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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

118 thoughts on “Using Participants Database with WordPress Users

  1. Using Participants Database with WordPress Users:
    Dear Ronald:
    I followed step by step your tip on using PDB w/ WP Users.
    I was able to install the plugin w/o errors. I was able to create the username field. I was able to capture the username when the user logs in.
    But the pdb_user_list displays all the records created by all the users, even when a particular user was logon And the pdb_user_record displays “no record found” even when pdb_user_list displays all records ?
    Pls. need your advice, thanks

    1. You can debug this by turning plugin debugging on (this is in the main plugin settings under the advanced tab) Go to the debugging log and clear it first. Then go to the page with the [pdb_user_list]. In the log, you will see the database query that was used, that will help you understand what’s going on there.

      1. [08/10/20 6:27am UTC]
        PDb_List::_setup_iteration list query: SELECT p.id, p.edit_link, p.user_name, p.region, p.first_name, p.last_name, p.address, p.city FROM wp_participants_database p ORDER BY p.date_updated DESC

        Dear Roland:
        1. Thats the log I got, but it seems it does not check or compare the user_name with the user currently logged in ??
        2. Does [pdb_user_list] directly checks the user that is currently login and compares that with the field user_name ?
        3. How to make that select statement include where “user_name = user_login”?
        4. I also tried pdb_list filter=”user_name = NCR” it will display all records created by NCR, but want I is to display the records of the currently login user automatically ?

        Thanks and still need your advice, I’m new with pdb and still trying to learn it.
        rdgs;
        javz

        1. Make sure you have set the field name correctly on line 15 in the script.

        2. Dear Ronald:

          private $user_id_field = ‘username’; ——> from the script

          this is from managed database fields that I created:
          Title: User Name
          Name: user_name
          Group: Administrative Info
          Form element: Hidden field
          Default Value: current_user->user_id
          signup: checked
          read only: checked

          Like what I have said before I was able to capture the value of the login user, but what I can not seem to solve is why the pdb_user_list, displays all the records, wherein as per my understanding it should only display the records created by the current login user ???? Did I miss something ???

          Thanks and still need your advice
          rdgs;
          javz

        3. Dear Ronald:
          I just changed the script into “user_name”
          and it seems to be working, I’ll make more testing to see if its 100% ok
          And it seems i’ll be able to complete this project.
          Thank you very much.

          I still have another project, it involves parent-child (master-detail) relationship, how can it be done with PDB ? Need advice and tips?
          again thank you very much, God bless

        4. Dear Ronald:
          Still on the topic of using pdb w/ WP Users:
          I used this —>
          [pdb_user_list search=”true” search_fields=”first_name, last_name, address, city” template=”edit-link”]

          it was able to display the records of the login user,
          But the “search” was not displayed and “edit-link” displayed the field but no link?
          But with pdb_list it works?
          Did I miss something ? or need to twink something in the script?

          Thanks and still need your advice
          I hope you don’t mind.
          Rdgs;
          javz

        5. Dear Roland:
          I got the link working using your code below:

          In the pdb-wp-user-shortcode.php script on line 47, you should have:

          return do_shortcode( ‘[pdb_list filter="' . $this->user_id_field . '=' . $this->user_id() . '" template=edit-link ]‘ );

          But, was not able to include the “Search”, how to do it?
          Can I insert search=true after the template=edit-link?

          Thanks and still need your advice, I’m new and trying to learn your great PDB.

          Rdgs;
          javz

        6. Dear Roland:
          I finally got the Search to work, by inserting the search=true in the script.

          Now my problem is the sign-up and record layout, there are so many fields, I want it to be arranged in a 2-3 column, so that the form does not look so long or need to scroll deep down, any advice on how to do it?

          The [pdb_user_record template=bootstrap] does not work? Do i have to edit the script? which part?

          What other templates can I use with [pdb_user_list] and [pdb_user_record]?

          Where can i find samples of CSS, how to use it with PDB and how does it look like? Do you sample sites that was created or use PDB?

