Using Fields

All of the information collected as your users create and edit their documents is stored in fields. As you configure the fields for your database, you can choose from many different field types based on the type of information they will store.

Your database will need a field for each discrete piece of information in a document. The documents created by your applicants are essentially groups of field values, but in order to set values for the fields your users must be able to access the fields via the document's forms and save their work. The Using Forms section explains how forms are used in documents and how to arrange your fields on forms.

When your users save the values they have entered they are stored in your database by a unique document identifier. Thus, a particular field can only be saved once in a document but it may appear more than once - typically a field is only editable in one form and the value is simply displayed on other forms.

Although you cannot use one field more than once in the same document, you can use the same field (with the exception of Contributor fields) to store the same type of information in different types of documents. If you have different documents for different types of grants or scholarships, the same field can be used in each document to store the applicant's school or any other information. In fact, your database will be more efficient and will require less maintenance if you establish common or standard fields that can be used in any type of document.


Keep in mind that when an applicant creates a new document, its fields are populated with the most current information entered by that applicant that is found in the database - whether that information was entered in a document of the same type or not. By using the same fields for information about the applicant in all document types, you can simultaneously reduce the number of field definitions in your database and save time for your applicants.

Your Fields Page displays a list of all of the fields that your database contains. From this page you can use the control icons to create new fields, modify field definitions, and delete fields. If you are setting up a new web site the only fields in your database will be fields that the software uses, the built-in fields. Although you cannot delete these fields or modify their definitions, you can use them in your forms just like any of the fields that you create.

Adding a Field

Click on the  icon above the field list and you are directed to the Add Field page where you can define the field. The new field is not added to the list until you save its definition.

Modifying a Field's Definition

Click on the  icon in the field's Control column. You are directed to the Edit Field page and the field's definition is displayed.

Deleting Fields

Click on the  icon in the field's Control column to delete a single field. To delete more than one field, select the fields using the check boxes next to the field names and then click the  icon above the field list. In either case you will be asked to confirm the action.

You may notice that the delete icon is not displayed with some of the fields you have created. To ensure that your database structure is reliable, you are prohibited from deleting fields that have a dependency. Fields that are part of a relationship (as the Master or Parent field) or are referenced by a conditional form or conditional field's condition test fall into this category. You must first modify the dependent fields and forms to remove the dependencies before you can delete these fields.

You can use the  report icon to see what forms and filters use the field in order to help you track down all instances of the field.

Deleting a field also deletes all of the information stored in that field regardless of where the field is used or which user entered the information it contains. If you decide to remove a field from a document, make sure that it is not used in any other document before deleting it. You will also need to either modify or delete any Form Entries  and filters associated with the deleted field.

Also see:

Defining Fields

Database Concepts

Using Forms