Data Fields & Custom Fields

How Do I Create A Custom Field?

Click on "Add Field", and select "New Custom Field" under Field.

A 2 character identifier is required. This is a unique identifier that will be used to refer to this field across the system. Note that this is different from the description; the description is just the text that appears next to the input box in the form, and can be changed without altering the value of this field. So you can have the same field on 2 different templates, but different settings or descriptions associated with that field; so long as the ID is the same, it will pull up the same member data.

Things To Watch For With Custom Fields

Do not create custom fields for business name, first name, last name, city, state or province, country.

For address fields, our system automatically encodes and stores street, city, state/province, zip/postal code and country information as part of the field. Attempting to separate that information into custom fields will cause the encoding and map locations to not to work properly.

The main "address" field is considered the address on the account, and is the address used for tax computation. Please be aware of this before creating additional custom address fields.

Name Fields

The "Account Name" field is the primary name associated with the account. We also provide a "Organization Name" field and "Contact Name" field that can be used. It is not recommended to use all 3 name fields. Typically you would use the following combinations:

  • If your members are businesses or organizations, you would store the business/organization name under the "Account Name" field and optionally, the contact person's name in the "Contact Name" field.
  • If your members are individuals, the individual's name should be stored in the "Account Name" field. Optionally, you can use the "Organization Name" field to store their business/organization affiliation.
  • If you have both individual and business members, we recommend using just the "Account Name" field to avoid confusion. Businesses would normally fill in their business name since they would want the membership associated with the business. Similarly individuals would normally fill in their own name.

The "Account Name" field is used for all renewal notices, receipts, administrative notifications, invoices, etc. Do not split the account name up with a custom field (for example, changing account name to first name and creating a custom last name field), this will cause many functions to show only a partial name.

Note that our system does automatically compute first and last names (from the contact name if available, if not the account name) when exporting to CSV, so that information will always be available for you to do a mail merge, or for export to other third party applications requiring separated names.

Field Types

When creating custom fields, you can select a number of different types:

  • Text Input is a standard one line text input.
  • Simple Text Area and Rich Text Area are multi-line text input boxes. Rich Text Area allows for rich text editing features such as Bold, Underline, etc.
  • Address allows you to store addresses. All addresses are passed through Google Maps and encoded with street, city, state/province, zip/postal code and country information as part of the field.
  • Check Box creates a simple on-off check button.
  • Select lets your users select a option from your pre-defined options. Note that users can only select 1 value, they cannot select multiple options at the same time. If you want users to select from several options, create a Check Box field for each option.
  • Display Value Stored In Field lets you display a value on the form, but not allowing the user to edit it. This is great for admin only data that you may want to display to your members but not allow them to edit.
  • Required Waiver/Terms lets you display your terms/conditions/waivers. Users will need to acknowledge by clicking on a check box or filling out a text input box.

Field Settings

When creating custom fields, there will be a number of settings available (depending on the field type):

  • Description is the text that appears to the left of the input in the form.
  • Required lets you specify if a non-empty value is required (ie. it cannot be blank).
  • Regexp refers to "Regular Expression" and if specified, the user's input will be validated against the expression. Regular Expressions are a form of programming language and should only be attempted if you are familiar with it; incorrect expressions can prevent the form from working!
  • Placeholder - for text input this is the grayed out text that appears in the box when the box is empty. Note that this does not display in Internet Explorer 8-9. For check box, this is the text that appears to the right of the check box.
  • Pre-fill Value is the initial text value to fill the box with. Note that this is not the default value. The member must save the form once for this value to be updated to the account; ie. if the member never saves the form, that field would be empty.
  • Error Message is the message displayed to the user if the input fails the regexp validation. Otherwise the default message "invalid" will be displayed.
  • Choices for select fields, these are the options the user can select from.