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Inline Relational Record Editing

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This page belongs to the Inline Relational Record Editing project (category Project)
Example of data structure
A more complex structure covering data over more levels, that could be editable with Inline-Relational-Record-Editing
Screenshot of extension dynbeedit 0.0.2
How it could work in TYPO3

glossary-definition: IRRE (Inline Relational Record Editing) is part of the core since TYPO3 4.1.0.

Main focus in abstract

We want to provide a solution that makes editing of data and creating relations to foreign records easier for the user. Unneccessary clicks on using wizards should be prevented. This also includes the complete reload of an input view. So the user should be able to make his changes on one view, as far as possible. The relations between objects can be 1:n and 1:1 (and n:m would possibly also come). The implementation of these functions is done directly to the core (basically to t3lib_TCEform) and should/could be ready for TYPO3 4.1 (if the list of features grows, possibly TYPO3 4.2).

The results are published as diploma thesis of Oliver Hader at the University of Appliead Sciences Hof - this thesis consists of a practical part (implementing some/all of the features) and a theoretical part (kind of documentation what was implemented, how it works and why it was done in a certain way).


  • The irre_tutorial available in TER offers a good introduction and comes with nearly all kinds of different configuration options. Furthermore it contains a set of sample record data.
    • Administration: Install Extension, Klick at the IRRE Tutorial icon in the "Web" menu, Klick at "Install sample data"
  • irre_hotel
  • You could additionally use the elderly Test-Suite-Extension T3X_irre_testsuite.t3x


Have a look in the TCA Reference (Section 3.4) for type "inline" to get an overview of the possible configuration options in the TCA.

The whole project is further documented in the diploma thesis of Oliver Hader. You can obtain it here:


If you find any bugs please report them using the bug-tracker.
To discuss further development of Inline Relational Record Editing you can subscribe to the list typo3.projects.irre by using the mailing-list or the news-group.

A closer look

  • TCEforms is extendet by a new type called "inline" that calls getMainFields method to show the inline records
  • TCEmain has to handle comma separated lists of uids (like in select type), mm relations (like in select/group type) and additional the foreign_field alternative
  • The Ajax object of the prototype JavaScript framework is creating dynamically new records and handles the inline structure
  • prototype/ is used for dynamic DOM handling like inline sorting and the integration of Drag&Drop, etc.
  • alt_doc_ajax.php (derived from alt_doc.php, SC_alt_doc) gets the Ajax calls, handles them and interacts with TCEforms

Functionality of Inline Relational Record Editing

Here are the parts or tasks that should be part of the "Inline-Relational-Record-Editing".

Database Storage

The standard of of storing 1:n relations in TYPO3 is to build up a comma separated list which is stored in a table field of the database. Imagine you have the tables "company", "addresse" and "person" and want to relate them like "person works in company" and "person lives at address". In the following there are some examples mentioned.

1:n relations

see Inline Relational Record Editing 1:n

Children of 1:n relations normally depend fully on their parent. That would mean, if the parent is moved, copied or deleted, the child-records are also moved, copied or deleted.

m:n relations

Inline Relational Record Editing supports to display and handle MM-Records in a simple way. But the better way is to use an own intermediate table, that is similar to the MM-table but doesn't equal - so the own intermediate table has a proper uid and pid for example.

Attributes on relations

see Inline Relational Record Editing Attributes

Inline interaction with data

  • Sorting of inline-records is enabled if that table was defined to be sortable in $TCA: $TCA[<table>]['ctrl']['sortby'] - this could also be done with Drag&Drop functions
  • Create a new inline-record is of course possible, if $TCA[<table>]['ctrl']['sortby'] was defined it's possible to insert after an existing inline-record, like it could be done with the Web>List module
  • Deleting of data is done virtually if the inline-record never was stored to the database. If the inline-record has a proper uid, it's marked to be deleted later (on clicking the "save" button). If it's a 1:n relation and the record to be deleted has children, also these children are triggered to be deleted by setting the "deleted='1'" flag to the involved records.


