Administering Base Fields

When creating or modifying entities, table definitions often make use of similar fields. For example, any entity which stores address information includes fields to store ZIP Code, State, and phone number. These types of fields are most likely defined the same everywhere they appear.

In Aptify, base fields provide a method to create generic fields which are commonly used in multiple entities. Base field records define these generic fields by setting all the field characteristics and options. When defining new fields in an entity, the use of a base field defaults the new field to the characteristics of the generic field definition, providing a means for consistency across entities. Also, when you update a Base Fields record, all of the fields derived from that base field are also updated automatically.

Aptify provides a standard set of sample base fields that an organization can use as necessary. The sample base fields include the following:

  • Typical address fields: Many of the address fields have multiple Base Fields records. Each of these records has a different set of default options, as described in the Base Field's Name field. For example, City-NoCategory-DefaultInView and City-NoCategory both define a City field but one has the DefaultInView option checked and the other does not.
  • DateCreated: This non-updateable field stores the date on which a record was created.
  • DateUpdated: This non-updateable field stores the date on which a record was last updated.
  • WhoCreated: This non-updateable field stores the name of the user who created a record.
  • WhoUpdated: This non-updateable field stores the name of the user who last updated a record.

    Since the DateCreated, DateUpdated, WhoCreated, WhoUpdated fields are non-updateable, they do not appear on system-generated forms. However, you can display these fields in a view. (Note that these Base Fields have the DefaultInView option cleared so they do not display in views by default.)

This topic covers the following sub-topics:

Defining Base Fields

Defining Base Fields is nearly identical to setting up fields when creating a new or updating an existing Entities record. The field characteristics and options are set up exactly the same way.

The fields on a Base Fields record are identical to the fields on an entity's Fields record. Therefore, see Defining Entity Fields for more information on the fields described in this section. You can also refer to About the Fields Form.


Follow these steps to define a new Base Field record:

  1. Open a new record from the Base Fields service.
  2. Assign a name to Base Field within the Name field and click the Tab key.
    • The Display Name automatically defaults to the value of the Name field but may be modified.
    • The Base Table field is grayed out because it is not applicable to base fields. 
  3. Enter a Display Culture String, if you are using localization on your system.
  4. If the field is a linked field, select the appropriate Linked Entity and Linked Field from the lists. Also, specify the Link Type (see Link Type for details).
  5. Configure the fields on the General tab, as necessary.
    • Base Field: If you are creating a new base field that is very similar to an existing base field, you can specify the existing base field to load its settings into the new record. Then, you can make the necessary modifications to differentiate this new Base Fields record.
      • Note that unlike with standard fields, the new base field is not listed as a derived field of the original base field. 
    • SQL Server settings: Use these fields to define the field's data type and size.
    • Currency fields: If creating a base field that uses the data type of money or smallmoney, configure the multi-currency fields as necessary. See Money Fields for details.
    • Width: Defines the field's default column width in a view in pixels.
    • Category: Defines the field's category. For generated form, the field appears under a tab labeled with the category's name.
    • Default Value: The default value that appears for this field when loading new records.
    • Extended Type: Select an applicable field type from the drop-down list to enable additional functionality. See Extended Attribute Fields for more information.
    • Parent Linked Value: If this field is in a sub-type entity and links to a field in the parent entity, specify the name of the parent field. See Creating Multiple Filegroups for more information on sub-types. (Note that if you specify a value of ID for this field in a top-level entity, Aptify will not generate a foreign key for this field, even if it is marked as Required. For top-level entities, the system does create a foreign key if specify a value other than ID.)  

      Base Fields Record
  6. If the base field is to be a drop-down list (standard or data combo), configure the Values tab. See Standard Combo Drop-down List or Data Combo Drop-down List for details.
  7. Configure the field's OptionsValidation, and Security tabs. See About the Fields Form for information on these tabs.
  8. Once all field characteristics have been set, save and close the Base Fields record.

Using Base Fields

Base fields are used when defining fields for an Entities record. Instead of manually setting all characteristics for a field, using a base field saves time by defaulting all options automatically based on the original configuration of the base field.

  1. Open a new Fields record from the Fields tab of an Entities record.
  2. On the General tab, select a Base Field from the list. This list contains all base fields currently set up within the system.
    • When the base field is selected, the new field automatically obtains the base field's default options, values, and other characteristics. Any of these characteristics may be modified.  

      Fields Record with Base Field Specified
  3. Enter a Name for the new field.
    • The name does not automatically flow down from the Base Fields record since a field name should be configured on a field-by-field basis. 
  4. If the entity contains multiple base tables, select a Base Table for the field from the drop-down list.
  5. Save and close the Fields record once all characteristics have been defined as necessary.

    When a base field is selected on the Fields record, the characteristics of the base field overwrite any existing settings for the Fields record except for the NameDisplay Name, and Description (if they are not blank when the Base Name is selected). 

About Base Fields

  • The Base Field record's Derived Entity Fields tab displays all of the entity fields that are based on this base field.

     Fields Derived From Base Field
  • Updating a Base Fields record can automatically update all of the Field's records that are based on that base field. For this reason, fields based on Base Fields records should not be modified individually and all characteristics inherited from the Base Field record should be left as is.
  • When you modify a Base Fields record, the system prompts you to confirm that all of the Base Field record's derived entity fields should be updated as well. After clicking Yes, the system displays a Base Field Save Status bar so you can track the progress of the update process. 
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