External Entries


Adam Khan

3rd Party (Free)

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

EE Version Support

  • ExpressionEngine 1.x
  • ExpressionEngine 2


If an item is crossed out, it might be untested, not applicable or incompatible. Contact the developer to be sure.

  • Updater
  • Multi Site Manager
  • Stand Alone Entry Form
  • Low Variables
  • Content Elements
  • Better Workflow
  • Matrix
  • Grid
  • Webservice
  • Publisher


  • jQuery for the Control Panel

Add-On Type(s)



The External Entries plugin lets you manage any MySQL database table from an ExpressionEngine template. Select, update, insert and delete database rows. Now free!

The External Entries plugin lets you easily update, insert into, select and delete from any MySQL database table. The table can be in your EE database or any other database to which you have access.

The plugin’s four functions correspond to MySQL’s select, update, insert and delete commands. Place the plugin in separate EE templates that are called by jQuery’s ajaxy .on() method, and your web site becomes a web app!

It differs from the Query module in that update, insert and delete are allowed, the database affected can be any on the internet, and you use EE-style tag-with-parameters syntax rather than SQL. (Though unlike the Query module, you can only work with one table per invocation of the plugin—joins are not supported.)

To quote Aaron Lax of Paper Tiger in “Expression Engine Front End Publishing Using External Entries”:

“The actual options this plugin opens up are enormous, you can create your own Expression Engine powered web apps, make your own tracking systems, basically anything you wanted to do easily that might require database storage. The beauty of it is that 90% of the time you can create something really functionally elegant without having to write any PHP, mysql functions, or rely on the SAEF native to expression engine.”

Select Entries

The select function has parameters such as orderby, sort and limit, along with filtering by any column. Variables include count and total_results.

Update Entries

The update function has a search parameter to filter entries being updated.

One use for the plugin’s update function is in a “listening” template to which another system sends a form. The plugin can then update EE (such as changing the status of a payment from pending to paid) and perhaps another system in turn.

Insert Entries

The insert function can be used to export EE content to another system, or to handle changes within EE.

Delete Entries

The delete function is useful when consolidating aspects of your site, such as if members have multiple email addresses; once a user has successfully claimed an email address, any members with that email should be deleted.

There are built-in safeguards to help you avoid inadvertently destroying civilization: the debug mode defaults to on in all but the select functions, and the limit parameter for the update and delete functions defaults to 1.

External Entries Links

This entry was created December 8, 2009, 11:38 am.
This entry was last updated June 9, 2016, 5:34 pm.

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2 Reviews:

PP 06.25.12

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Another great plug in by Adam Kahn that made my life easer :)


casey 05.04.11

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This is a great add-on, especially if you’re integrating multiple systems with. In my case for example, I’m using it to query the latest posts from a phpBB forum and display other non-public methods liek download counters etc. This is a must have add-on. Great job and thanks to the developer!