The Customer Fields app uses Data columns to serve data for each customer record. These data columns allow the app to filter, format and import/export customer data in a reliable fashion.
There are two main ways to create data columns:
Generally speaking, a data column needs to exist in order for the app to save any data for a customer. Since data columns are created automatically when adding fields in the app's form builder, you normally shouldn't need to take any additional steps to ensure that your customer data will be saved when a form is submitted.
Each data column has the following attributes:
Label- A human-friendly name for the data column.
Key- A unique, machine-friendly name for referencing the data column.
Data type- Indicates the type of data being stored.
How do I use data columns?
Data columns are shown on the app's customer directory page. You can easily filter your customers by data columns using the customer directory. You can also choose which specific data columns are shown on the directory using the 'Options' icon to open up the column picker.
Pro tip: You can learn more about the customer directory using this help article.
Customer detail pages
Data columns are also shown on the app's customer detail pages. When you are viewing a specific customer record in the app admin, you will see data columns in several places, including the 'Overview' and 'Form data' cards. You can also favorite certain data columns to highlight your most important data.
Data imports and exports
When you export your customer data to a CSV, you will see data for all of the data columns you selected. When you import a CSV to add new customers or edit existing customers, you will need map the app's data columns to the columns in your CSV file.
Data columns page
There are certain cases where you might want to create a data column that is not part of a form. Or, perhaps you want to change the label for an existing data column. Both of these actions are possible using the data columns page in the app admin.
Data column types
Here's a list of the different types of data columns that can be created:
Text- The most common data type. Used for generic strings of letters & numbers
Integer- Used for whole numbers
Float- Used for numbers that contain decimals
Boolean- Used for true/false values
Date- Used for dates (without a time of day)
Datetime- Used for dates (with time of day)
Phone- Used for phone numbers
File- Used for file uploads
List- Used to store multiple values in a single row
The app also supports some special data column types which can be used to store multiple data points for more advanced use-cases:
Group- Used to store an object of data
Group list- Used to store a list of objects
These particular data columns are great for storing a single group of related data, or multiple sets of related data (also known as an array).
Group data columns are only meant for use with the default address fields in the app's form builder, but they can be used with custom forms as well.
Group list data columns can be used with custom forms, or by using a repeating group field in the app's form builder.
Pro tip: You can learn more about repeating group fields using this help article.
Favorite certain data columns
You can favorite certain data columns to highlight your most important customer data. When you favorite a data column, the app will automatically show this data column (and it's value) when viewing customer details in the app's admin area.
You can favorite data columns by clicking the 'star' icon on the Form data card on the customer details page (as shown above).
You can also use the Data columns page to favorite certain data columns, or view a list of your current favorite columns using the Favorite columns tab.
Archive old/unused data columns
Since the app automatically creates data columns when using the form builder, there may be cases where you have leftover data columns that are old and no longer being used. You can archive these data columns quickly and easily by using the 'Archive selected' button, which is found inside of the 'Other columns' tab on the Data columns page in the app admin.
Note: You cannot archive any data columns that are being used by a form. If you wish to archive a data column that is being used by a form, you must either delete the form altogether, or use the app's form builder to edit the data columns in use by the fields in the form. Once a data column is no longer being used by a form, the app will automatically move the data column to the 'Other columns' tab.
If you need help with data columns or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our support team. You can reach out to us via live chat or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).