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Create Your First Layout Extension

Layouts are used to query your collection and visualize the data in a meaningful way. This guide will provide you with the skills to create custom layouts that will utilize the built-in API and UI functions to query the current collection and output the results.

Install Dependencies

Open a console to your preferred working directory and initialize a new extension, which will create the boilerplate code for your interface.

npx create-directus-extension
npx create-directus-extension

A list of options will appear (choose layout), and type a name for your extension (for example, directus-layout-example). For this guide, select JavaScript.

Now that the boilerplate has been created, open the directory in your code editor.

Build the Structure

Open the extension directory that was created in the previous steps then open the directory called src. This is where the source code is located - index.js and layout.vue. Any new files that are required, must go in this directory.

This layout will currently only load an empty page with the title “Custom Layout” followed by the name of the collection that you have assigned this custom layout to.

A mostly-empty layout that reads "name: custom layout, collection: test"

In most cases, a layout will visualize the data within a collection. This guide will show you how to fetch records with the internal API and render them on the page.

Access Data Using Internal APIs

To start interacting with Directus, you will need to import various functions that will bridge the gap between the empty page and the data.

Open the index.js file and change the id to a unique value. This is usually your layout name such as example-layout. Then, change the name of the layout. This is visible in the list of layout options when changing a collection’s layout. If you want to change the icon, use the material-icons library to find the name of the icon and replace it in this file.

Import the useItems and useCollection stores to this file by importing the functions from the Directus Extensions SDK. Add the following line underneath the ref import from vue and include toRefs from vue.

js
import { toRefs } from 'vue';
import { useItems, useCollection } from '@directus/extensions-sdk';
import { toRefs } from 'vue';
import { useItems, useCollection } from '@directus/extensions-sdk';

In the setup() method, copy and paste the following code which defines all the constants needed to fetch the items for the current collection and uses the built-in search and filters from the Directus UI.

js
const { collection, filter, search } = toRefs(props);
const { info, primaryKeyField, fields: fieldsInCollection } = useCollection(collection);
const { items, loading, error } = useItems(collection, {
	sort: primaryKeyField.field,
	limit: '-1',
	fields: fieldsInCollection,
	filter,
	search,
});
const { collection, filter, search } = toRefs(props);
const { info, primaryKeyField, fields: fieldsInCollection } = useCollection(collection);
const { items, loading, error } = useItems(collection, {
	sort: primaryKeyField.field,
	limit: '-1',
	fields: fieldsInCollection,
	filter,
	search,
});

Note the parameters being set in useItems(). Change this to suit your needs.

Return the constants so they can be used in the layout. Add the following underneath the constants:

js
return {
	info,
	primaryKeyField,
	items,
	loading,
	filter,
	search,
	fieldsInCollection,
	error,
};
return {
	info,
	primaryKeyField,
	items,
	loading,
	filter,
	search,
	fieldsInCollection,
	error,
};

Lastly, add props inside the setup brackets to give us access to the layout properties such as collection, search and filters.

js
setup() { 
setup(props) { 
setup() { 
setup(props) { 

Set Up the Vue Component

The layout.vue file is where you will build the output of the layout using Vue.js. Before you can start on the HTML, there are a few changes needed in the JavaScript.

To use the data that is passed to this template, the variables must be declared in the props. Add the following to the object:

js
items: Array,
loading: Boolean,
error: Array,
search: {
	type: String,
	default: null,
},
items: Array,
loading: Boolean,
error: Array,
search: {
	type: String,
	default: null,
},

Render Data

Update the template:

html
<template>
	<div v-if="!loading">
		<p>Collection: {{ collection }}</p>

		<table>
			<thead>
				<tr>
					<th>Name</th>
					<th>Email</th>
					<th>&nbsp;</th>
				</tr>
			</thead>
			<tbody>
			</tbody>
		</table>
	</div>
</template>
<template>
	<div v-if="!loading">
		<p>Collection: {{ collection }}</p>

		<table>
			<thead>
				<tr>
					<th>Name</th>
					<th>Email</th>
					<th>&nbsp;</th>
				</tr>
			</thead>
			<tbody>
			</tbody>
		</table>
	</div>
</template>

Within the <tbody>, you must output my array of items using a for loop on a <tr> tag. The table row will be repeated for each item.

html
<tbody>
	<tr v-for="item in items" :key="item.id"> 
		<td>{{ item.name }}</td> 
		<td>{{ item.email }}</td> 
		<td><a :href="`/content/${collection}/${item.id}`">View Details</a></td> 
	</tr> 
</tbody>
<tbody>
	<tr v-for="item in items" :key="item.id"> 
		<td>{{ item.name }}</td> 
		<td>{{ item.email }}</td> 
		<td><a :href="`/content/${collection}/${item.id}`">View Details</a></td> 
	</tr> 
</tbody>

The third column contains a link to view the details of the record.

