Fields

Within the Data Builder section of the Tadabase builder, you can define your app's data structure with data tablesfields, and records.

In the previous article we discussed defining your data structure with data tables, and in this article we will discuss fields and how each field type can impact your data tables' features and functionality in tracking, calculating, reporting, and automating your data.

What are fields‌?

Fields contain specific types of data that describe an item.
For instance, "Name", "Email Address", "Phone Number", and "Date of Birth" are fields you may use to define a person. Each field, or each detail of information, represents one identifying detail about a person and when grouped together, the values within each field form a full description, or record, of one actual person. 

In Tadabase, a group of common fields define a data table. For instance, a data table of Orders may contain fields including Order ID Number, Order Date, Quantity, etc. The values stored within each field represent one piece of information about each order, and all field values grouped together form a record of one particular order. In your application, each order would be viewed as a record and a data table of Orders would store multiple records of individual orders.

It may be helpful to think of fields as similar to columns in a spreadsheet. Tadabase structures data with data tables, fields, and records, similarly to how spreadsheets structure data with spreadsheets, columns, and rows. Just as like columns define a spreadsheet and the values within each column come together to form a row, common fields define a data table and the values stored within each field come together to form a record.

Field Types

Field types refer to the type of data contained within each field, and each field type comes with its own unique set of features and functionality.

When adding new fields, choosing the correct field type is critical in unlocking your application's full functionality. For instance, using a date field type will allow you to filter your data with complex date formulas and calendar component functionality whereas a number field type will not. Similarly, choosing an email field type rather a text field type for an email address field is critical in unlocking powerful email functionality, such as sending automated emails from your app.

Tadabase offers a variety of field types to accommodate nearly any type of data type you would like to store. The Add Field Menu located on top of each data table divides all fields into seven field type categories: 

add-field-menu.png

We will explore each of these seven field type categories within the following articles. 

Adding fields

For your convenience, there are two easy ways to add fields to your data tables. 
  1. You can add fields by selecting them from the Add Field Menu that is located above each data table.
  2. You can add fields inline within your data table by clicking on the + icon which will be located to the right of your most previously added field.

Editing fields

To edit a field, simply click on the field name on the column heading. 

Alternatively, you can edit fields within the Fields tab of the selected data table's navigation menu.

edit-fields-in-fields-tab.png

Reordering Fields

You can rearrange fields within the Fields tab of the selected data table's navigation menu. Simply click on the drag icon of the field you would like to rearrange and drag the field to your desired order location.
reorder-fields.png
You can rearrange the order of fields within the Records tab of the data table's navigation menu as well. Simply click on the field's column header and drag the field to its new position. 

Reordering fields will not change the order of fields in existing forms or other components within the page builder.

Changing Field Types

If you would like to change a field's type from one type to another, you can do so within the Fields tab of the data table's navigation menu.. 

Please note: Not all field types can be changed and field types can only be changed to another type within the same field type category. For instance, a date field can be changed to a date/time field type but not to an email field type. 

It is recommended to take some time to plan out your fields and their necessary field types before you begin the process of creating fields as this will help you choose the correct field types from the beginning and avoid having to change field types as your app progresses. This is recommended because changing your field types can result in negative effects on your existing fields as well as on your application overall. For instance, if you change a Rich Text HTML field to a Text field, you will likely see all the HTML tags as plain text within your fields.

Deleting fields

To delete a field, click on the field name located on the field's column header and select the Delete Field button. Once a field is deleted, you can not undo this delete.

Fields can not be deleted when they are being used as the Connection Display Field within another table. For instance, if you have a connection from the Jobs table to the Customers table and the display field is "Customer Name", you can not delete the Customer Name field as it is currently being used as the connection display field within another table. To successfully delete this field, you must first change the connection display field to another field.

Deleting a field will remove all the values that are part of that field. For instance, if you delete an Email field, all email addresses contained within this field will be deleted across all records.

Please Note: If you delete a connection field that is being used in your app, the automatic relationship will be removed as well. For example, if you have a form that adds a connected record and the connection field is deleted, the form will still function however the record will no longer be auto-connected. 

Now that we have discussed how to use fields, we will explore each field type within the following articles.