Building a search function with DataTables plugin (II)


In a previous post the base foundation was set up and a table was drawn on the xpage with the datatables jquery component. The data, residing in a Notes view, was delivered via a CustomServiceBean Rest service.

A datatable comes out of the box with a little search field which performs a search across the whole json data-set.

Individual column searching

In this post we will be adding select inputs for each column so you have a quick filter mechanism matching the values in the columns.

To achieve this we need to make some changes to the html table and our script to initialize the datatable object.

HTML table

We will place the select inputs on the bottom of the table, in the to be added footer section:

<table id=”persons” class=”table table-striped table-bordered”
cellspacing=”0″ width=”100%”>


In our JS function that initializes the datatable we add a callback function that is triggered when the table is fully loaded:

initComplete: function(){
this.api().columns().every( function () {
var column = this;
var select = $(‘<select><option value=””></option></select>’)
.appendTo( $(column.footer()).empty() )
.on( ‘change’, function () {
var val = $.fn.dataTable.util.escapeRegex(

.search( val ? ‘^’+val+’$’ : ”, true, false )
} ); function ( d, j ) {
select.append( ‘<option value=”‘+d+'”>’+d+'</option>’ )
} );
} );


As a result of the activities above our table now looks like:


The seach field works in conjunction with the select inputs. Not bad for a few lines of code!

2 thoughts on “Building a search function with DataTables plugin (II)

  1. Karl 2016-June-9 / 12:42 am

    Thanks for sharing. Data tables is great. It would be great if IBM could incorporate this column search functionality into the data view component, since it is used extensively in many xpage applications and this is a common requirement in many apps.

    • Patrick Kwinten 2016-June-15 / 8:31 am

      I don’t foresee that IBM is going to do that (or enhance the table view control) ofcourse they will answer that you can extract the code for that control on github and submit improvements to be incorporated into the library…

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