Having a simple form with few input fields. After clicking on ajax callback submit button, I'm returning the table element.


//Hypertension treatment
        $form['hyper_treat'] = array (
      '#type' => 'radios',
      '#title' => ('Hypertension treatment:'),                                  
      '#options' => array(
        'y' => 'Yes', 
        'n' => 'No'

    $form['hyperchol'] = array (
  '#type' => 'radios',
  '#title' => ('Hypercholesterolemia:'),                                        
  '#options' => array(
    'y' => 'Yes', 
    'n' => 'No'

//submit button
    $form['action'] = [
    '#prefix' => '<div id = "ajax_submit">',
     '#name' => 'ajax_action',
    '#type' => 'button',
    '#value' => $this->t('Submit'),
    '#ajax' => [
    'callback' => '::setMessage',
    'wrapper' => 'scrollable',
    'method' => 'replaceWith',
    'effect' => 'fade', 

    $form['table'] = array(
    '#prefix' => '<div id="scrollable" class = "col-md-8"><h4>View Data</h4>',
        '#type' => 'tableselect',
         '#suffix' => '</div>',
        '#header' => $header,
         '#options' => $options,
        '#disabled' => $disabled,
        '#attributes' => array('id' => 'sort-table'),
        '#empty' => t('Select criteria and search data'),

//callback function
   public function setMessage(array $form, FormStateInterface $form_state) {
  $options = getOptions(); //gets the associative array
  $form['table']['#options'] = $options;
  return $form['table'];

I had issues with the pagination and sorting of the table returned using ajax. So I thought of using "Datatables" as the alternative option.

So after the callback, I would want to apply the below jquery to have the table shown as a datatable.

 $('#sort-table').DataTable( {
        order: [[ 1, 'asc' ]]
    } );

Tried executing the 'mousedown' event for the button but the jquery executes before the ajax callback.

Is there a possible way to represent the $form['table'] element returned from the ajax callback, as a datatable?

enter image description here

Triggering any other event after table returned would display it as a datatable, but I'm looking to have the returned table displayed as a datatable immediately after the $form['table'] is returned. This happens only when the jquery snippet is executed immediately after the table element is returned from the ajax callback function.

  • Normally you put the js code in a Drupal.behaviors.myBehavior object and attach it as library. On each ajax request the Drupal behaviors are run again, with the context limited to the newly loaded content.
    – 4uk4
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 12:10
  • I did exactly the same thing and it worked fine
    – Abhi
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 23:51

2 Answers 2


You can use custom ajax commands for this. Ajax commands are php classes that correspond to a JS function on the server, which the Drupal JS API calls after Ajax responses.

At a quick lookover, this tutorial looks like it gives a good overview on how to create a custom Ajax command in Drupal 8.


jQuery has .ajaxComplete() and ajaxSuccess() methods among other ajax event handlers. So on the client side you could try something like this:

    $('#sort-table').DataTable( {
        order: [[ 1, 'asc' ]]
  • Sure, but just be careful you are invoking it against the exact thing you want to touch. Otherwise, this will fire every single time any AJAX has completed in the application. I wrote some conditions around this before... let me see if I can find them.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 21:49
  • Right here - you will want to check for the triggering element. This was the only way I could tell what triggered AJAX, so I knew if I wanted to continue and fire specific code: kevinquillen.com/javascript/2014/06/04/kill-the-ajax-throbber
    – Kevin
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 21:51
  • putting the js code within Drupal.behaviors.myBehavior object solved the problem.
    – Abhi
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 23:57

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