Other relating projects to Party Information Framework (edit this, in alphabetical order)

  • Commerce Shop Extension This extension use an 1:N relation for addresses and included an own addressmanagement, which should be part of the Party Information Framework.
  • Enhanced Rights Management - a pear class for a RBAC / Role Based Access Control.
  • Inline Relational Record Editing - 1:n relations for BackEnd-Forms -- Oliver Hader
  • Newloginbox development coordination - Ingmar Schlecht and Stefan Strasser
    The User list plugin (pi3) of Newloginbox is related to the Party Framework. If the Party Framework will ship with a user listing plugin, the pi3 of Newloginbox wouldn't be needed any more.
  • Users Addresses - relations between fe_user and tt_address, best practice discussion - Elmar Hinz
  • dkd_feuser_belogin - relation between fe_user and be_user


  • Proof-of-concept extension "dynbeedit": beginning of september
  • Programming-part of the project as new TCEform type: october 1st 2006 - november 1st 2006
  • Code-Review by Ingmar Schlecht and Sebastian Kurfürst: november 10th-12th 2006
  • Bug-Fixing and integration tests to the TYPO3 Core 4.1: until november 15th 2006
  • Publish on Core-Developer List for reviewing/accepting the changes: november 16th 2006
  • Bug-Fixing and necessary changes to meet conditions of the core-developers: until february 1st 2007
  • "Big" Documentation of the work (= Diploma thesis): after all points above have been finished, until end of february 2007

Current To-Do-List

  • Core-Features
    • refactoring and try to remove the "FIXME"s
    • OK minitems in TCA configuration has to be evaluated in the forms view (TCEforms)
    • OK use new t3lib_befunc::getRecordTitle of David Brühlmeier for header titles
    • OK allow automatic sorting for child records, currently foreign_sortby writes only a manual sorting!
    • OK import-/export-functionality bugfix for using intermediate tables and symmetric relations
    • OK bugfixing RTE problems for cascaded inline fields over more levels (positioning, width, height)
    • OK special bugfix for Internet Explorer issues
    • REMOVED attributes on MM relations to handle attributes AND child record as well (two combined inline tables)
    • OK bidirectional symmetric relations with attributes and sorting for each side of the relation
    • OK attributes on a own intermediate table (foreign_field) with the possibility to edit embedded children directly, child-records are reusable (0:n) (inline releational editing over two levels)
    • OK dynamically change header/label field of a record container while editing
    • OK drag&drop sorting with ("Sortable")
    • OK check uniqueness on pointer tables (foreign_field), that are used as intermediate tables with attributes on client-side
    • OK replace xaJax by prototype (handling of AJAX with JSON)
    • OK recursively delete child records
    • OK recursively undelete child records (history/undo)
    • OK recursively copy child records
    • OK handle 1:n with item list (comma separated)
    • OK handle 1:n with pointer field on foreign table ("foreign_field")
    • OK handle m:n/1:n allow usage of regular MM-tables (also bidirectional)
  • Appearance-Features
    • add save button to each inline fields (i.e. with notificator that something was changed)
    • change effect-animations for deletion & sorting of records
    • TSconfig if child-records should show up collapsed by default, etc.
    • OK save expanded/collapsed state for child-records for each user in BE_USER->uc (like in pagetree)
  • Related-Features
    • Implement the type "inline" for tx_kickstarter


Here a some features that should be discussed and maybe become part of "Inline-Relational-Record-Editing" at some time.

  • Automatic saving of unsaved data (e.g. every 60 seconds, could be configured). It would be possible, but we need a concept/discussion about "how" to solve the whole problem.
  • Integration of conditions. So e.g. an selectbox becomes available or editable if a checkbox like "has_something" was checked before. This is kind of "eval" and could affect other fields. Another example in that case is the switching between different types of tt_content elements ("text", "text/image", ...)
  • Integration of clipboard-functionality (cut/copy/paste) - do we need? <- would be great!!!
  • Integration of workspaces and localization
  • Inline editing of images and/or files with possibly adding an descriptive field for each file where the author, date, title, etc. could be stored. Also the DAM concept could be used here. (see Bernhard Krafts extension:
    -- Annotation: this is already possible with IRRE, the question was about a better integration for e.g. DAM - olly
  • Interface to/for dynaflex for inline-sorting, moving, whatever.
  • Solution for handling many records in one view (just imagine you once have 200 inline records...)

Current Project Members

  • Project Leader, developer: Oliver Hader <oh(at)inpublica(dot)de>
  • Reviewing for the Core: Ingmar Schlecht, Sebastian Kurfürst
  • Testing: Thomas Oppelt, Volker Graubaum, David Brühlmeier