jQuery UI autocomplete with PHP and AJAX

The autocomplete functionality shows the suggestion list according to the entered value. The user can select a value from the list.

With jQuery UI you can easily add autocomplete widget to the input element. Navigate to the suggestion list either by mouse or keyboard arrow keys.

It has various options that allow customizing the widget.

You can fix the suggestion source value while initializing in this case whenever the user typed any character then it searches the value within the given source value or you can make it dynamic with AJAX.

In this tutorial, I show how you can add jQuery UI autocomplete on the textbox and select single or multiple values from the suggestion list.

jQuery UI autocomplete with PHP and AJAX


Contents

  1. Table structure
  2. Configuration
  3. Download and Include
  4. HTML
  5. PHP
  6. jQuery
  7. Demo
  8. Conclusion

1. Table structure

I am using users table in the example.

CREATE TABLE `users` (
  `id` int(11) NOT NULL,
  `username` varchar(100) NOT NULL,
  `name` varchar(100) NOT NULL,
  `email` varchar(100) NOT NULL
) ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

2. Configuration

Create a config.php file for database configuration.

Completed Code

<?php

$host = "localhost"; /* Host name */
$user = "root"; /* User */
$password = ""; /* Password */
$dbname = "tutorial"; /* Database name */

$con = mysqli_connect($host, $user, $password,$dbname);
// Check connection
if (!$con) {
 die("Connection failed: " . mysqli_connect_error());
}

3. Download and Include

  • Download jQuery and jQuery UI libraries.
  • With jQuery and include jQuery UI library script and CSS files in the <head> section or end of </body>.
<!-- Script -->
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.6.0/jquery.min.js"></script>

<!-- jQuery UI -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.12.1/themes/smoothness/jquery-ui.css">
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.12.1/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>

4. HTML

Created 4 input boxes –

  • The first textbox to add autocomplete widget.
  • The second is used to show the selected user id from the suggestions list.
  • The third textbox is to add multiple autocomplete.
  • The fourth textbox shows selected multiple user ids.

Completed Code

<table>
  <tr>
    <td>Single selection</td>
    <td><input type='text' id='autocomplete' ></td>
  </tr>

  <tr>
    <td>Selected User id</td>
    <td><input type='text' id='selectuser_id' /></td>
  </tr>

  <tr>
    <td>Multiple Selection</td>
    <td><input type='text' id='multi_autocomplete' ></td>
  </tr>

  <tr>
    <td>Selected User ids</td>
    <td><input type='text' id='selectuser_ids' /></td>
  </tr>

</table>

5. PHP

Create fetchData.php file for handling AJAX requests.

On the basis of POST search value fetch records from the users Table. Declare an Array variable $response and initialize it with an associative array where pass the  $row['id'] to value key and  $row['name'] to label key.

Completed Code

<?php

include "config.php";

if(isset($_POST['search'])){
 $search = mysqli_real_escape_string($con,$_POST['search']);

 $query = "SELECT * FROM users WHERE name like'%".$search."%'";
 $result = mysqli_query($con,$query);

 $response = array();
 while($row = mysqli_fetch_array($result) ){
   $response[] = array("value"=>$row['id'],"label"=>$row['name']);
 }

 echo json_encode($response);
}

exit;

NOTE – Remove value key from the array if you only want to work it name e.g. $response[] = array("label"=>$row['name']);


6. jQuery

Initialize

Initialize jQuery UI autocomplete on the <input id='autocomplete'> and <input id='multi_autocomplete'> by calling autocomplete() method.

Create 2 functions

  • split() – Return an array by splitting the value.
  • extractLast() – Select the last value from array.

Fetch source

Single Selection

Use source option to fetch users name when the key is got pressed. Get the typed value with request.term and pass it in AJAX.

Pass the AJAX response in response() method.

Multiple Selection

Get the last input value from the input box using extractLast() function and send AJAX request to fetch records.

Item Selection

Single Selection

Need to disable the default select functionality because when an option is been selected then the value is been shown on the screen instead of the label if the value is been defined.

Define select option and store the selected item value to <input type='text' id='seluserid' > and set label to autocomplete element.

Multiple Selection

Split the input box values and remove last value. Push ui.item.label and assign in the $('#multi_autocomplete').

Similarly, add ui.item.value in $('#selectuser_ids').

Completed Code

$( function() {

 // Single Select
 $( "#autocomplete" ).autocomplete({
  source: function( request, response ) {
   // Fetch data
   $.ajax({
    url: "fetchData.php",
    type: 'post',
    dataType: "json",
    data: {
     search: request.term
    },
    success: function( data ) {
     response( data );
    }
   });
  },
  select: function (event, ui) {
     // Set selection
     $('#autocomplete').val(ui.item.label); // display the selected text
     $('#selectuser_id').val(ui.item.value); // save selected id to input
     return false;
  },
  focus: function(event, ui){
     $( "#autocomplete" ).val( ui.item.label );
     $( "#selectuser_id" ).val( ui.item.value );
     return false;
   },
 });

 // Multiple select
 $( "#multi_autocomplete" ).autocomplete({
    source: function( request, response ) {
                
      var searchText = extractLast(request.term);
      $.ajax({
         url: "fetchData.php",
         type: 'post',
         dataType: "json",
         data: {
           search: searchText
         },
         success: function( data ) {
           response( data );
         }
       });
    },
    select: function( event, ui ) {
        var terms = split( $('#multi_autocomplete').val() );
                
        terms.pop();
                
        terms.push( ui.item.label );
                
        terms.push( "" );
        $('#multi_autocomplete').val(terms.join( ", " ));

        // Id
        terms = split( $('#selectuser_ids').val() );
                
        terms.pop();
                
        terms.push( ui.item.value );
                
        terms.push( "" );
        $('#selectuser_ids').val(terms.join( ", " ));

        return false;
     }
           
 });

});
function split( val ) {
   return val.split( /,\s*/ );
}
function extractLast( term ) {
   return split( term ).pop();
}

NOTE – Remove select option if you have not return value key from the AJAX file.


7. Demo

View Demo


8. Conclusion

The autocomplete widget gives suggestions to the user while searching for value in the input element.

In the example, I customize the widget selection and store the selection value in the element for further processing.

You can learn more about this plugin from here.

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