CAA Product Help
(HELP ?) Circles provide narratives on Training, Explanations, and Hints. These can be related to the overall screen, or to specific items on the screen.
This screen is used to Add a Custom Data Field to the system. A Custom Data Field is also sometimes referred to as a User-Defined Data Field or a Church-Defined Data Field.
At the bottom of this Help Text narrative, there is an explanation of the corresponding "Modify" function.
You can only select one "field type" and assign it to a Custom Data Field. After you select the "field type", proceed with the rest of the screen to "Add" or "Modify" the Custom Data Field by supplying the remaining information.
** Note: There is another [Help ?] button on this screen that provides more detail on using the rest of the screen. It is next to the label that says, "Instructions for Custom Data Fields:".
To ADD or ‘create' a Custom Data Field:
First, you have to choose a "field type". The "Choose Field Type" section of the screen features a series of "Radio" buttons. You can select only one "Radio" button as the "field type" for each Custom Data Field. The following "Radio" button options are available:
The Drop-Down Box data field will display a drop-down list of choices for the user to select. After you create this field, "Modify" it to add the actual choices. When updating a contact's Profile, the user will only be able to select one of the choices on the list for this Custom Data Field. If no value is selected, the value at the top of the list will be the default selection.
** Note 1: The first or top value on the list is the default -- if you do not choose any of them, the first value will be selected. For example, if the choices are "No" and "Yes", "No" will be at the top of the list (sorted alphabetically). If your choice is "No", you will not need to make a selection and "No" will be the default selection. If your choice is "Yes", you will have to select "Yes".
** Note 2: If you do not want the first item at the top of the selection list to be the default, you should have something that indicates none of the choices have been selected yet. We suggest a value something like this for the first choice: "(Unknown)" or "(Empty) Choose" or "(Data Not Entered Yet)" or "(Make a Selection)" or "(Data Missing)". Enclosing the value in ( ) will ensure that it sorts alphabetically to the top of the list and becomes the default first value.
The system uses "Empty" and "Choose" in other places, so we believe "(Empty) Choose" makes a consistent choice for this first entry.
However, if one of values in the list is "Unknown", then "(Unknown)" is a very good choice. If you might have to select "Unknown" anyway, just make that the first entry on the list and it will be the default.
The Text Field data field is a text entry field. When updating a contact's Profile, the user can type anything they want into the field. It displays as a single line on the screen, but the user can scroll left and right inside the entry box.
The Text Box data field is a text entry "box" field. When updating a contact's Profile, the user can type anything they want into the box. The user can scroll up and down in the box, if the box contains more than can be viewed without scrolling.
The Numeric Field data field is for numbers only. It only accepts digits 0 through 9 when you attempt to enter something into the box.
** Usage Hint: This field is not good for a phone number, if you want the number to include dashes or other characters such as 999-999-9999 or (999) 999-9999. Instead, use a Text Field for phone numbers so that you can enter non-numeric characters such as the dash.
The Money Field data field is only for dollar amounts.
The Date Field data field is only for dates. If the user places the cursor in an empty date field entry box, or on a date that already has been entered, a Date Widget pops up and helps the user select the desired date.
** Note: When using the Date Widget, select the year first, the month second, and the day third. You have to pick the year/month/day in that sequence to correctly use the Date Widget.
The State Drop-Down data field contains the USA state codes and Canadian provinces. You do not have to create a Drop-Down Box "field type" and manually enter all those values as drop-down choices… the system will automatically provide them when you use the State Drop-Down "field type".
The Country Drop-Down data field contains the country codes that assist the system with knowing what formats are needed for phone numbers, addresses and ZIP Codes, etc. You do not have to create a Drop-Down Box "field type" and enter all the Country Code values as drop-down choices… the system will automatically provide them when you use the Country Drop-Down field type.
Group Drop-Down Box:
The Group Drop-Down Box data field will display a drop-down list of choices for the user to select. These choices will be names of the groups you already created via the Groups & Attendance screen. After you create this field, "Modify" it to actually assign the group choices.
When updating a contact's Profile, the user will only be able to select one of the groups on the list, putting that person in the group. If you change the selection, the person will be removed from the former group and placed into the group just selected.
** Usage Hint: The Group Drop Down Box type of data field is particularly well-suited for Sunday School classes or Small Group ministries where the person is in one group but cannot be in two or more groups at the same time.
The Groups Checkboxes data field will display a drop-down list of choices for the user to select. These choices will be names of groups you already created via the Groups & Attendance screen. After you create this field, "Modify" it to actually assign the group choices.
When updating a contact's Profile, the user will be able to select one or more of the groups on the list, by clicking on the Checkboxes, thus putting that person in each group selected. If you change the selection, by unclicking a Checkbox, the person will be removed from that group.
** Usage Hint: The Groups Checkboxes type of data field is particularly well-suited for ministries and committees where the person can be in more than one of the groups at the same time.
To MODIFY (update) a Custom "Field Type":
If you are modifying an existing Custom Data Field "field type" (instead of adding one), this screen works in the same way as when you are doing an "Add". The original Custom Data Field name and parameters will be displayed, and you can change them accordingly.
If you change the "field type", you might lose the data if any has already been assigned to your contact records.
Example: You can change a Text Field to a Text Box, and the data will be preserved.
Example: However, if you change a Drop-Down Box to a Text Field, the Drop-Down Box values will be lost. In many cases, it would be better to create a new Custom Data Field rather than change the "field type".
"CAA Product Help" from CAA Ministries at Support@CAAsoftware.com or 404-551-4230