Beacon

Smart fields

Updated 2 years ago

Most of the time, you only need to store data that's static - data that doesn't change unless you change it. Sometimes that's not enough though - for example you might want to store a calculated field containing a member's account balance, based on other data you have about them.

Enter smart fields. Intelligent, read-only fields that auto-calculate their values every time you update a record in Beacon.

In Beacon there are two kinds of smart fields:

  • Formulas - what you'd write in Excel (e.g. 1+3, IF() statements)
  • Templates - "mail merge" style substitution

How to create smart fields

1) Go to the Record Types page, choose the record type you want, and click Add Field.

2) Choose the Number type, and click the "Is smart field?" checkbox.

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 17.19.32

3) Create an Excel-like formula, inserting in a numeric field parameter into the template.

Screen Recording 2018-03-18 at 05.41 pm

4) Click "Save". Add the field to the layout, and then navigate to a record of that type. You'll see a smart field value has been automatically set.

Formula smart fields

Formula smart fields are where the real power of smart fields lies. With formula smart fields, you can use many of the functions and operators that you're used to using in Excel, including:

  • Maths: +, -, *, /, ^, %
  • Logic: IF(), AND(), OR(), NOT(), XOR()
  • Comparisons: =, >=, >, <=,<,<>`

With formula fields, you can use all of the above to build out smart fields that automatically update, to calculate things like the balance that a member still owes you, or a flag to determine if a team member should call someone or not.

Tip: to use a formula in a smart field, start the template with an = (like you would in Excel).

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 17.36.45

Template smart fields

Template smart fields are mostly useful for labelling records in Beacon. They're good for setting labels on records like donations, e.g. "£10 from Jess".

To set up a template field, just type the label you'd like to show in the smart field template field, inserting the field(s) that you'd like to show in the label.

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