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Data Sources in Five: Building Dynamic Applications

Pranoy Sarkar
Nov 1st, 2023
Data Sources in Five: Building Dynamic Applications

With the introduction of Version 2.5, Five has expanded its capabilities to integrate with a variety of data sources. Within Five, you can now:

  1. Utilize the built-in MySQL database provided with every application.
  2. connect to external databases.
  3. Integrate with external systems using REST APIs.

Each of these can serve as data sources within Five. Let’s delve deeper into their capabilities.

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Five’s built-in MySQL database

Five is tailored for developers aiming to quickly build and deploy online database applications. it provides a MySQL database with every application which allows developers to create and edit our database right inside Five.

Apart from Table Wizards which allows you to create tables with just a couple of clicks Five also offers developers a graphical interface, allowing them to establish tables, define fields, designate data and display types, and even introduce new fields to pre-existing tables.

Beyond these functionalities, developers have the capability to set create-read-update-delete (CRUD) permissions, ensuring controlled access to the application. They can also script functions using JavaScript or TypeScript to embed specific logic. Data retrieval or filtering is made effortless with queries, which can either be scripted in standard SQL or visually constructed.

External Databases

Apart from your internal MySQL database, Five also has the ability to connect to external databases on top of that, this means you are not limited to only one approach and can instead offer a truly dynamic development environment. (Note: External Databases are a paid feature and are not available in the free version)

To set up our connection, first launch Five and sign in with an admin account. After creating an application, navigate to the development environment. From there, select ‘Data‘ followed by ‘Database‘.

Once we are inside the menu start by clicking on the yellow plus button to get started.

From here, choose the desired database type from the dropdown menu and then simply input the connection string for your database.

Connection Wizard: Your Gateway to REST APIs

Apart from Databases, Five also allows developers to use REST APIs as a data source through the Connection Wizard. We can start by clicking on Data and then navigating to Connection Wizard

After clicking on the Wizard, you’ll be presented with an interface that has some similarities to Postman. Start by selecting ‘New’ from the WebService lookup, then assign it a WebService ID and Name.

After that simply pass in your endpoints for your API and click on save to store your connection. For a more in-depth guide on Connection Wizard click here

Using Data Sources

Now that we’ve taken a quick look at the different data source methods in Five, let’s dive into how we can use them. These data sources now can be used inside any component that requires some data like Charts, Reports, and even Forms.

Let us take Reports as an example here. Start by clicking on ‘Visuals’ and Then ‘Reports’. This is where you can generate, adjust, customize, and manage all your MySQL reports. Five lets you create reports on any data source, including its built-in MySQL database (as described here), any query, any external database, and even a REST API.

Inside Reports Click on Data Sources, you will see a lookup that shows all your available data sources

Now you can go back to the General Tab and click on Click to add in the Template field.

You’re now inside a rich text editor that allows you to design PDF reports the way you would design a usual Word document. On top of the text and document design features, the report generator also lets you select any data field from your data source. For a more in-depth guide on how to write reports with data sources click here


Five understands the significance of data in application development. By offering diverse data source integration options, it ensures that developers have all the tools they need to build dynamic, data-rich applications. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just starting out,

Version 2.5 of Five has further enhanced its capabilities, providing developers with a range of options for data source integration. Whether it’s making use of the built-in MySQL database, connecting to external databases, or tapping into REST APIs, Five offers a straightforward approach. The platform’s tools, from the Table Wizards to the Connection Wizard, are tailored to streamline the development process.

Five is available for free through our website. Simply download and install Five on your local machine to develop applications free of charge.

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