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Example: creating a custom field

In the example below, the user is creating a custom field called "Quarters Code". It's a field used to describe a quality of an inventory item. The item master supplies a default value for the field, but during the receiving process, or while in inventory, a user can override the value from the item master by choosing another option from the list of possible values.This example will break out the steps in the header area from the steps in the Business Process Details area.

Completing the Header information

For the header information, the user has entered the Name, the Abbreviation, and a Description. For the Business Process, he selected Inventory. See more. For the Type, the user selected List, and entered a list of values.

Tip: Note that for custom fields of Type List, there is a built in "-none selected-" (null) option, provided by SmartTurn, which does not appear when you are creating the custom field.

The Business Process and Type selections for this custom field are permanent choices. To protect existing data, SmartTurn prevents you from editing the data Type or Business Process to which it refers after you save a custom field.

Completing the Business Process Details

In the Business Process Details area, notice that each of the boxes have a title that ends with "...Item Field." These titles remind you that the selections you make in each box define something about the Item rather than about the document (PO, Shipment, Receipt, etc.) on which the item appears.

The Purchase Order Item Field

In this example, Quarters Code is now a non-required field available to display on the list of items on Purchase Orders. The value it has comes from the Item Master. If there isn't a value in the Quarters Code field on the Item Master, when the Purchase Order is creating its list of items, it will look to pull in a value for Quarters Code from a Constant. The user creating this custom field specified that the Constant is "A". The Purchase Order page looks for the value the moment it opens the document (Pre-populate). It will start by

1) looking in the Item Master. If there isn't a value there for Quarters Code, it will

2) insert "A" as the value. Since this is a List type field, the Constant, "A", must match one of the line items in the List of Values in the header info, above.

Notice that if the end user creating the PO erases the value for Quarters Code that SmartTurn pulls in from either the Item Master or the Constant, an end user can still save the PO with nothing in the Quarters Code field. This is because the field isn't required on the PO, and because it isn't populated on save with the defined default values. If the user had selected Populate on Save as well as Pre-populate, the Purchase Order would again go through the steps of looking in the Item Master and then insert a constant.

Since the user is just creating this custom field, he hasn't yet added it to any screens in SmartTurn. However, there are a couple of automated placements for custom fields with the "Inventory" Business Process. Whenever you create a custom field with the Inventory business process, SmartTurn automatically adds it to the Item Master and to the Inventory Item record (View Inventory Item screen), on the Custom tab.


Create field Receipt item detail

The Receipt Item Field

Continuing with the example, Quarters Code is now a non-required field available to display on the list of Receipt items on Receipts. The value it has on the Receipt comes in from the Purchase Order. (Your SmartTurn screen illustrates the way the data flows with the arrow between the two boxes for the PO Item Field and the Receipt Item Field.)

The Receipt page looks for the value the moment it opens the document (Pre-populate). It will start by looking in the Purchase Order Item Field. If there isn't a value for Quarters Code in the Purchase Order, SmartTurn doesn't populate the field. SmartTurn allows this because it is a non-required field. The Receipt also doesn't look for a constant for Quarters Code, because Constant is not in the Selected column.

Also, notice that the user decided not to have the Purchase Order go again to the Item Master to get a value that might be there. If the two-step process on the Purchase Order Item (above) results in filling the Quarters Code field with the Constant ("A"), then it wouldn't make sense to go back to the Item Master again, where there isn't a value. If the user had moved Item Master over into the Selected column, then in that case, SmartTurn would just overwrite "A" with a null value.

Completing the remainder of the flow

The remaining item objects (the Inventory Item Field, the Shipment Item Field, and the Sales Order Item Field) follow on as the arrows between the boxes in the diagram indicate. The Inventory Item Field gets the value for Quarters Code from the Receipt. The Shipment Item Field gets the value for Quarters Code from the Inventory Item first, and then, if it has been inadvertently erased sometime while in inventory, from the Item Master. The Sales Order gets the value for Quarters Code from the Item Master. When an item appears on a shipment from a sales order, SmartTurn will go to the Inventory Item to get the value for Quarters Code.

Next Steps

The user who created the Quarters Code field must now go to Administration>Custom Pages to add the new custom field to any page on which he wants users to see it. (The Business Process Details boxes help you specify what the behavior is on the pages; these boxes don't add the field to those pages. The process of creating a custom field is limited to describing the field's behavior, not how it displays on a page.)

See Also

Creating a custom field

Custom field data types

Choosing a business process

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