          Sorry if I have so many questions, for I don’t know much about php, css, web designs, but I’m trying to learn, i thank you so much for teaching.
          Rdgs;
          javz

        7. You will need to have access to CSS and php skills to get the display and functionality you are asking for here. You can accomplish this using a custom template for that shortcode, but it will be up to you to get it working and looking the way you want, this is outside of the free support I offer.

          Using Participants Database Custom Templates

        8. Dear Ronald:

          The [pdb_user_record template=bootstrap] does not work? Do i have to edit the script? which part?

          What other templates can I use with [pdb_user_list] and [pdb_user_record]?

          Thanks
          Rdgs;
          javz

        9. Dear Roland:
          How can i make this work? do i need to twink the script?

          [pdb_user_list search=”true” template=”bootstrap” fields=”first_name, last_name, region, contract_duration_start_date, nature_of_work___assignment, place_of_assignment” filter=”place_of_assignment!=”]

          Thanks and need more of your advice
          Rdgs;
          javz

        10. You can set something like this up in the user shortcodes plugin provided in this tutorial. On line 47, you’ll see the list shortcode that is used to generate the list….you can add your additional attributes to the shortcode there.

  2. Dear Ronald,
    Thank you so much for your plugin. PDB is simply and powerful. I am setting PDB up to a kinder garten website so the parents can find information about their children. I am using this Word Press users so the parents login and find the informatio on their kids. I am using the [pdb_user_record] record to show the children info and some activities.
    I need to set a “Link field” field so the parents can dowload a .pdf file with the activities for the children. However this Link field is not clikable in the front end [pdb_user_record] template. The [pdb_record] allows to link the pdf file but the [pdb_user_record] does not.
    Is there any way to make a Link field or text-line clickable in the [pdb_user_record] template?

    Best regards from Colombia,

    1. Hi Roland,
      I got it! I’ve changed the [pdb_user_record] for the [pdb_user_single] short code and it does make clickable the text-line fields.
      This plugin is so versatile. Thanks again.

      1. glad you go that figured out!

        1. Dear Roland,
          How can I call the [pdb_user_single] short code and display only the information on one group? I have read the documentaion and with the [pdb_single group ="main"] you filter the info in the “main” group. I need to add that feature to the [pdb_user_single]
          Could you give some tips to add that filter atribute?

        2. You can modify the code directly to add the groups attribute….for example on line 64 of the tutorial code, you’ll see:

          return do_shortcode( '[pdb_record record_id="' . Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term( $this->user_id_field, $this->user_id(), true ) . '"]' );

          you just need to add your groups attribute to the shortcode there, like this for example:

          return do_shortcode( '[pdb_record record_id="' . Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term( $this->user_id_field, $this->user_id(), true ) . '" groups="main" ]' );

          If you want to use different shortcodes, then you need to get a little more serious about the code and use the $atts array to add the attributes to the shortcode.

  3. Hi there in the tutorial it says:

    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.

    However this is not actually provided for by the code so the shortcode is not created, how would I create this shortcode as it is something I need.

    To clarify I just want to show the user the details on their record but not make it editable.

    1. The tutorial does not include that, but it is not difficult to add. The tutorial is really only meant as a starting point for your own custom code.

  4. What would be the best approach to create custom signup shortcode that will allow a WP user to signup/add multiple records with one submit.
    CSV approach is not an option due to being too complex for the user. Ideally be html multi rows form (landscape) each row being a new signup record.

    Thank you for any guidance,
    Andrew.

    1. Easiest way to create several records with a single submission would be to let javascript handle the submission, then on the server side, you’d parse out the submitted data for each record then save the records in succession. If you try to do a synchronous submission, you’ll have to avoid the plugin trying to process the submission. Doing it asynchronously gives you better control over how the submission and user feedback is handled.

      With a complex interaction like that, I think it’s a must to design the UI first, then figure out how to make the code work.

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

Would you like to be notified of followup comments via e-mail? You can also subscribe without commenting.

