Dynamically updating, searchable, sortable datatables with Phoenix LiveView




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Dynamic, live updating datatables that takes a database query and a module, and make the magic happen. Ideal for quickly adding CRUD interfaces on an admin backend.


  • Full text search
  • Sorting
  • Periodic refresh
  • Bootstrap friendly and easily configured for other CSS frameworks.
  • Customizable everything (and if something isn't, open an issue!)
  • Powered by Phoenix LiveView and Postgres.

Documentation can be found at https://hexdocs.pm/exzeitable.


Watch the video

Getting Started


This package requires a Postgres database, Phoenix, and Phoenix LiveView.

The package can be installed by adding exzeitable and Phoenix Live View to your list of dependencies in mix.exs:

def deps do
    {:exzeitable, "~> 0.4.6"},
    {:phoenix_live_view, "~> 0.15"},
    {:floki, ">= 0.0.0", only: :test}

Please see Phoenix Live View's installation instructions if it was not already installed.


Search requires the pg_trgm extension for Postgres.

Create a new migration

mix ecto.gen.migration add_pg_trgm

And add the following code to your migration file

  def up do
    execute("CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm")

  def down do
    execute("DROP EXTENSION pg_trgm")

Then migrate

mix ecto.migrate


Add the boilerplate to a new module.

defmodule YourAppWeb.Live.File do
  @moduledoc "User's File table"
  alias YourAppWeb.Router.Helpers, as: Routes
  import Ecto.Query

  use Exzeitable,
    # Required
    repo: YourApp.Repo,
    routes: Routes,
    path: :file_path,
    action_buttons: [:show, :edit, :custom_button],
    query: from(f in File),
    fields: [
      image: [virtual: true],
      title: [hidden: true],
      description: [hidden: true],
    # Optional
    debounce: 300

  # The callback that renders your table
  def render(assigns), do: ~L"<%= build_table(assigns) %>"

  # Field functions, called when virtual: true or function: true
  def image(socket, file) do
    img_tag(file.url, class: "w-100")
    |> link(to: Routes.file_path(socket, :show, file))

Options can be added to either your module (as seen above), or in the template (As seen below) or both. If an option is defined in both the template option will replace the module option. The only exception is :fields which must be specified in the module.


This is where you can specify the query that forms the default data of the table. Everything the table does is with a subset of this data.

query = from(f in Files)
render(conn, "index.html", query: query)


Call the table from your template

<h1> My Awesome Files </h1>
<%= YourAppWeb.Live.File.live_table(@conn, query: @query, action_buttons: [:show, :edit], assigns: %{user_id: @current_user.id}) %>

Customizing your table

Required module/template options

  • :repo The module for your repository. Example: YourApp.Repo
  • :routes Your route module. Example: YourAppWeb.Router.Helpers
  • :path The base path for your resource. Example: :site_path
  • :fields A keyword list where the atom is the ecto field and the value is a keyword list of options. Example: metadata: [label: "Additional Information"]
  • :query A Ecto.Query struct, the part before you give it to the Repo. Example: from(s in Site, preload: [:users])

Optional module/template options

  • action_buttons: [:new, :edit, :show, :delete] A list of atoms representing action buttons avaliable for the user to use. This does not do authorization, the routes will still be available.
  • per_page: 20 Integer representing number of entries per page.
  • debounce: 300 Sets how many miliseconds between responding to user input on the search field.
  • refresh: false Requeries the database every x milliseconds, defaults to false (disabled).
  • disable_hide: false Disable hide and show functionality for columns, including not showing the buttons.
  • pagination: [:top, :bottom] Whether to show the pagination above and below
  • text: Exzeitable.Text.Default The text that appears on the table, you can replace this with your own custom module.
  • assigns: %{} Passes additional assigns to socket.assigns. Keep your payload small!

Field options

Under the fields key, you can define a keyword list of atoms with keyword values. The map holds the options for that field. All of these options are optional.

fields: [
          name: [function: true],
          age: [order: false],
          metadata: [label: "Additional Information", virtual: true, hidden: true],

The following field options are available (with their defaults):

  • label: nil Set a custom string value for the column heading
  • function: false Pass (socket, entry) to a function with the same name as the field
  • hidden: false Hide the column by default (user can click show button to reveal)
  • search: true Whether to include the column in search results. See the important note below.
  • order: true Do not allow the column to be sorted (hide the sort button)
  • virtual: false This is shorthand for [function: true, search: false, order: false] and will override those settings. Intended for creating fields that are not database backed.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Search uses ts_vector, which is performed by Postgres inside the database on string fields. This means that you cannot search fields that are not string type (i.e. integer, datetime, associations, virtual fields). Make sure to set search: false or virtual: true on such fields.

Module/template options for nested routes

Needed to build links where more than one struct is needed, i.e. link("Show Post", to: Routes.user_post_path(@conn, :show, @user, @post))

The official docs if you would like to learn more.

If you define one of the below options you then need to define the other.

Continuing the example of users and posts:

resources "/users", UserController do
  resources "/posts", PostController

The users Exzeitable does not need the 2 options below, but the posts Exzeitable does. Because all of its routes are different. The following will be needed to make the posts Exzeitable work:

  • belongs_to: :user
  • parent: @user

Make sure that you include the :user_id in your query.

You will need to pass the parent option in from the template.


Almost no CSS styling is included out of the box. I have added generic classes elements in the table in the hopes of making the table as CSS framwork agnostic as possible.

I have included a Bootstrap SASS example in the CSS Module


Opening Issues and Pull Requests

Suggestions, bug reports and contributions are very welcome! Please open an issue before starting on a pull request however as I would hate to have any of your efforts be in vain.

Getting set up

This project uses the asdf version manager.

# Clone the project from GitHub
git clone git@github.com:alanvardy/exzeitable.git
cd exzeitable

# Install dependencies
asdf install
mix deps.get
npm install --prefix assets

# Start postgres with docker
docker-compose up -d 

# Run the test suite
mix check