Server-side processing for JQuery Datatable plug-in


Node.js implementation of a server-side processor for the jQuery DataTables plug-in.

The node-datatable module provides backend SQL query generation and result parsing to support DataTables server-side processing for SQL databases. This module does not connect nor query a database, instead leaving this task to the calling application. SQL querying has been separated so that the caller can leverage his or her existing module choices for connection pools, database interfaces, and the like. This module has been used with node-mysql, sequelize, and strong-oracle.

An incomplete code example:

var async = require('async'),
    QueryBuilder = require('datatable');
var tableDefinition = {
    sTableName: "Orgs"
var queryBuilder = new QueryBuilder( tableDefinition );
// requestQuery is normally provided by the DataTables ajax call 
var requestQuery = {
    iDisplayStart: 0,
    iDisplayLength: 5
// Build an object of SQL query statements 
var queries = queryBuilder.buildQuery( requestQuery );
// Connect with and query the database. 
var myDbObject = ...;
myDbObject.query(queries.use, function(err){
    if (err) { res.error(err); }
                recordsFilteredfunction(cb) {
                    myDbObject.query(queries.recordsFiltered, cb);
                recordsTotalfunction(cb) {
                    myDbObject.query(queries.recordsTotal, cb);
                selectfunction(cb) {
                    myDbObject.query(, cb);
            function(errresults) {
                if (err) { res.error(err); }
                else {

The source code contains additional comments that will help you understand this module.

Construct a QueryBuilder object.

The node-datatable constructor takes an object parameter that has the following options. In the simplest case only the first two options will be necessary.

  • dbType - The database engine you work with (mysql, postgres, or oracle). This will affect the construction queries which include LIMIT. The default value for dbType is mysql.

  • sTableName - The name of the table in the database where a JOIN is not used. If JOIN is used then set sSelectSql.

  • sCountColumnName For simple queries this is the name of the column on which to do a SQL COUNT(). Defaults to id. For more complex queries, meaning when sSelectSql is set, * will be used.

  • sDatabaseOrSchema - If set, buildQuery will add a changeDatabaseOrSchema property to the object returned containing a USE sDatabaseOrSchema statement for MySQL / Postgres or ALTER SESSION SET CURRENT_SCHEMA = sDatabaseOrSchema statement for Oracle.

  • aSearchColumns - In database queries where JOIN is used, you may wish to specify an alternate array of column names that the search string will be applied against. Example:

aSearchColumns: [ "table3.username", "table1.timestamp", "table1.urlType", "table1.mimeType", "table1.url", "table2.description" ],
  • sSelectSql - If set then this defines the columns that should be selected, otherwise * is used. This can be used in combination with joins (see sFromSql).

  • sFromSql - If set then this is used as the FROM section for the SELECT statement. If not set then sTableName is used. Use this for more complex queries, for example when using JOIN. Example when using a double JOIN:

"table1 LEFT JOIN table2 ON table1.errorId=table2.errorId LEFT JOIN table3 ON table1.sessionId=table3.sessionId"
  • sWhereAndSql - Use this to specify an arbitrary custom SQL that you wish to AND with the generated WHERE clauses.

  • sDateColumnName - If this property and one of dateFrom or dateTo is set, a date range WHERE clause will be added to the SQL query. This should be set to the name of the datetime column that is to be used in the clause.

  • dateFrom - If set then the query will filter for records greater then or equal to this date.

  • dateTo - If set then the query will filter for records less then or equal to this date.

The query builder object.


var queryBuilder = new QueryBuilder({
    sTableName: 'user'

Builds an object containing between two and four SQL statements:

  1. (Optional, if sDatabase is set) A USE statement that specifies which database to use.
  2. (Optional, if is set) A SELECT statement that counts the number of filtered entries. This is used to calculate the recordsFiltered return value.
  3. A SELECT statement that counts the total number of unfiltered entries in the database. This is used to calculate the recordsTotal return value.
  4. A SELECT statement that returns the actual filtered records from the database. This will use LIMIT to limit the number of entries returned.

Note that #2, #3 and #4 will include date filtering as well as any other filtering specified in sWhereAndSql.

  • requestQuery: An object containing the properties set by the client-side DataTables library as defined in sent parameters.

The resultant object of query strings. The "use" query should be executed first, and the others can be executed in sequence, or (ideally) in parallel. Each database response should be collected into an object property having a key name that matches the query object. The response object is later passed to the parseReponse function.


var queries = queryBuilder.buildQuery( oRequestQuery );

Parses an object of responses that were received in response to each of the queries generated by the buildQuery function.

  • queryResult: The object of query responses.

An object containing the properties defined in returned data.


var result = queryBuilder.parseResponse( queryResponseObject );

Extract a value from a database response. This is useful in situations where your database query returns a primitive value nested inside of an object inside of an array:

  • res: A database response.

The first enumerable object property of the first element in an array, or undefined


var val = queryBuilder.extractResponseVal([{COUNT(ID): 13}]);
console.log(val) //13 

Example using sSelectSql and sFromSql to create a JOIN query.

  sSelectSql: "table3.username,table1.timestamp,urlType,mimeType,table1.table3Id,url,table2.code,table2.description",
  sFromSql: "table1 LEFT JOIN table2 ON table1.errorId=table2.errorId LEFT JOIN table3 ON table1.sessionId=table3.sessionId",
  1. Add an additional parameter to allow more then the requested number of records to be returned. This can be used to reduce the number of client-server calls (I think).
  2. A more thorough SQL injection security review (volunteers?).
  3. Unit tests (the original author is no longer working on the project that uses this module, so need volunteer)
  1. Datatables Manual
  2. How to Handle large datasets