118 thoughts on “Using Participants Database with WordPress Users

  1. Using Participants Database with WordPress Users:
    Dear Ronald:
    I followed step by step your tip on using PDB w/ WP Users.
    I was able to install the plugin w/o errors. I was able to create the username field. I was able to capture the username when the user logs in.
    But the pdb_user_list displays all the records created by all the users, even when a particular user was logon And the pdb_user_record displays “no record found” even when pdb_user_list displays all records ?
    Pls. need your advice, thanks

    1. You can debug this by turning plugin debugging on (this is in the main plugin settings under the advanced tab) Go to the debugging log and clear it first. Then go to the page with the [pdb_user_list]. In the log, you will see the database query that was used, that will help you understand what’s going on there.

      1. [08/10/20 6:27am UTC]
        PDb_List::_setup_iteration list query: SELECT p.id, p.edit_link, p.user_name, p.region, p.first_name, p.last_name, p.address, p.city FROM wp_participants_database p ORDER BY p.date_updated DESC

        Dear Roland:
        1. Thats the log I got, but it seems it does not check or compare the user_name with the user currently logged in ??
        2. Does [pdb_user_list] directly checks the user that is currently login and compares that with the field user_name ?
        3. How to make that select statement include where “user_name = user_login”?
        4. I also tried pdb_list filter=”user_name = NCR” it will display all records created by NCR, but want I is to display the records of the currently login user automatically ?

        Thanks and still need your advice, I’m new with pdb and still trying to learn it.
        rdgs;
        javz

        1. Make sure you have set the field name correctly on line 15 in the script.

        2. Dear Ronald:

          private $user_id_field = ‘username’; ——> from the script

          this is from managed database fields that I created:
          Title: User Name
          Name: user_name
          Group: Administrative Info
          Form element: Hidden field
          Default Value: current_user->user_id
          signup: checked
          read only: checked

          Like what I have said before I was able to capture the value of the login user, but what I can not seem to solve is why the pdb_user_list, displays all the records, wherein as per my understanding it should only display the records created by the current login user ???? Did I miss something ???

          Thanks and still need your advice
          rdgs;
          javz

        3. Dear Ronald:
          I just changed the script into “user_name”
          and it seems to be working, I’ll make more testing to see if its 100% ok
          And it seems i’ll be able to complete this project.
          Thank you very much.

          I still have another project, it involves parent-child (master-detail) relationship, how can it be done with PDB ? Need advice and tips?
          again thank you very much, God bless

        4. Dear Ronald:
          Still on the topic of using pdb w/ WP Users:
          I used this —>
          [pdb_user_list search=”true” search_fields=”first_name, last_name, address, city” template=”edit-link”]

          it was able to display the records of the login user,
          But the “search” was not displayed and “edit-link” displayed the field but no link?
          But with pdb_list it works?
          Did I miss something ? or need to twink something in the script?

          Thanks and still need your advice
          I hope you don’t mind.
          Rdgs;
          javz

        5. Dear Roland:
          I got the link working using your code below:

          In the pdb-wp-user-shortcode.php script on line 47, you should have:

          return do_shortcode( ‘[pdb_list filter="' . $this->user_id_field . '=' . $this->user_id() . '" template=edit-link ]‘ );

          But, was not able to include the “Search”, how to do it?
          Can I insert search=true after the template=edit-link?

          Thanks and still need your advice, I’m new and trying to learn your great PDB.

          Rdgs;
          javz

        6. Dear Roland:
          I finally got the Search to work, by inserting the search=true in the script.

          Now my problem is the sign-up and record layout, there are so many fields, I want it to be arranged in a 2-3 column, so that the form does not look so long or need to scroll deep down, any advice on how to do it?

          The [pdb_user_record template=bootstrap] does not work? Do i have to edit the script? which part?

          What other templates can I use with [pdb_user_list] and [pdb_user_record]?

          Where can i find samples of CSS, how to use it with PDB and how does it look like? Do you sample sites that was created or use PDB?

