Building a workspace

Before you can use a workspace, you'll have to build it. To do so, switch to edit mode using the top-right "Edit layout" button.

Managing components of your workspace

Adding a component

Components are the bricks of your workspace. To add a component, simply drag & drop it from the right-side component menu.

Renaming a component

Naming your component can help you keep your workspace easy to understand and maintain. Components are given a default name upon creation, but this can be changed from the top-left of the settings panel of your component.

Deleting a component

To delete a component, click on the ellipsis icon at the top-right of the settings panel of your component. In the dropdown, select "Delete component".

Deleting a component may impact other components. If this is the case, you'll be warned before proceeding.

Understanding how components work

The Text Component

Write anything you wish to display, then customize how it's displayed using the style options.

The Action Component

The Action component can be used to trigger global, single, and bulk Smart Actions as well as CRUD operations.

If you've selected an action that requires selected record(s) to apply to, then you'll need to specify a source component:

Here we have linked the action2 component so that when you select a record from thecollection1 component, you'll be able to trigger the Edit a company action in 1 click.

The Field Component

The Field component lets you read data of a record that you selected in a "source" component.

Source components are components that let you select a record: Collection, Search, Dropdown components can be source components.

If you have a Collection component in your workspace, make sure its "On row click" option is set to "Select a record": this will allow you to select a record in your table, which in turn feeds the Field component.

In the Field component, select collection1 as the source and choose which field value you wish to display: here we chose name.

You may have a more complex use case, where you'd want to display a property further away. To achieve this, you'll have to click the Toggle to input code button:

For instance, if your collection is Company and it is linked to a Country collection, you may want to display {{}} or even {{country.headquarter.address}}.

Widgets & labels

Note that you may also choose which widget to use to display your field.

The (Inherited) widget will use the same widget used in your Collection settings for this field.

Lastly you may also choose whether to display the label and customize it.

The Search component

Use the Search component to quickly select a record within a given Collection:

With the above settings, you'll be searching within all fields of your Company records and displaying the reference field.

The Search component can then be used in other components like Field ("on record from"), Text, (templating), Collection (templating in filter), Chart (templating in filter), etc.

The Dropdown component

The Dropdown is a great UI classic. Here's how you can set it up:

Choose a mode between "Static", "Dynamic > Simple" and "Dynamic > Smart"


In Static mode, you hard-code values. You may re-order them using the handles.

Enable search adds a search to your dropdown, making is easier to find values when there are many.

Dynamic > Simple

In Simple mode, you choose a collection, a field and optionally a filter: this defines the values that will appear in the dropdown.

Dynamic > Smart

Smart mode lets you fetch values from an external endpoint.

As explained in the tooltip, the expected response format is:

    "data": [

The Metabase component

All you have to do to embed your Metabase dashboard into Forest Admin workspace is to create a new Metabase component and fill in all necesary informations.


This corresponds to the url of your Metabase instance. For example, if your Metabase instance is accessible through, then you must set it to the url option.


The token is a JWT token and ensures valid authentication when retrieving the Metabase dashboard. The simplest way to do this is to generate it online using To sign it, you need to use the METABASE_SECRET_KEY provided by Metabase.

You must replace METABASE_DASHBOARD_ID by the correct dashboard ID provided by Metabase.

JWT Payload:

  "resource": { "dashboard": "<METABASE_DASHBOARD_ID>" },
  "params": {}


Here are the parameters that the dashboard can take into account. This is a basic query string based input that can interact with workspace context.

For example if your dashboard take projectId as parameters, you can put the following as option input.




Making your components interact

Some of your components display data. You may want this data to influence other components. If you've read the field component section above, you've seen a simple way to make that happen. But there is another way: using templating. Templating is pseudo-code that will fetch the piece of data you want from a component. To start using it, simply type {{ in a text input:

This opens an autocomplete dropdown which helps you use the correct syntax.

Here are some examples:

Templating syntaxeResult


Displays the column "email" of the select row of collection1


Displays the current user's fullname


Displays the current user's email


Displays the current user's team


Displays the current user's value of the tag "some-tag"

If you rename your components, the syntax adjusts automatically in all components using templating.

Templating may also be used in filters of the Collection component. In practice, this allows you to recreate a related data collection.

Creating a related data

In the example above, we've set up collection1 (Customer) and collection2 (Order) so that when you click on a Customer, it shows their Orders only in collection2.

Filtering charts

Templating is also useful within the Chart component: you may use other components' data to filter on your chart(s).

This feature is only available from version 9.0.0 for Express/Sequelize and Express/Mongoose and version 1.4.0 for agent-nodejs. If you're seeing this tooltip, you must upgrade first to benefit from the feature

For instance, if you want to display the number of fast boats belonging to a user, you may use a Collection component in combination with a "Single Value" chart with a filter set up as below:

Templating also works within Query mode, i.e within your SQL queries, like so:

Bonus: it's also possible to use templating in the Timeframe property of Time-based charts. This means that you could for instance create a Dropdown component with values Day, Week, Month and Year and using that dropdown would automatically refresh the chart based on the selected timeframe!

This is how you would set it up:

Managing visibility of your components

Every component has a Visible option - at the bottom of its settings panel - which allows you to control when it is displayed:

The default choice is Always, but there are 2 other options that we'll explain shortly:

  • Only when a component is visible

  • Only when dynamic variables are defined / Only when source record is selected

Only when a component is visible

This lets you basically select another component and make your component visible when that other component is.

A pretty basic example of this is if you want to show dividers only if the component they are splitting the view for is visible.

Similarly, you can make a Section component hidden unless a component inside of it is displayed.

Only when dynamic variables are defined / Only when source record is selected

As covered in the Making your components interact section above, components can be set up to depend on information from another component, using templating. This visibility option makes it so that the component is visible only if information from the other component it depends on is available.

Here's an example:

☝️ This is a Collection component (collection2) that is filtered on another Collection component (collection1). See how the filter contains dynamic variables (a.k.a templating)? Well, choosing the "Only when dynamic variables are defined" option means collection2 will appear only if a record of collection1 is selected.

With the Always option, filters containing templating are ignored if undefined. In practice, this means that in the above screenshot, if Visible was set on Always, collection2 would ignore its filters unless a record from collection1 is selected.

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