Field Management

Learn about field types and how to use and create them.

Michael Stephenson avatar
Written by Michael Stephenson
Updated this week

Overview

This article assumes you have an understanding of Data Sources.

Data fields are the foundation of data collection in Element451. Applications, Event registrations, Appointments, Forms, and more use data fields to allow students to submit information about themselves, which updates their records.

Some fields—such as a drop-down menu—only have specific options that can be selected. A Data Source manages those options. In some cases, we may want to switch the Data Source that powers the Field or create a new Field altogether. This will be accomplished in the Field Management Module.


Field Management

Navigate to Data + Automation > Field Management to see and manage your fields. Fields are managed across three different tabs:

Fields Tab

  • The Fields tab lists the pre-defined fields in Element451 that can be edited. It's important to note this is a partial list; numerous other fields exist beyond what's displayed here. Explore all fields while editing an Application or other form in Element451 for a full scope. This tab also serves as your interface for modifying the Data Source for these system Fields.

How To: Editing a Field

Important: Before editing a Field, be sure the system data source is not suitable to your needs.

  1. Navigate to Data + Automation > Field Management.

  2. Click the Fields tab from the left-hand menu.

  3. Click the three dots at the end of the row of the field you wish to edit.

  4. Click Edit.

  5. The Use Default Data Source toggle will be on by default. Set the toggle to No to change the Data Source.

  6. Select a data source. The Select Data Source field will populate a list of all System Data Sources, Regular Data Sources, and Reference Data Sources in your Element451 instance. Explore more about Data Source types.

  7. Select the columns of that data source that should be the name and value of the Data Source.

    • Name: What is displayed to users when they interact with the field.

    • Value: What is stored in the database.

  8. Click Save.

Groupings Tab

  • Field Groupings function similarly to the Fields described earlier, coming pre-defined within Element451. Each grouping contains several fields you can show or hide while designing an Application or form in another module.

    Take Home Address as an example; this Field Grouping encapsulates multiple fields, including Address Lines 1 & 2, City, State, and Country, offering a comprehensive way to collect detailed information. Dive deeper into how Field Groupings enhance your forms and applications.

How To: Editing a Grouping

Important: Before editing a Grouping, be sure the system data sources are not suitable to your needs.

  1. Navigate to Data + Automation > Field Management.

  2. Click the Groupings tab from the left-hand menu.

  3. Click the three dots at the end of the row of the grouping you wish to edit.

  4. Click Edit.

  5. The Use Default Data Source toggle will be on by default. Set the toggle to No to change the Data Source.

  6. When editing a Field in the Grouping, the "Select data source" field will populate a list of all System Data Sources, Regular Data Sources, and Reference Data Sources in your Element451 instance. Learn about Data Source types.

  7. Select a data source. The Select Data Source field will populate a list of all System Data Sources, Regular Data Sources, and Reference Data Sources in your Element451 instance. Explore more about Data Source types.

  8. Select the columns of that data source that should be the name and value of the Data Source.

    • Name: What is displayed to users when they interact with the field.

    • Value: What is stored in the database.

  9. Click Save.

Custom Fields Tab

  • Custom Fields empower you to craft unique fields for data not automatically available in Element451. For instance, Custom Fields can range from "Favorite Pizza Topping" and "Tee Shirt Size" to any other information you wish to gather, offering unparalleled flexibility in data collection.

How To: Creating a Custom Field

Important: Before creating a Custom Field, check to be sure that the information you want does not already exist in Fields or Field Groupings. Still not seeing the Field you need? Check all available Fields and Grouping by editing an Application or other form.

  1. Navigate to Data + Automation > Field Management.

  2. Click the Custom Fields tab from the left-hand menu.

  3. Click on the plus sign icon in the top right corner to add a Custom Field.

  4. Select a Field Type from the list. Field Types are described below.

  5. Click Next. You will be taken to a window where you can configure the field.

  6. Configure the field:

    • General Tab:

      • Create a "Slug" that is unique to your school. Slugs are unique identifiers for Fields throughout Element451. Describe what data the Custom Field will capture.

      • Create a Label for your field. This is the header that will appear when selecting this Field in other modules. The label should be descriptive for other Element451 users on your staff. You can update the label to be more student-friendly and include help text when you add the Field to Forms and Applications.

    • Validation Tab:

      • Set global rules for how the data should be input. Validation rules can also be set when the Field is added to a Form or Application.

    • Field Options Tab:

      • The Field Options tab will only appear if you've created a Field that requires a Data Source. A drop-down menu or checkbox will require a Data Source.

        • The Data Source selection screen will look identical to the Fields and Groupings screen. Select a Data Source and set a Name and Value.


Field Types

These are the types of fields you can choose from when creating a new field. They're also the type of pre-made and grouped fields that consist of.

Field Type

Description

Special Note(s)

Audio/Video

Allows users to upload an audio or video file.

Supported file types are .mp4, .mov, .wmv, .avi, .mp3, .aac, .ogg, .ogm, .wav, .wma, .webm.

Boolean

This is a Yes/No, True/False Field. It is displayed as a single box that can be checked.

Checkbox

A list of items is displayed all at once. Multiple items can be selected.

Date

A date widget that allows users to select a date from a calendar.

DateTime

A date and time widget that allows users to select a date and time from a calendar.

Dropdown

A list of items that appears when the field is clicked. Only one item can be selected.

Radio Button

A list of items is displayed all at once. Only one item can selected.

You should use a yes/no data source when using radio buttons. If you want to use a true/false data source, use a Boolean field type.

Text

Users can enter a single line of text.

Text Area

Users can enter multiple lines of text, which is useful when you expect the information to span more than a sentence.

Upload

Allows users to upload a file.

Supported file types are .pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt, .odt, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .csv, .ppt, .pptx, .svg, .xls, .xlsx, .html, .bmp, and .htm.

Multiple Upload

Allows students to upload multiple files at once. Supported file types are the same as Upload.

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