Data Loading

dhtmlxGantt can take data of 2 formats:

To populate a Gantt chart with data, use parse or load method.


Related sample:  Basic initialization

Loading from Object

To load data from an object, use the parse method:

Loading from an inline data source

var data = {
     {id:1, text:"Project #1", start_date:"01-04-2020", duration:18},
     {id:2, text:"Task #1", start_date:"02-04-2020", duration:8, parent:1},
     {id:3, text:"Task #2", start_date:"11-04-2020", duration:8, parent:1}

Related sample:  Basic initialization

Loading from Server

Client side

To load data from a server, use the load method:



The load method will send an AJAX request to the specified url and will expect a response with data in one of the supported formats. For example:


     {"id":1, "text":"Project #1", "start_date":"01-04-2020", "duration":18},
     {"id":2, "text":"Task #1", "start_date":"02-04-2020","duration":8, "parent":1},
     {"id":3, "text":"Task #2", "start_date":"11-04-2020","duration":8, "parent":1}
     {"id":1, "source":1, "target":2, "type":"1"},
     {"id":2, "source":2, "target":3, "type":"0"}

The format is specified in the second argument of the method: "json", "xml" or "oldxml".

gantt.load("data.xml", "xml");

Server side

On the server you can have either a static file with data or a script that will collect data from the data source and write it to the response. The server-side implementation depends on the framework you want to use.

See detailed instructions and code samples for various platforms in the article Server-Side Integration.

For example, in case of Node.js we should add a server route for the URL where Gantt will send an AJAX request for data.


It will generate a corresponding response in the JSON format.

app.get("/data", function(req, res){
    db.query("SELECT * FROM gantt_tasks", function(err, rows){
        if (err) console.log(err);
        db.query("SELECT * FROM gantt_links", function(err, links){
            if (err) console.log(err);
            for (var i = 0; i < rows.length; i++){
                rows[i].start_date = rows[i].start_date.format("YYYY-MM-DD");
                rows[i].open = true;
            res.send({ tasks:rows, links : links });

See all supported data formats in the article tasksExploring Supported Data Formats.

Loading Task Dates

Setting task schedule

There are three ways to define a schedule for a task in the data feed:

  • start_date + duration
  • start date + end_date
  • duration + end_date

The property that is not specified will be calculated based on the ones that are defined in the data object.

Related sample:  Backward planning

The end_date has a higher priority than the duration parameter. If there are 3 parameters specified in the task object, Gantt will ignore the duration parameter and the task will be loaded with a different duration value. For example:

    "id":"20", "text":"Project #2", 
    "type": "project", "open": true
// the task above will be loaded with the duration value calculated in accordance
// with the specified 'start_date' and 'end_date'
    "id":"20", "text":"Project #2", 
    "type": "project", "open": true

Formatting end dates of tasks

The end dates of tasks are not inclusive. It means that Gantt inteprets the midnight of the latest date in the range as the end of the task, while the latest date itself isn't included into the task duration, and is not shown, as a result. For example, for Gantt a 1-day task scheduled for the 20th of May, 2018 (20-05-2018 00:00:00) will be ended on 21-05-2018 00:00:00, although the 21st of May, 2018 won't be covered by this task.

It's impossible to influence the Gantt format of storing data. However, you can redefine templates for a gantt grid in order to make it show inclusive dates only. Thus, Gantt will display the end date of a task as end_date - 1 rather than take the exact "end_date" value from the code.

In the example below displaying of the end task in the tooltip is redefined via the tooltip_text template:

function formatEndDate(date, template){ 
    // get 23:59:59 instead of 00:00:00 for the end date
    return template(new Date(date.valueOf() - 1));  
gantt.config.columns = [
    {name: "text", label: "Task name", tree: true, width: 160, resize:true},
    {name: "start_date", label:"Start", align: "center", width: 100, resize:true},
    {name: "end_date", label:"End", align: "center", width: 100, 
        template: function(task){
            return formatEndDate(task.end_date, gantt.templates.date_grid);
        }, resize:true},
    // more columns
var formatFunc ="%Y-%m-%d %H:%i");
gantt.templates.tooltip_text = function (start, end, task) {
     return "<b>Task:</b> " + task.text + "<br/><b>Start date:</b> " + 
       formatFunc(task.start_date) + "<br/><b>End date:</b> " + 
       formatEndDate(task.end_date, formatFunc);

Data Properties

A data source for the Gantt chart is an object that stores 2 types of information:

  • tasks - the items of tasks.
  • links - the items of dependency links.

