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Using Participants Database with WordPress Users

This post was updated November 6, 2019 to be compatible with current versions of WordPress.

A very common support request is along the lines of “how can I give my users a login and password to access their profile?”

There are basically two ways to do this, depending on what privileges you want to give your users. If you just want them to be able to use a couple of pieces of information (email and password, perhaps) to gain access to their Participants Database record for editing (and nothing more than that), you can use the Participant Login add-on to provide a login form for that purpose.

If you need to provide your users with other privileges, such as access to protected areas or the ability to know who they are on other pages, then you have to register your users as WordPress users. That will give them a way to log in and that will be persistent throughout your site.

Participants Database can work very well with WP users, but it can be a little tricky figuring out how the two functionalities will work together. In this post, I lay out a simple scheme that can serve as a starting point for your own integration. What I describe here won’t require much coding, but you’ll probably need to get deeper into the code if you want to take things beyond this.

Relating Records to Users

The easiest part is relating a record to a user. When a user is logged in, several pieces of information about them is available. All we need to do is capture a bit of information that will identify the user and store that with the record. I’ll provide an example of how to do that.

Create a hidden field named “username” to hold the user login. After creating the field, I changed the title to “User Name” for readability, you should choose whatever title makes sense to you. Set the default to current_user->user_login That will grab the “user_login” property of the current_user object when a new record is created.

If your application allows users to create multiple records, they will all be associated with the user through this value. Be sure to set the field to appear in the signup form by checking the “signup” checkbox.

example configuration of the field that captures the user login value

Of course, for this to work, your signup form has to be accessible only to logged-in users.

Showing a List of the User’s Records

It’s not difficult to filter a list display so that it only shows records that relate to a particular user. What we need to do is set up a custom shortcode that filters the list according to the currently logged-in user. What it does is how a list that is filtered by the user_login field using the current user’s login name value. That means that the list will only show records that that user created.

The code included in this tutorial will install a plugin that gives you a shortcode for this purpose: [pdb_user_list].

The tutorial code can be modified for your specific needs, for instance, you may want to combine this with: Adding an Edit Record Link to the Frontend List which you can do by adding a template attribute to the list shortcode string that is used in the user_list_shortcode method in the tutorial code.

The tutorial code provides alternate content if the user is not logged in, you can of course change that to show whatever you want such a user to see. This is also in the user_list_shortcode method.

Showing the User an Editable Record

If each user only has one record associated with them, you’ll probably want a way to let them edit it. Showing a single, editable record is a bit trickier because we need to find the record id of the user’s record, but the plugin has methods to help us do that.

The plugin provided with this tutorial creates a shortcode for this purpose [pdb_user_record] This shortcode will show the record that matches the user’s ID and allow them to edit it.

The core of this is the call to Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term() to which we supply the name of the field (or term) to look at and the value to match. The method returns a single id number, if there are multiple matches, the first in the series is returned.

Showing the User their Record

If you just want to show the user their record (not editable) there is a shortcode provided for that purpose in the tutorial code. Use [pdb_user_single] to show the user’s record.

The Tutorial Plugin

This plugin will install the three shortcodes described in the article. With a little php knowledge, you can modify the plugin to suit your specific needs.

Be sure to check the private $user_id_field = 'username'; line: that is the name of the field you are using to capture the user’s ID value. It must match the field name you use in your setup.

Installing this plugin: How to Install a WordPress Plugin from a Gist

77 thoughts on “Using Participants Database with WordPress Users

  1. Thank you for your plugin and add-on.
    I want only our members to be a WP user and logged in when managing there own record.
    I have been able to setup the database and registration using the above information and able to get ‘showing the User their Record’ code to work and show my own record, the the basis part should be ok.

    But when I try to use the above example for a user can Edit there record i only receive ‘ No record was found’

    The code used is the below, but I do not really understand what do_shortcode is or where it is defined.

    <?php
    $current_user = wp_get_current_user();
    echo do_shortcode(' No record was found.')
    ;

    Have I overlooked some other code needed to Edit/Update existing Participants database record?

    1. Hi,
      Looks like the php code shown and used is not complete.
      I modified it to include the following and then better, however the output looks awfull with lots of spaces. Anyway to get it to look like the standard [pdb_record] using e-mail links provided og Participant Database login ?