          Sorry if I have so many questions, for I don’t know much about php, css, web designs, but I’m trying to learn, i thank you so much for teaching.
          Rdgs;
          javz

        7. You will need to have access to CSS and php skills to get the display and functionality you are asking for here. You can accomplish this using a custom template for that shortcode, but it will be up to you to get it working and looking the way you want, this is outside of the free support I offer.

          Using Participants Database Custom Templates

        8. Dear Ronald:

          The [pdb_user_record template=bootstrap] does not work? Do i have to edit the script? which part?

          What other templates can I use with [pdb_user_list] and [pdb_user_record]?

          Thanks
          Rdgs;
          javz

        9. Dear Roland:
          How can i make this work? do i need to twink the script?

          [pdb_user_list search=”true” template=”bootstrap” fields=”first_name, last_name, region, contract_duration_start_date, nature_of_work___assignment, place_of_assignment” filter=”place_of_assignment!=”]

          Thanks and need more of your advice
          Rdgs;
          javz

        10. You can set something like this up in the user shortcodes plugin provided in this tutorial. On line 47, you’ll see the list shortcode that is used to generate the list….you can add your additional attributes to the shortcode there.

  2. Dear Ronald,
    Thank you so much for your plugin. PDB is simply and powerful. I am setting PDB up to a kinder garten website so the parents can find information about their children. I am using this Word Press users so the parents login and find the informatio on their kids. I am using the [pdb_user_record] record to show the children info and some activities.
    I need to set a “Link field” field so the parents can dowload a .pdf file with the activities for the children. However this Link field is not clikable in the front end [pdb_user_record] template. The [pdb_record] allows to link the pdf file but the [pdb_user_record] does not.
    Is there any way to make a Link field or text-line clickable in the [pdb_user_record] template?

    Best regards from Colombia,

    1. Hi Roland,
      I got it! I’ve changed the [pdb_user_record] for the [pdb_user_single] short code and it does make clickable the text-line fields.
      This plugin is so versatile. Thanks again.

      1. glad you go that figured out!

        1. Dear Roland,
          How can I call the [pdb_user_single] short code and display only the information on one group? I have read the documentaion and with the [pdb_single group ="main"] you filter the info in the “main” group. I need to add that feature to the [pdb_user_single]
          Could you give some tips to add that filter atribute?

        2. You can modify the code directly to add the groups attribute….for example on line 64 of the tutorial code, you’ll see:

          return do_shortcode( '[pdb_record record_id="' . Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term( $this->user_id_field, $this->user_id(), true ) . '"]' );

          you just need to add your groups attribute to the shortcode there, like this for example:

          return do_shortcode( '[pdb_record record_id="' . Participants_Db::get_record_id_by_term( $this->user_id_field, $this->user_id(), true ) . '" groups="main" ]' );

          If you want to use different shortcodes, then you need to get a little more serious about the code and use the $atts array to add the attributes to the shortcode.

  3. Hi there in the tutorial it says:

    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.

    However this is not actually provided for by the code so the shortcode is not created, how would I create this shortcode as it is something I need.

    To clarify I just want to show the user the details on their record but not make it editable.

    1. The tutorial does not include that, but it is not difficult to add. The tutorial is really only meant as a starting point for your own custom code.

  4. What would be the best approach to create custom signup shortcode that will allow a WP user to signup/add multiple records with one submit.
    CSV approach is not an option due to being too complex for the user. Ideally be html multi rows form (landscape) each row being a new signup record.

    Thank you for any guidance,
    Andrew.

    1. Easiest way to create several records with a single submission would be to let javascript handle the submission, then on the server side, you’d parse out the submitted data for each record then save the records in succession. If you try to do a synchronous submission, you’ll have to avoid the plugin trying to process the submission. Doing it asynchronously gives you better control over how the submission and user feedback is handled.

      With a complex interaction like that, I think it’s a must to design the UI first, then figure out how to make the code work.

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

Would you like to be notified of followup comments via e-mail? You can also subscribe without commenting.