| Geelongweb.COM.au - Website Design . Hosting . Programming

Check/configure fields

Items stored in a online database are stored as "records" and each "record" is made up of a number of "fields" or "columns".

For instance in our "Members" database, each member (eg Bill Smith, Fred Collins etc) would be a single record, and the record has fields such as "First name", "Last name" "Street", "Town" etc etc.

You can add, remove or edit the fields in your database via "Check/configure fields"

CHECK_CONFIGURE_FIELDS.JPG

The top part of the "Check/configure fields" screen simply shows an alphabetical list of all the "Items" and all the actual "Database Field names" . . . which are essentially the same thing except that a database field name can not contain spaces or some special characters.

So if we want to have an item such as "First name", the actual database field name would be "first_name"

or for an item such as "# of children" the database field name would be "__of_children". When you create a new Item, the system automatically creates a legitimate database field name.

It's handy to know what the actual database field name is when you want to do some searching using SQL (Structured Query Language) queries.

 

The table below the alphabetical listings shows all the existing items which you can edit completely using the lefthand green tick (see section below) . . . or you can edit some key features for multiple items directly on the table - however if you edit anything here remember to click the "SAVE" button that will appear at the bottom.

You can DELETE any item using the right hand red cross. Note that deleting an item, removes it from the display and editing of records etc, but does NOT actually delete any existing data that may be in the database. For example if you had a "Car registration" field and this field had been populated for various members; once deleted that field would no longer display when looking up those members; but if the field was recreated with exactly the same name ther existing data would be visible again.

 

Probably the two most important functions in the "Check/configure fields" section is to nominate which fields you wish to use as data filters and which fields you want to have show in the display table on the default database page.

Any item ticked in the "Table Column" (11th) column will be displayed as a column on the default page, and any item ticked in the "Filter" (14th) column will be set as a filter so sort your data. The order of the columns and filters is set by the value in the "Sort Order" (6th) column.

 

A note about filtering - Data within various fields in your databases is generally either unique or shared. For example an "Email address" field is likely to be unique where say for 250 member records there would be 250 different email addresses. On the other hand if you had a field called "Salutation", 100 records might all be "Mr", 120 "Mrs" and 30 could be "Miss".

When setting FILTERS, it is generally best to only use fields that have shared data rather than unique . . ie a filter for "Salutation" would show 3 drop down items . . . Mr, Mrs and Miss. If you set "Email address" as a filter, it would have a dropdown list of 250!

For unigue data such as "Email address" it is best to just allow (via General Settings) searching on that field.

Adding a new field (or editing and existing field)