Step One

Unzip the contents of the archive file into your server web directory usually the www, http or the public folder.

Step Two

Edit the the base url in the config file to point to your application's url. Remember to keep the trailing slash.

$config['base_url'] = "http://dashman.test/";
You will find the config file at application/config/config.php

Step Three

Edit the .htaccess file at root of your app installation. You must have mod_rewrite enabled on your server for this step to work.
Depending on the location of the application directory on your server, in the .htaccess file, edit this line as follows;

  1. If your app is at the root of your server directory. This is the default setting
    RewriteBase /
  2. If your app is in a directory (assuming your directory name is "admin")
    RewriteBase /admin/
  3. For subsequent directories, set the path to your app directory. Remember the trailing slash.
    RewriteBase /directory/sub-directory/

Step Three

Connecting to your database.

Dashman will prompt you to enter your database connection values at the login page. This is the default method of authentication. If you do not want to change this, then this step is not required.

However if you want to disable this authentication option, you must set database values in the database config file at application/config/database.php
Database connection example
'hostname' => 'localhost',
'username' => 'demo_user',
'password' => 'my_secret',
'database' => 'demo_database',
Additional configuration can be found in the database config file.

To read more about Dashman authentication, go to authentication section


The script uses your database connection as the default method of authentication. At the login prompt, you will enter your database server's hostname, the database you are connecting to and your server's username and password.

Login system

This is the default way of connecting to your database. You are required to enter your database server credentials to access your Dashman dashboard.

screenshot: login screen
Field Description
hostname The database server's hostname
database The database you are conecting to
username The username for your server
password The password for your server
Authentication field descriptions

Auto Login

Set Dashman to skip the login screen by pre configuring your database credentials in a config file. In some cases, you may want to use your own login protocols, these could be cases where you want to use a more standard username/email and password login system.

Disabling the default login system
These are the steps you need to take to disable the default login method of authentication
  1. Set authentication option from true to false
    'authentication' => false,
    file location application/config/dashman.php
  2. Set your database credentials
    'hostname' => 'localhost',
    'username' => 'demo_user',
    'password' => 'my_secret',
    'database' => 'demo_database',
    file location application/config/database.php
Handlebars Code Example
Handlebars.registerHelper('list', function(items, options) { 
  var out = "<ul>"; 
  for(var i=0, l=items.length; i<l; i++) { 
    out = out + "<li>" + options.fn(items[i]) + "</li>"; 
  return out + "</ul>"; 
Git Code Example
$ git add Documentation.txt


Dashboard is an interface the provides you with a simple and intiutive way to manage your application. This is Dashman's core feature, the dashboard tools allow you to add data for your app and manipulate it with ease.

Home Page

This is the first page that you see after successfully logging into Dashman. The home page aims at showing at a glance, the general overview of your application by displaying cards with key information, statistics, charts, recently added items and more...
What cards you see is determined by the structure and the contents of your database.

screenshot: home page screen

Displaying data

Dashman offers a covenient way to access and quickly manipulate data in your tables. Data is presented in a tabular design which makes it easy to read and understand. Dashman employees unique features like character limiters, thumbnail generators and field detection to ensure that the data is presented in a simple and yet relevant way.

For example, Dashman will know to present image url strings as thumbnails, trucante long sentences or descriptions that might not fit on the viewport, recognize boolean data types and intergers, map table relationships and more. This makes for an intuitive table that is compact and easy to read.

screenshot: display table page

Hidden Columns

Please Note that some table columns may not be visible. These columns may have been marked as hidden in which case can be changed under Settings

Data manipulation

Dashman provides different tools to quickly add new data, change it or remove it. Tools like form generators and validation tools work to ensure that your data stays consistent and true.


Dashman uses datatables to easily load data and manipulate it without reloading the entire page.

Features of datatables
  1. You can search instantly for data within the table.
  2. You can edit text directly by clicking on it to activate an inline editor.
  3. You can delete individual rows by using the delete action buttons.
  4. You can delete multiple rows using the delete selected button.
  5. You can download an Excel or PDF copy of your table.
screenshot: datatable with inline editing

Adding Data

Dashman's Form Generator creates robust forms for adding entity data into the appropriate tables in your database. It uses your table stucture to generate relevant form fields and also takes into account the tables relationships in the database.

screenshot: add entity screen

Form Validation

The validation system is based on the data constraints of each individual field in the table.

Assume we created a table 'users' with this structure

    `username` varchar(100) NOT NULL,
    `email` varchar(100) NOT NULL UNIQUE,
    `age` int,
    PRIMARY KEY (id)

From the above schema, this is how Dashman would apply form validation for adding a new user.

Constraint Validation
NOT NULL id, username, email fields must be filled
UNIQUE email must be different from other emails in the table
INT age field must be of type integer
VARCHAR(100) username, email field must not exceed 100 characters
An example of form validation
screenshot: form validation screen

Editing Data

You can quickly edit data using datatabes inline editing feature. This is a useful option if you just want to edit a column or delete a record.

However, for more robut editing option, you will need to got to the editing page by click the edit action button next to the row you want to edit.

Editing Page

Generator creates robust forms for adding entity data into the appropriate tables in your database. It uses your table stucture to generate relevant form fields and also takes into account the tables relationships in the database.

screenshot: Editing screen

Image uploader

Dashman has an in-built image uploader will help you deal with fields that store image urls.

Dashman guesses an image field based on the field name, this may or may not suite your naming convention, for this reason you can change which field names should be treated as images in Settings

By default, your uploads will be put in the application/uploads folder. This can also be changed in Settings

If you prefer to simply enter a url link to the image as text, then at the upload widget, click URL to enter plain text.

screenshot: Image uploader


This script offers a way to customize its features and some of the inner workings.
Follow the link Dashman Settings from the sidebar menu to access the settings page. This page should look like this;

If you cannot change the settings due to read or write permission resctrictions, you can edit the config file directly, these settings are found in a configuration file located at application/config/dashman.php

Setting Description Default
Authentication Set to TRUE if you want dashman to handle user authentication.

Set to FALSE if you want to handle authentication yourself.
You will have to cofingure your database server details in the file: appplication/config/database.php
page_limit Number of table entries to show per page before applying pagiation 20
upload file_path The relative path for your uploaded directory. This directory must be writable uploads/
Splice Tables List of table names that should not be rendered visit settings page
Splice Fields List of table column names that should not be rendered visit settings page
Icons List of icons to be used for various table names visit settings page
Column Types List of table names that should be with the associated entity types visit settings page

Looking for a script to build and populate your database?

DataSpark - Database Populating Tool

Check out DataSpark - a php script that creates and populates your database with relevant randomly generated data. Whether you what to stress test your database or you want to save time to design your app or blog, Dataspark is the perfect tool for you.

More Details