Database Lists, How do I use a list?

This is still a mystery to me… Am I wrong to think of lists as a way to choose values from another table? For instance access has the ability to “lookup” values in another table?


It took my a while to fully master this concept. It’s quite simple once you get it though.

A list is simply a set of values. By definition, it’d be more than one value. Think comma separated values, as an example.

When you search a database field and get multiple entries back, then that’s a list. If you search a database field and filter for :first item, then that’s not a list because it’s only 1 item.

So, searching for data in the database can result in lists. It’s also possible to have custom states that are lists, which are stored client side (so not in the database).

Hope this helps.


Lists are a special type of field in a data type.

Lists are just that … lists of “stuff”. They can be empty, have one entry, or multiple entries.

At their simplest, they are just lists of values, so if your field’s type is “text” then they will contain multiple text values, so “apple” “banana” “cherry” but there is no reason why they can’t be empty.

Or a list of numbers - 1,2,3,4,5 or images or whatever. But they are very basic, there is no other data stored with them, no “last image added to the list” functionality.

A more complex list is created when the field type (so what you would normally have text, number, image etc in) is set to another data type - either a system one (so User - you can have a list of Users who like your Blog Post) or one your created yourself.

So you create a List of entries in another table/thing. You can add/remove/clear the list just as you can with text values.

And example would be having an INGREDIENT data type, and a RECIPE datatype.

A RECIPE would have a field called INGREDIENT LIST (or whatever you want to call it) it would have a field type of INGREDIENT and would be a LIST.

You can then start to ADD things/records from your INGREDIENT data type to the LIST on RECIPE. They are just links between one Data Type and another. Here a RECIPE has many (or one or none) INGREDIENTS. An INGREDIENT can be linked to many RECIPES. But when you change the “Mooshroom” text to spell it correctly “Mushroom” it will now be correct on all RECIPEs that include this thing.

We can of course then create a data type called RECIPE BOOK. That has a field, RECIPE LIST of type … RECIPE.

So yes, you can now navigate between things, using these links to select. So “Show me all the Recipe books that use mushrooms” or “Show me all the ingredients in this Recipe Book”.


I kinda have same problems so allow me to jump in :slight_smile:
This has helped me a bit, but I don’t understand how to fill my database.
Keeping your example @NigelG, I have my Data type RECIPE, and another one INGREDIENT. RECIPE has a field that I named “ingredients_list”, filed type is the INGREDIENT previously created and I ticked “this field is a list”.

My table INGREDIENTS is filled with tons of ingredients.

But if I go in App Data > RECIPE > Add a new entry, the field for the ingredients is not fillable as others can be. I see no way of filling an entry for this case, I missed something :sweat:

1 Like

No, you haven’t missed anything :slight_smile:

Bubble doesn’t allow you (at the moment) to directly add to lists in the Data View.

What most people do is create a quick “admin” page to do it. So a dropdown for Recipe, and then maybe a multi-select dropdown (a plugin) to quickly add ingredients. Have a button to save it… and away you go.

1 Like

Hopefully the forum is here, I looked everywhere on how to do this simple things :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
Super tip, thanks :slight_smile:

So I did this:

With this event:

Is that the idea?
If so, why can’t I simply enter the multidropdown destinations’s value, Bubble apparently needs something more.
Thanks @NigelG!

Mmh I realize it’s not the Dropdown Trip Value I want to change, but the trip in itself, that’s a first error I guess :confused:

Can you extend that to dropdown trips value’s trip?

It is because the thing you are trying to “add” is a multi dropdown - so that is a list not a single thing.

Try a “set list” with a merge instead ?

Thanks @NigelG. It worked, but I would never have guessed that, is there something I’ve missed? I followed basic Bubble lessons and didn’t see something close to that, it’s actually quite complicated for beginners. It’s not like if filling our database is really advanced! I’m also following an Udemy course about Bubble, maybe it’s in the latter lessons.

I don’t understand fully what I wrote, the “set list” actually transform “[destination]_list” as a list? :neutral_face:
It’s already one so I guess not.

Anyway, thanks again, problem solved! (thanks @jarrad also!)

1 Like

Does this play into our lists discussion? > Enable the dropdown element’s placeholder to be dynamic.… and while im asking, is there place to go to see how these changes work?

This topic was automatically closed after 70 days. New replies are no longer allowed.