Dynamic Fields

A dynamic field is a type of field in which the value of one field controls the values that a user can choose in another field. In a dynamic field, selecting a value for a parent field determines what values are available in the "child" fields. Dynamic fields can contain multiple levels (for instance, only displaying the available states or provinces for a particular country once the Country field has been filled), or can depend on more than one parent field (for instance, only displaying years relevant to a particular combination of car manufacturer and model).

Setting Dynamic Fields on Documents or Folders

Dynamic fields are set or modified just like list fields: select a value from the field's drop-down in the Fields tab. (See Viewing, Assigning, and Modifying Fields and Templates on Documents and Folders for more information on setting field values.) When selecting values for dynamic fields, you must assign values to them in order. In the example above, if a user tried to select a state or province before selecting a country, there would be no values available for selection. In some cases, additional fields may depend on more than one parent field (such as a "City" field that depends on both "Country" and "State or Province"), in which case all of the parent fields must be filled in before the child field can.

If a dynamic field is configured such that only one value is possible once the parent fields have been filled in, that value will automatically be filled in the child field. For example, if you have "Employee Name" and "Email Address" fields bound to the "Employee ID" field, and the "Employee ID" field is unique, the employee name and email address will automatically be populated.

Dynamic fields are configured on the repository management page. Administrators can choose exactly what values they want to include and how they want those values to be constrained or bound. Any type of field can be configured as a dynamic field.

Planning Dynamic Fields

Before you create your dynamic fields, you should plan what values you want to allow users to set dynamically. These values will be stored in a lookup table in Process Automation. See Lookup Tables for more information. As lookup tables support the import of Microsoft Excel and CSV files, you should prepare your dynamic fields in a spreadsheet program that can export files of those types. You can also provide an existing Microsoft Excel or CSV file.

Note: Because dynamic fields use lookup tables for data management, the service limits for lookup tables apply to dynamic fields. See Service Limits for more information.

Any collection of information where one value is associated with another can be turned into a dynamic field. You can also create dynamic fields in which one piece of information controls more than one other field. Below are some examples of this kind of information, and how you could set up your tables to reflect it.

Creating and Updating Lookup Fields

Lookup tables are created (and updated, if the information contained in them changes) in the Data Management section of Process Automation. See Lookup Tables for more information.

Important: When creating or modifying a lookup table for use with a dynamic field, be sure to select the Enable for Dynamic Fields option for the table.

Adding Dynamic Fields to a Template

Once you have added your dynamic field information as a lookup table, you can add the fields to a template. There are three basic steps for adding dynamic fields to a template. First, you must add the fields you want to handle dynamically to the template. Both the parent fields and the child fields must be added. Second, you must associate the fields with columns in your external table. Finally, you must specify which fields depend on which other fields.

  1. Open the app picker in the upper right corner, and select Repository Administration.
  2. Under Metadata, select Templates.
  3. Select the template to which you want to add dynamic fields, or create a new template. (See Creating and Modifying Template Definitions for more information on template creation.)
  4. Open the Dynamic Fields tab, and add a field using the Insert Field button.
  5. Set the properties for the dynamic field:
  6. Repeat step 4 for each additional field that you want to handle dynamically.
  7. When you are finished, save your template definition.