Build a simple Plomino application

Create a Plomino database

To create a Plomino database, select Plomino: database in the Add item Plone menu.


Enter a title for the database (for instance Library) and save it.

Add a form

Forms can be added using the Plomino Design portlet, which is usually displayed in the left-hand column, or using the Plone Add dropdown menu.

To add a form, click Add new... Form in the portlet, or select Plomino: form from the Add item Plone menu.


On the add form, enter the form id. The form id is initialized with a generated value (for instance: plominoform.2008-01-31.9797530894). It is preferable to replace it with a more meaningful id (for instance: frmBook). It is a technical identifier, so use basic characters and numbers only (blank space and special characters are forbidden).

In the Title field, enter the form label, which will be displayed to the users (for instance: Book description.


Save the form to create it (you need to save it before being able to add fields to your form).

Create the layout and add fields

Click on the Edit tab.

Go to the Form layout section which contains the TinyMCE editor. If necessary, expand the editing area by dragging the bottom-right corner, or clicking on the full-screen icon from the editor toolbar.

Create your form layout using the standard editing tools (styles, tables, etc.).


To add a field to the layout, select some word in the layout and click on the Add/edit Plomino field button in the TinyMCE toolbar.


The selected text will be used as the field id, and a pop-up window will allow you to enter the field main parameters:


For the bookAuthor field, keep the default values (‘Text’ and ‘Editable’), click Insert and then Close.

As you can see, the field is rendered with a blue dashed border in the layout.

Do the same for the following fields:

  • bookTitle, type ‘Text’, ‘Editable’
  • publicationYear, type ‘Number’, ‘Editable’
  • summary, type ‘Rich text’, ‘Editable’
  • cover, type ‘File attachment’, ‘Editable’
  • bookCategory, choose type ‘Selection list’, ‘Editable’, but after clicking Insert, click on Specific settings.

This opens the field settings page in a new window, where you can enter the possible values for the Selection list:


Click Apply, go back to the Form window, and close the field pop-up.

Now the form is built, and its associated fields have been created.


Save the form (click the Save button at the bottom of the page).

Use the form

You can now use this form to create documents.


Go back to the Library database. The database welcome page now contains a link to add a new document using the Book description form:


Click on this link, and you get the form displayed as designed in the TinyMCE editor, including the fields as they have been defined:


You can enter values and save, and a new document will be created:


Explore the database design

Go to the Library database and click the Design tab.

This tab displays all the design elements contained in the database:


The pencil icon gives access to the corresponding object in edit mode, the page icon in read mode, and the folder icon in content mode.

Change the document title

By default, all the documents created with a form have the same title as the form.

In the present case, the title is “Book description”, and it will be the title of all the documents you would create with your form.

To display a more useful title, go to the frmBook object, edit it, and enter the following formula in the Document title formula field:

return "Information about %s (%s)" % (

Save the form, go back to the document, make a change and save it. This will trigger calculation of the title formula. Now you will see the title has been set as specified in the formula:


The document title is computed by a formula. All Plomino formulas are restricted Python scripts with certain variables and functions provided. In this case, the plominoDocument variable is used, which is the current document.

All the data items stored on the document by forms, or set using formulas, are accessible using the getItem API: (plominoDocument.getItem(<field name>)).

For more information about formulas, see Formulas below.

Change the document id

The document id is used in the URL. By default, it is an opaque random identifier (4e219e4ffff21b9753c94a0e006e95bf in the following):


If you want to use meaningful ids, you can define a Document id formula. Go to the frmBook object, edit it, and enter the following formula in Document id formula:

plominoDocument.bookTitle +"-"+plominoDocument.bookAuthor

Unlike the title, the id is computed at creation time, and it cannot be changed later. So the existing document will not use this formula even if we re-save it. But if you create a new document, you will get a id corresponding to your formula:



If you use this facility, you need to take care that document ids are unique, well-formed, and resolve any issues that arise when replicating documents to other Plomino instances. Calculating your own document ids can be a considerable responsibility, depending on the requirements of your application.

Add a view

A view defines a collection of documents. Some views are used to present lists of documents to users, and some are used from formulas to structure the Plomino application.

A view has a selection formula, which defines which documents form part of the view, and it usually contains some columns to display information about the matching documents. These columns may compute derived information from data items on documents, or even from values looked up from other documents, Plone objects, or other sources.

You can generate a view automatically from a form:

  • Go to the frmBook form, and
  • click on Generate view in the Design portlet on the left.

This generates a view which:

  • selects all the documents that were created or last edited using the frmBook form,
  • creates a column for each field on the form (file attachments and rich text fields are skipped), and it also
  • inserts an Add new action.

The columns can be re-ordered by drag-and-drop in the Contents tab. The column labels can also be changed.

Add a view manually

Go back to the Library database.

Select Plomino: view from the Add item Plone menu. Enter an identifier (allBooks) and a title (‘All the books’):


Enter a selection formula too: this formula must return True or False. It is evaluated for each document; if the returned value is True, the document is included in the view; if False, it is rejected.

Enter the following expression and hit Save:

return True

(this expression always returns True, so all the documents will be displayed).

You get the following result:


We just see a link Go which allows us to access the document we have created. Now we need to add columns to this view.

Select Plomino: column from the Add item Plone menu.

Enter an identifier and a title, and select the field you want to display in the column.


You can also enter a formula to compute the column value, for instance:

return plominoDocument.getItem('bookTitle').upper()


When you use a field as column value, the Plomino index will use the field index. So if you display this field as column in several views, it will not increase the index size. But when you create a formula, it will create a new column-specific index, so having a lot of column formulas might impact the database global performances.

Similarly, add a column to display bookAuthor.

Columns can be ordered by going to the view’s Contents tab and moving the columns where needed.

If you go back to the Library database root, the view is proposed in the Browse section:


Create more documents. When you click on the link All the books, the view is displayed with its 2 columns (and its new documents):


To improve browsing of the documents, it could be useful to sort the view.

To do that, click on Edit, go to the Sorting tab and enter col1 in the Sorting column, then save:


Add more views

You can add as many views as necessary.

You can build views able to filter the documents; for instance if you enter the following selection formula:

return (plominoDocument.getItem('publicationYear') >= 1800 and
    plominoDocument.getItem('publicationYear') < 1900)

you will only list the XIXth century books.

You can create categorised views: create a view with a first column which contains the bookCategory field value, and select Categorised in the Sorting tab:


Each category can be expanded or collapsed.

Dynamic view

Click on Edit, go to the Parameters, and change widget to Dynamic table. It renders the view using JQuery Datatables (column sorting, live filtering, ...).


Add a search form

Create a new form named frmSearch, and add some fields with the same identifiers as the documents fields you want to be able to search; for instance: bookTitle, bookAuthor and bookCategory.

In the Parameters tab, select ‘Search form’ and enter all in Search view:


This form is now proposed in the Search section in the Library database root:


If you click on this link, you get the search form, and if you enter some criteria, the results are displayed under the form:



the criteria are effective only if the field names match the document item names.

About and Using pages

Go to the Library database Edit tab. You can fill in the About this database section and the Using this database section.

Information entered here will be available under the About and the Using tabs. It allows you to offer users a page to describe the purpose of the application and another one to give a short user guide.