Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bells and Whistles for your Custom Fields!

So, we’ve been kind of proud of the way we have built the BuildingLink database, to be extensible by letting customers add their own data fields – whether to physical apartments, leases, personal dates, and data. You’ve made great use of this function – adding a total of 21,470 custom fields to date!

But, you’ve been letting us get away with “custom field murder” … we’ve only given you two types of fields: a text box field, and a date field.


Okay, well today we are going to start to make it up to you, with the FIRST of THREE really useful Custom Field Updates.

Custom Field Update #1 - New Data Types

We have two words for you: Boolean …. and ... Numeric!

BOOLEAN: When you go to define your custom fields, you can now select a Boolean type (see Wikipedia – or just think “true/false, yes/no, or on/off) and have users select between your two choices with a quick radio button click: “Is this person a health club member? ( ) Yes  ( ) No”

Pretty simple, right? Bet you can’t believe we didn’t have that yet. – Well, we didn’t!

NUMERIC:  You can define a numeric field for your numbers instead of using a general input field. Why? So you can specify cool “number-like things”:

Numeric data types will allow you to limit a field to only accept numbers, and to include currency symbols and decimal places. This is particularly useful for tracking information about monthly dues, rent amounts, square footage, number of shares – or any fields that should be used specifically to track numeric data.

Custom Field Update #1A – New Input Formats for Text Fields

And now, we have just four words for you: Drop down and Radio Button!

It’s been great having text boxes for your custom fields, where you can enter anything you like for any resident record. But what if you don’t WANT to be able to enter anything you’d like? What if you are just tired of typing in the same values over and over again? Well, then you are the reason we have added two new “Input Formats”, giving you three to choose from now:

TEXT BOX: Sometimes, you need the complete flexibility to type anything you want into a blank text box. This can range from tracking specific details about a unit’s construction, to writing in a Resident’s Access Card or Key FOB number. Our standard text box data-type will continue to accommodate these use cases.

DROP DOWN: However, other information needs to be tracked in a more standardized way – usually if there is a specific list of options that could answer a given question. Our new drop down list data-type allows you to define what options are available for a specific field, limiting the range of options to standardize your data, while allowing enough flexibility for you to capture the information that you need! You might use this display mode to define the condition of a piece of equipment (i.e. Dishwasher: (New, Good, Worn, Replace)) or, to track something’s state (i.e. Membership Dues: (Paid in Full, Partial Payment, Due, In Arrears)).

RADIO BUTTON: Finally, our new radio button display option will best be utilized in cases where there are a few possible options to choose from, like marking an apartment as 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms, or indicating a resident’s preferred greeting (was that Ms., Mrs., or Miss?).

Okay, so that’s the FIRST of THREE really useful Custom Field Updates. (You did remember that we promised you three, right? Stay tuned for the next update, in about 2-3 weeks. It is a mucho powerful one!

Have questions? Want to know more? Email us at

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