Beacon

Smart fields

Updated a month ago

help_outline Heads up! This is a guide for admins. If you're not an admin yet, ask your Beacon admin to promote you so you can start managing fields.

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 ways of using smart fields:

  • Formulas - These can be used with either short text fields or number/currency fields. You use these by writing what you would when working with Excel or Sheets (e.g. =(1+3); =IF(...,...,...))
  • Templates - These are used to combine text from multiple fields without needing to use a formula (e.g. displaying a person's name and membership number on a single field)

help_outline Once you've taken a look below, you might want to check out this helpful guide with examples of smart fields, too.

link How to create a formula smart-field

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. Let's go over how to do it:

  1. When creating a new field, choose the Number, Currency or Short text type depending on if you want the output to be a number, currency or text. Click the "Is smart field?" toggle.

Smart Field Screenshot

  1. Create an Excel-like formula in the template. Most excel formulas will work; feel free to send us a message if you get stuck!

smart field numbers

  1. Click "Create" and then "Save" on the Card: overview. You'll now see a smart field value has been automatically set.

help_outline You'll need to refresh the page after you've created it to see the smart field in action. For larger databases, it make take a few minutes for your smart fields to update

Refresh Page

link How to create a template smart-fields

Templates are smart fields that don't require any formulas. They are used to join up text from other fields and are very useful for labelling records in Beacon. They're often used for setting labels on records like donations, e.g. "£10 from Jess".

To set up a template field:

  1. Create a new field and select short text as your field type.

  2. In the Add Template field, use the rightmost menu to select the fields you'd like to include. Make sure you include spaces and any other characters you'd like to include.

Smart field templateSmart field

help_outline You'll need to refresh the page after you've created it to see the smart field in action. For larger databases, it make take a few minutes for your smart fields to update

Page refresh - anchorman

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