Properties of a task object

  • Mandatory properties - these properties will always be defined on the client, they must be provided by the datasource in order for gantt to operate correctly.
    • text - ( string ) the task text.
    • start_date - ( Date|string ) the date when a task is scheduled to begin. Must match date_format format if provided as a string.
    • duration - ( number ) the task duration. Can be replaced with the 'end_date' property.
    • id - ( string|number ) the task id.
  • Optional properties - these properties may or may not be defined. The default logic and templates of gantt will use these properties if they are defined.
    • type - (string) the task type. The available values are stored in the types object:
      • "task" - a regular task (default value).
      • "project" - a task that starts, when its earliest child task starts, and ends, when its latest child ends. The start_date, end_date, duration properties are ignored for such tasks.
      • "milestone" - a zero-duration task that is used to mark out important dates of the project. The duration, progress, end_date properties are ignored for such tasks.
    • parent - ( string|number ) the id of the parent task. The id of the root task is specified by the root_id config.
    • progress - ( number from 0 to 1 ) the task progress.
    • open - ( boolean ) specifies whether the task branch will be opened initially (to show child tasks).
    • end_date - ( Date|string ) the date when a task is scheduled to be completed. Used as an alternative to the duration property for setting the duration of a task. Must match date_format format if provided as a string.
    • row_height - ( number ) sets the default height for rows of the table
    • bar_height - ( number,string ) sets the height of task bars in the timeline area
    • readonly-(boolean) can mark task as readonly.
    • editable-(boolean) can mark task as editable.
    • rollup-(boolean) specifies whether a task (type:"task") or milestone (type:"milestone") should appear on the parent projects.
    • hide_bar-(boolean) defines whether a task (type:"task") or milestone (type:"milestone") should be hidden in the timeline area.
  • Dynamic properties - are created on the client and represent the current state of a task or a link. They shouldn't be saved to the database, gantt will ignore these properties if they are specified in your JSON/XML.

The default date format for JSON and XML data is "%d-%m-%Y %H:%i" (see the date format specification).
To change it, use the date_format configuration option.


Once loaded into Gantt, the start_date and end_date properties will be parsed into the Date type.

Date formats that are not supported by the date_format config can be parsed manually via the parse_date template.

  • Mandatory properties
    • id - ( string|number ) the link id.
    • source - ( number ) the id of a task that the dependency will start from.
    • target - ( number ) the id of a task that the dependency will end with.
    • type - (string) the dependency type. The available values are stored in the links object. By default, they are:
      • "0" - 'finish_to_start'.
      • "1" - 'start_to_start'.
      • "2" - 'finish_to_finish'.
      • "3" - 'start_to_finish'.
      If you want to store the dependency types in some way other than the default values('0','1','2'), you may change values of the related properties of the links object. For example:
      gantt.config.links.start_to_start = "start2start";
      Note, these values affect only the way the dependency type is stored, not the behaviour of visualization.
  • Optional properties
    • lag-(number) optional, task lag.
    • readonly-(boolean) optional, can mark link as readonly.
    • editable-(boolean) optional, can mark link as editable.

Custom properties

You are not limited to the mandatory properties listed above and can add any custom ones to data items. Extra data properties will be parsed as strings and loaded to the client side where you can use them according to your needs.

See examples of data with custom properties here.

Database Structure

If you use a database, we recommend to have 2 separate tables to store data: one for tasks and one for links.

The structure of a standard database to load tasks and links to the Gantt chart is:

  • gantt_tasks table - specifies the gantt tasks
    • id - (string,number) the event id.
    • start_date - (Date) the date when a task is scheduled to begin.
    • text - (string) the task's 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.
    • type - (string) optional, the type of the task.
    • readonly - (boolean) optional, can mark task as readonly.
    • editable - (boolean) optional, can mark task as editable.
  • gantt_links table - 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'
      • 3 - 'start_to_finish'
    • lag - (number) optional, task lag.
    • readonly - (boolean) optional, can mark link as readonly.
    • editable - (boolean) optional, can mark link as editable.

Use the following SQL statement to create a database with 2 mentioned tables:

CREATE TABLE `gantt_links` (
  `source` int(11) NOT NULL,
  `target` int(11) NOT NULL,
  `type` varchar(1) NOT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`id`)
CREATE TABLE `gantt_tasks` (
  `text` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
  `start_date` datetime NOT NULL,
  `duration` int(11) NOT NULL,
  `progress` float NOT NULL,
  `sortorder` int(11) NOT NULL,
  `parent` int(11) NOT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`id`)

Events Flow

Loading-related methods have the following events flow:





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