date:"04-04-2013", duration:3, 
            progress: 0.8, open: true, parent:3},
            {id:6, text:"Task #2.3", start_date:"05-04-2013", duration:4, 
            progress: 0.2, open: true, parent:3}
        ],
        links:[
            {id:1, source:1, target:2, type:"1"},
            {id:2, source:1, target:3, type:"1"},
            {id:3, source:3, target:4, type:"1"},
            {id:4, source:4, target:5, type:"0"},
            {id:5, source:5, target:6, type:"0"}
        ]
    };
  • Call the gantt.parse(tasks) command after the gantt.init("gantt_here") line:

    myGantt.html

    gantt.init("gantt_here"); 
    gantt.parse (tasks);

Related sample:  Basic initialization

Step 5. Creating a Database

Read this and further steps if you want to load data from a database instead of from an inline object.

Then, we need to create a database with 2 tables to store tasks and dependencies.
sortorder is a property used only while loading data from a database. The property sets the index of a task among siblings.

Do the following:
  • Create a new database with the name - gantt.
  • Execute the following code to create 2 tables in it: gantt_tasks and gantt_links.
    CREATE TABLE `gantt_links` (
      `id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
      `source` int(11) NOT NULL,
      `target` int(11) NOT NULL,
      `type` varchar(1) NOT NULL,
      PRIMARY KEY (`id`)
    );
     
    CREATE TABLE `gantt_tasks` (
      `id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
      `text` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
      `start_date` datetime NOT NULL,
      `duration` int(11) NOT NULL DEFAULT 0,
      `progress` float NOT NULL DEFAULT 0,
      `sortorder` int(11) NOT NULL DEFAULT 0,
      `parent` int(11) NOT NULL,
      PRIMARY KEY (`id`)
    );

Step 6. Loading Data from the Database

In the next 2 steps we will use the PHP platform to implement the server-client integration.
If you use another platform, please, read the article Data Loading to know how to implement the server script yourself.

Then, we need to provide the ability to display data from the database in the chart. We'll do it with the load method, that takes the URL to the data source as a parameter. In case of a database, it's a PHP file which realizes connection to the server side.

We will use the PHP platform and the dhtmlxConnector library, as this is the easiest way to implement the server-side logic for dhtmlxGantt.

Do the following:
  • Create a PHP file in the 'dhtmlxGantt' folder and name it, for example, data.php.
  • Open the data.php file and add the following server-side code to it:

    data.php

    <?php
     
    include ('codebase/connector/gantt_connector.php');
     
    $res = new PDO("mysql:host=localhost;dbname=gantt", "root", "");
     
    $gantt = new JSONGanttConnector($res);
    $gantt->render_links("gantt_links","id","source,target,type");
    $gantt->render_table(
        "gantt_tasks",
        "id",
        "start_date,duration,text,progress,sortorder,parent"
    );
    ?>
  • Switch to the myGantt.html file and set the gantt.config.date_format property to "%Y-%m-%d %H:%i", to make the format of output data compatible with the format of dhtmlxGantt.

    myGantt.html

    gantt.config.date_format = "%Y-%m-%d %H:%i"; gantt.init("gantt_here");
  • Call the gantt.load('data.php') command to load data from the database to the Gantt chart.

    myGantt.html

    gantt.config.date_format = "%Y-%m-%d %H:%i";
    gantt.init("gantt_here");
    gantt.load('data.php');//loads data to Gantt from the database

Mapping database columns

Please note that the order of columns in $connector->render_table is important. The first three columns in the columns list are mapped to start_date/duration/text or start_date/end_date/text properties of the client-side task object respectively, no matter what column names you specify. The logic of mapping columns is described below.

The second column is mapped to task.duration, if you specify 'duration' in the configuration:

$gantt->render_table("gantt_tasks","id","Start,duration,Name,progress,parent","");

or, using alias:

$gantt->render_table("gantt_tasks","id","Start,Length(duration),Name,progress,parent","");
// JS: task.start_date, task.duration, task.text, task.progress, task.parent

If any other column name is set, the second column will be mapped to the end_date property:

$gantt->render_table("gantt_tasks","id","Start,End,Name,progress,parent","");
// JS: task.start_date, task.end_date, task.text, task.progress, task.parent

Mapping other columns

All other columns will be mapped by their names without changes:

$gantt->render_table("gantt_tasks","id","start_date,duration,text,custom,parent","");
// JS: task.start_date, task.duration, task.text, task.custom, task.parent

Aliases can be used for other columns as well:

$gantt->render_table("gantt_tasks","id",
    "start_date,duration,text,custom_column(customProperty),parent","");
// JS: task.start_date, task.duration, task.text, task.customProperty, task.parent

Step 7. Updating Data in the Database

Then, we need to provide the ability to save the changes made in the Gantt chart to the database. For this purpose, we'll use the dataProcessor helper library. All we need to do is to initialize DataProcessor and attach it to the dhtmlxGantt object.

Do the following:
  • Open the myGantt.html file and initialize dhtmlxDataProcessor with the dataProcessor("data.php") command.
  • Attach the dhtmlxDataProcessor object to the dhtmlxGantt object with the dp.init(gantt) command.

    myGantt.html

    gantt.init("gantt_here");
    gantt.load('data.php');
     
    var dp=new gantt.dataProcessor("data.php");  dp.init(gantt);

What's Next?

That's all. A basic but functional Gantt chart that can load data from the database and save it back is ready. Now you may configure and customize it to meet all your needs.

We recommend you to read these articles as your next step:

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