CodeIgniter 4 Server Side DataTable Tutorial

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Listing huge data of any application is generally recommended to use Server side data listing. It will list data in per page wise request. With this concept we will see the usage of DataTable to load data.

As we are covering in CodeIgniter 4, so inside this article we will focus on CodeIgniter 4 Server Side DataTable using Ajax.

Implement server side datatable using SSP library (a 3rd party library) in CodeIgniter 4 – Click here.

Note*: For this article, CodeIgniter v4.1 setup has been installed. May be when you are seeing, version will be updated. CodeIgniter 4.x still is in development mode.

We will see concept from the installation of CodeIgniter 4 setup. Let’s get started.

Download & Install CodeIgniter 4 Setup

We need to download & install CodeIgniter 4 application setup to system.

To set application we have multiple options to proceed.

Here are the following ways to download and install CodeIgniter 4 –

  • Manual Download
  • Composer Installation
  • Clone Github repository of CodeIgniter 4

Complete introduction of CodeIgniter 4 basics – Click here to go. After going through this article you can easily download & install setup.

Here is the command to install via composer –

$ composer create-project codeigniter4/appstarter codeigniter-4

Assuming you have successfully installed application into your local system.

Turn Development Mode On

When we install CodeIgniter 4, we have env file at root. To use the environment variables means using variables at global scope we need to do env to .env

Open project in terminal

$ cp env .env

Above command will create a copy of env file to .env file. Now we are ready to use environment variables.

CodeIgniter starts up in production mode by default. Let’s do it in development mode. So that while working if we get any error then error will show up.

# CI_ENVIRONMENT = production

 // Do it to 
CI_ENVIRONMENT = development

Now application is in development mode.

Create Database & Table in Application

To create a database, either we can create via Manual tool of PhpMyadmin or by means of a mysql command.

CREATE DATABASE codeigniter4_app;

Next, we need a table. That table will be responsible to store data. Let’s create table with some columns.

CREATE TABLE tbl_students (
    name varchar(120) DEFAULT NULL,
    email varchar(120) DEFAULT NULL,
    mobile varchar(45) DEFAULT NULL,
    PRIMARY KEY (id)

Successfully, we have created a database and a table. Let’s dump test data into it.

-- Dumping data for table `tbl_students`

INSERT INTO `tbl_students` (`id`, `name`, `email`, `mobile`) VALUES
(1, 'Sanjay Kumar', '', '9632587410'),
(2, 'Vijay Kumar', '', '7418529630'),
(3, 'Rakesh Kumar', '', '8527410963'),
(4, 'Kavita Singh', '', '8529647130'),
(5, 'Ashish Kumar', '', '7410852963'),
(6, 'Dhananjay Negi', '', '7896541230'),
(7, 'Pradeep Goyal', '', '1234567890'),
(8, 'Nilu Singh', '', '7026358941');

Run this query to created database, it will insert these dummy data into tbl_students table.

Database Connectivity to Application

Open .env file from project root. Search for DATABASE. You should see the connection environment variables.

Let’s set the value for those to connect with database.

 database.default.hostname = localhost
 database.default.database = codeigniter4_app
 database.default.username = root
 database.default.password = root
 database.default.DBDriver = MySQLi

Now, database successfully connected with application.

Add Routes

Open Routes.php file from /app/Config folder. Add these routes into it.


$routes->get("list-student", "Student::listStudent");
$routes->post("ajax-load-data", "Student::ajaxLoadData");

To remove /public/index.php from URL, you can find it’s complete resource here at this link.

Let’s create Controller.

Application Controller Settings

Next we need to create application controller.

Loading url Helper

Open BaseController.php from /app/Controllers folder. Search for $helpers, inside this helpers array simply add this url helper.

protected $helpers = [‘url’];

This url helper will load base_url() and site_url() functions.

Also we have the option to load any helper directly to any controller using helper() function.

$ php spark make:controller Student

It will creates Student.php file inside /app/Controllers folder.

Open Student.php and write this complete code into it.


namespace App\Controllers;

class Student extends BaseController
    public $db;

    public function __construct()
        $this->db = \Config\Database::connect();

    public function listStudent()
        return view('list-student');

    public function ajaxLoadData()
        $params['draw'] = $_REQUEST['draw'];
        $start = $_REQUEST['start'];
        $length = $_REQUEST['length'];
        /* If we pass any extra data in request from ajax */
        //$value1 = isset($_REQUEST['key1'])?$_REQUEST['key1']:"";

        /* Value we will get from typing in search */
        $search_value = $_REQUEST['search']['value'];

            // If we have value in search, searching by id, name, email, mobile

            // count all data
            $total_count = $this->db->query("SELECT * from tbl_students WHERE id like '%".$search_value."%' OR name like '%".$search_value."%' OR email like '%".$search_value."%' OR mobile like '%".$search_value."%'")->getResult();

            $data = $this->db->query("SELECT * from tbl_students WHERE id like '%".$search_value."%' OR name like '%".$search_value."%' OR email like '%".$search_value."%' OR mobile like '%".$search_value."%' limit $start, $length")->getResult();
            // count all data
            $total_count = $this->db->query("SELECT * from tbl_students")->getResult();

            // get per page data
            $data = $this->db->query("SELECT * from tbl_students limit $start, $length")->getResult();
        $json_data = array(
            "draw" => intval($params['draw']),
            "recordsTotal" => count($total_count),
            "recordsFiltered" => count($total_count),
            "data" => $data   // total data array

        echo json_encode($json_data);

Create Layout File

Go to /app/Views folder.

Create a file list-student.php inside it.

Open list-student.php file and write this complete code into it.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">

  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
  <title>Codeigniter 4 Server Side DataTable Tutorial - Online Web Tutor</title>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
  <link rel="stylesheet" href=""/>

  <div class="container">

    <h2>Codeigniter 4 Server Side DataTable Tutorial</h2>
    <table class="table table-striped" id="tbl-students-data">
  <script src=""></script>
  <script src=""></script>

    var site_url = "<?php echo site_url(); ?>";

    $(document).ready( function () {

          lengthMenu: [[ 10, 30, -1], [ 10, 30, "All"]], // page length options
          bProcessing: true,
          serverSide: true,
          scrollY: "400px",
          scrollCollapse: true,
          ajax: {
            url: site_url + "/ajax-load-data", // json datasource
            type: "post",
            data: {
              // key1: value1 - in case if we want send data with request
          columns: [
            { data: "id" },
            { data: "name" },
            { data: "email" },
            { data: "mobile" }
          columnDefs: [
            { orderable: false, targets: [0, 1, 2, 3] }
          bFilter: true, // to display datatable search


Application Testing

Open project into terminal and start development server.

$ php spark serve

URL – http://localhost:8080/list-student

We hope this article helped you to learn CodeIgniter 4 Server side datatable listing in a very detailed way.

Also you can find Server Side DataTable in CodeIgniter 4 using SSP Library here.

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Find More on CodeIgniter 4 here