JavaScript Frontend

This is section contains an overview of techniques and best practices that can be used on the frontend, followed by a short overview of the frontend API and a section on UI elements (buttons, text boxes, sliders, etc).

Additional Views

Next to the index.html, you can create other html files like this log.html file:

{% extends "analysis.html" %}

{% block footer %}
    var d = new Databench.Connection();

    d.on('ready', function(data) {
        console.log(`Ready message received: ${data}`);

{% end %}

which will automatically be available at the url ending with log.html.

HTML Templates

Templates are rendered buy Tornado’s template engine. Databench provides a visual frame for your analysis which you can extend from with {% extends "analysis.html" %}. Example:

{% extends "analysis.html" %}

{% block head %}
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/_static/databench.css?version={{databench_version}}">
{% end %}

{% block analysis %}
<h1>Analysis Output</h1>
<p>The current status: <span id="status">unknown</span></p>
{% end %}

{% block footer %}
<script src="/_static/databench.js?v={{databench_version}}"></script>
<script src="/scaffold/analysis.js?v={{version}}"></script>
{% end %}

Modify the base.html, analysis.html or any other html template file by placing a base.html or analysis.html file in your analyses path. Use analyses/static for static assets like logos and favicons which is exposed at /static.

Default analyses/base.html:

<!DOCTYPE html>
        <meta charset="utf-8">
        <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
        <title>{{ title }}</title>
        <meta name="description" content="{{ description }}">
        <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

        <link rel="shortcut icon" href="/_static/favicon.ico">
        {% block head %}{% end %}
            <h2 id="d-title"><a href="/" class="text-muted">
                <img id="d-logo" alt="logo" src="/_static/logo.svg" />{{ title }}

            {% block content %}
            {% end %}

            Created with <a href="">Databench</a>.
            <!-- This is Databench v{{databench_version}} and analyses v{{version}}. -->

        {% block footer %}{% end %}

Default analyses/analysis.html:

{% extends "base.html" %}

{% block content %}
{% if home_link %}<a class="d-home-link" href="{{home_link}}">Home</a>{% end %}

{% raw readme %}
<div id="databench-alerts"></div>

{% block analysis %}{% end %}
{% block log %}<pre id="log"></pre>{% end %}
{% end %}


Databench is supposed to go out of your way and work well with many frontend frameworks and tools. For example, it works well with Twitter Bootstrap, React, Font Awesome, MathJax, and many more.


Changed in version 0.7.

Use console.log() to log to the console as usual. To log to the console and send a message to the backend about the log message, use d.emit('log', ...). Similarly, if the backend emits a log action, the frontend console as well as databench.ui.Log will show it. Similarly to log, this also works for warn and error. Also see Logging in the Python section.

Static Files

To add a static file to an analysis, place it in the analysis folder. Static files in this folder are exposed at the /<some_analysis>/static/ url. For example, to add angular.js to an analysis of the name angular (see for example the angular analysis in the Databench examples), add the file angular.js to the folder analyses/angular/ and include it in index.html with:

<script src="/angular/static/angular.js"></script>

You can also add static files to all analyses by creating a folder analyses/static and placing the static file in this folder. The URL to access the files is /static/my_static_file.png. This is the same folder that is used for a custom header logo; see Multiple Analyses Configuration.

Node Modules

Databench looks for a static and a node_modules folder first in the analyses folder and then in the current working directory.

npm init  # creates package.json interactively
npm install --save d3  # install d3 and add as dependency to packages.json

to then access it with

<script src="/node_modules/d3/d3.min.js"></script>

in html. The databench_examples repository contains analyses that use static files and Node packages.

Running the Backend at a Custom Location

You can also include Databench in websites. You need the Databench JavaScript library and configure the location of your Databench backend:

var d = Databench.Connection('ws://');

which connects to the backend of the public and live example of simplepi. When you connect to your own backend, you will have to invoke databench with

databench --host=

to allow non-local access.

WARNING: Databench was developed for deployment in trusted environments. You need to handle security yourself, e.g. by running Databench on an isolated server.