Build the interface with the latest changes.

npm run build
npm run build

Add Layout To Directus

When Directus starts, it will look in the extensions directory for any subdirectory starting with directus-extension-, and attempt to load them.

To install an extension, copy the entire directory with all source code, the package.json file, and the dist directory into the Directus extensions directory. Make sure the directory with your extension has a name that starts with directus-extension. In this case, you may choose to use directus-extension-layout-example.

Restart Directus to load the extension.

Required files

Only the package.json and dist directory are required inside of your extension directory. However, adding the source code has no negative effect.

Use The Layout

To use your new layout in Directus, you will need a table that already contains the fields id, name and email:

  1. Open a collection
  2. If the right side menu is closed, click on the Layout Options icon.
  3. Click on the dropdown and choose your new layout from the list.

Two screenshots. On the left is the layout dropdown showing that custom layout is selected. On the right is the table showing data from the layout.

Summary

You have created a custom layout which uses the built-in functions to fetch all items for the current collection and provide search and filter options. Spend time designing the output of your layout to suit your needs. Use your browser’s development console to see how the API is called.

Complete Code

index.js

js
import { toRefs } from 'vue';
import { useItems, useCollection } from '@directus/extensions-sdk';
import LayoutComponent from './layout.vue';

export default {
	id: 'timio23-custom-layout',
	name: 'Custom Layout',
	icon: 'box',
	component: LayoutComponent,
	slots: {
		options: () => null,
		sidebar: () => null,
		actions: () => null,
	},
	setup(props) {
		const { collection, filter, search } = toRefs(props);
		const { info, primaryKeyField, fields: fieldsInCollection } = useCollection(collection);
		const { items, loading, error } = useItems(collection, {
			sort: primaryKeyField.field,
			limit: '-1',
			fields: '*',
			filter,
			search,
		});

		return {
			info,
			primaryKeyField,
			items,
			loading,
			filter,
			search,
			fieldsInCollection,
			error,
		};
	},
};
import { toRefs } from 'vue';
import { useItems, useCollection } from '@directus/extensions-sdk';
import LayoutComponent from './layout.vue';

export default {
	id: 'timio23-custom-layout',
	name: 'Custom Layout',
	icon: 'box',
	component: LayoutComponent,
	slots: {
		options: () => null,
		sidebar: () => null,
		actions: () => null,
	},
	setup(props) {
		const { collection, filter, search } = toRefs(props);
		const { info, primaryKeyField, fields: fieldsInCollection } = useCollection(collection);
		const { items, loading, error } = useItems(collection, {
			sort: primaryKeyField.field,
			limit: '-1',
			fields: '*',
			filter,
			search,
		});

		return {
			info,
			primaryKeyField,
			items,
			loading,
			filter,
			search,
			fieldsInCollection,
			error,
		};
	},
};

layout.vue

html
<template>
	<div v-if="!loading">
		<p>Collection: {{ collection }}</p>

		<table>
			<thead>
				<tr>
					<th>Name</th>
					<th>Email</th>
					<th>&nbsp;</th>
				</tr>
			</thead>
			<tbody>
				<tr v-for="item in items" :key="item.id">
					<td>{{ item.name }}</td>
					<td>{{ item.email }}</td>
					<td><a :href="`/content/${collection}/${item.id}`">View Details</a></td>
				</tr>
			</tbody>
		</table>
	</div>
</template>

<script>
export default {
	inheritAttrs: false,
	props: {
		collection: {
			type: String,
			required: true,
		},
		items: Array,
		loading: Boolean,
		error: Array,
		search: {
			type: String,
			default: null,
		},
	},
	setup(props) {

	}
};
</script>
<template>
	<div v-if="!loading">
		<p>Collection: {{ collection }}</p>

		<table>
			<thead>
				<tr>
					<th>Name</th>
					<th>Email</th>
					<th>&nbsp;</th>
				</tr>
			</thead>
			<tbody>
				<tr v-for="item in items" :key="item.id">
					<td>{{ item.name }}</td>
					<td>{{ item.email }}</td>
					<td><a :href="`/content/${collection}/${item.id}`">View Details</a></td>
				</tr>
			</tbody>
		</table>
	</div>
</template>

<script>
export default {
	inheritAttrs: false,
	props: {
		collection: {
			type: String,
			required: true,
		},
		items: Array,
		loading: Boolean,
		error: Array,
		search: {
			type: String,
			default: null,
		},
	},
	setup(props) {

	}
};
</script>

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Contributors
Tim Butterfield, Kevin Lewis

Last updated: