Tuesday 24th May, 2016

Spring updates - 2016

A bit-and-pieces blog post today with information on the latest releases of DataTables software, introducing our new site search and also SpryMedia's first intern! Without any further ado, let's dive in.

Welcome Thomas

I'm delighted to say that SpryMedia now has its first employee (other than myself); Thomas Buckle, who joins the company as a summer intern. Thomas is studying computing at the University of the Highlands and Islands here in Scotland and will be primarily focused on revamping the unit test framework for DataTables and its extensions. He'll also be implementing a new row grouping extension for DataTables and answering questions in the forum.

Software updates

DataTables core and all of is extensions were updated and released last week. The new releases primarily focus on addressing bugs that have been found since their last releases, and also introduce Bootstrap 4 and Semantic UI styling for all extensions (with the exception of Editor, which will come later). A few enjoy new features or larger changes:

Software Version / notes Summary
DataTables 1.10.12 Bug fixes
Editor 1.5.6 Bug fixes
AutoFill 2.1.2 Bug fixes
Buttons 1.2.0 Excel output rewrite
ColReorder 1.3.2 Bug fixes
FixedColumns 3.2.2 Bug fixes
FixedHeader 3.1.2 Bug fixes
KeyTable 2.1.2 Bug fixes
Responsive 2.1.0 Formalising renderers, with two built in
RowReorder 1.1.2 Bug fixes
Scroller 1.4.2 Bug fixes
Select 1.2.0 Cancellable user-select event and multi+shift selection style

DataTables + Editor

These are the primary elements of the DataTables suite, so they deserve special mention, but really these two releases are only bug fix releases. They are recommended updates if you are using either.


The Buttons updates introduces an entirely rewritten Excel output button (excelHtml5) and is the result of Thomas' first task upon joining the company. The Excel export button now has a customize option which can be used to manipulate the XML produced for the table. This means you now have the ability to style the created file, and we provide a number of simple styles by default which can be easily added using jQuery/DOM methods. The Excel file has the header row as bold and the column widths are automatically sized by default.

This release of Buttons also features a significant internal change to how it accesses created buttons to address a couple of issues and memory issues that arose from use of dynamic buttons. This is an internal change only and the API has not changed.


There is only one notable new feature in Responsive 2.1, but it is deserving of a minor version bump rather than a patch level since it introduces a new plug-in structure. Responsive now has two built in rendering functions, controlled via responsive.details.renderer, and more can be added as required. These two are:

  • listHidden - Show the data that has been hidden in an ul / li list (was previously the default, and still is with the new plug-in structure).
  • tableAll - Show the data for all columns (regardless of if they have been hidden or not) in a table.

New renderers should be attached to the $.fn.dataTable.Responsive.renderer object. Feel free to share any you create with us in the forum!


Select 1.2 introduces a new user-select event that can be used to cancel item selection from a user interaction event. This can be particularly useful if you wish to perform some conditional logic on the selection (max number of items selected, disallowing on certain rows or elements, etc).

It also added a new multi+shift selection style, which is a hybrid between the existing os style and multi, allowing easy multi-row selection without immediate de-selection when clicking on a row. Many thanks to github user @chellman for this feature.

Site update

Alongside the above releases I've also updated the DataTables.net site design to include a floating header bar. This contains a dedicated search box, which is the primary reason for the updated design. The search is now powered by the outstanding Algolia search which allows the site to provide on-the-fly, instant results. The response time of the search is superb and it is fully integrated with the DataTables manuals, reference documentation, examples and forum. I'm really excited about having this customised search tool available for the site, since there is so much information available here!