      Her the code which works but output looks awfull

      ID ) {

      $record_id = Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term(‘user_login’, $current_user->user_login );

      echo do_shortcode( ‘[pdb_record record_id=' . $record_id . ']‘ );

      } else {

      echo ‘You must log in to see your record’;

      }

    2. do_shortcode is a WordPress function and so the details of how that works can be found in the WordPress codex. Basically, what it does is execute whatever shortcode you provide in the argument. So, to show record edit display for a logged in user, you could use code like this:

      <?php
      $current_user = wp_get_current_user();
      $record_id = Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term( 'user_login', $current_user->user_login );
      echo do_shortcode('[pdb_record record_id=' . $record_id . ']');
      ?>

      you will need to adapt this example code to your specific situation, but that is the general idea.

      1. The issue was solved easy by selecting

        In Danish:

        Fjerne linjeskift Fjerne linjeskift fra alle plugin shortcode output.

        Assume English is something like:

        Remove Newline Remove newline from all plugin shorcode output

  2. Thank you! That will work fine.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful plug-in. It is so easy to use – quite intuitive.

    Noob here – I haven’t been able to find how to differentiate between active and inactive list members. I’d like to be able to hide inactive list members from a general search by the active members but still allow administrators to see, manipulate and export that data. We often have members change status and we don’t want to lose that history by deleting and then re-entering the information later. Can you please point me to the appropriate information to set this up in my own iteration of the plug-in?

    Thanks in advance for the guidance.

    1. Take a look at the docs here: Approving Records you can use the same idea to manage your active/inactive members.

Leave a Reply
You have to agree to the comment policy.

77 thoughts on “Using Participants Database with WordPress Users

  1. Thank you for your plugin and add-on.
    I want only our members to be a WP user and logged in when managing there own record.
    I have been able to setup the database and registration using the above information and able to get ‘showing the User their Record’ code to work and show my own record, the the basis part should be ok.

    But when I try to use the above example for a user can Edit there record i only receive ‘ No record was found’

    The code used is the below, but I do not really understand what do_shortcode is or where it is defined.

    <?php
    $current_user = wp_get_current_user();
    echo do_shortcode(' No record was found.')
    ;

    Have I overlooked some other code needed to Edit/Update existing Participants database record?

    1. Hi,
      Looks like the php code shown and used is not complete.
      I modified it to include the following and then better, however the output looks awfull with lots of spaces. Anyway to get it to look like the standard [pdb_record] using e-mail links provided og Participant Database login ?

      Her the code which works but output looks awfull

      ID ) {

      $record_id = Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term(‘user_login’, $current_user->user_login );

      echo do_shortcode( ‘[pdb_record record_id=' . $record_id . ']‘ );

      } else {

      echo ‘You must log in to see your record’;

      }

    2. do_shortcode is a WordPress function and so the details of how that works can be found in the WordPress codex. Basically, what it does is execute whatever shortcode you provide in the argument. So, to show record edit display for a logged in user, you could use code like this:

      <?php
      $current_user = wp_get_current_user();
      $record_id = Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term( 'user_login', $current_user->user_login );
      echo do_shortcode('[pdb_record record_id=' . $record_id . ']');
      ?>

      you will need to adapt this example code to your specific situation, but that is the general idea.

      1. The issue was solved easy by selecting

        In Danish:

        Fjerne linjeskift Fjerne linjeskift fra alle plugin shortcode output.

        Assume English is something like:

        Remove Newline Remove newline from all plugin shorcode output

  2. Thank you! That will work fine.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful plug-in. It is so easy to use – quite intuitive.

    Noob here – I haven’t been able to find how to differentiate between active and inactive list members. I’d like to be able to hide inactive list members from a general search by the active members but still allow administrators to see, manipulate and export that data. We often have members change status and we don’t want to lose that history by deleting and then re-entering the information later. Can you please point me to the appropriate information to set this up in my own iteration of the plug-in?

    Thanks in advance for the guidance.

    1. Take a look at the docs here: Approving Records you can use the same idea to manage your active/inactive members.

Leave a Reply
You have to agree to the comment policy.