Fields will have a field type which will dictate the data it holds. This will affect:
how the data is entered into the field
how it will be displayed on a screen
how you can interact with it on the screen
It’s important to note that every field you use or create in Method will fall into one of the following types:
Date/Time: holds the date and time in UTC format.
Decimal: holds a numerical value with decimal places.
Dropdown: explained below.
File Attachment: used to store an external file within the table. Max file size for the this field is 25 mb. This does not relate to or affect the attachment widget.
Integer: a whole number that can be positive or negative value. The limit is -2,147,483,647 and 2,147,483,647.
Linked: explained below
Money: holds a numerical value to two decimals places.
Picture: similar to the the file field type, this allows you to store an external image in the table (e.g. .jpg or .png). Max file size for the this field is 25 mb.
Taglist: this field holds the tags associated to the record.
Text: holds alphanumeric text.
Yes/No: holds only one of two values: “true” or “false”. (In programming, this is called a Boolean value). For example, if you were a veterinarian and you wanted to keep track of which animals had been vaccinated, you could use a Yes/No field to denote “yes, this animal has its shots” or “no, it doesn’t”.
You’re probably familiar with dropdown fields from other websites you’ve used in the past: the kind you click on and then choose from a pre-existing list that - well, drops down.
In the below image, we are on the Activities screen and there is a Contact dropdown.
In Method, the list of items shown in a dropdown is stored in yet another table. When creating a dropdown field, you can choose to create a brand new table to hold custom data, or select an existing table
In our above Activity example, there is a dropdown field named Contact. If you were to look at the Activity table, you would find a field called "Contacts":
This "Contacts" field actually pulls data from the existing Method table, Contacts. Notice the second column? It indicates the table it is pulling data from (Contacts), and the field which will be used to uniquely identify each record (RecordID).
Okay, here’s where things get a little more complicated. A linked field is a field that displays the value of a field in another table which has been established via a dropdown. That sounds confusing, so let’s use another example to illustrate what we mean.
Going back to our Activity table, it has a dropdown field that pulls from the Contacts table. Once a user has chosen a value within the dropdown field, wouldn't it be handy if we could have quick access to other information from that contact?
For example, if we have chosen Bob Crenshaw as the contact, what if we also want to see his email, or his phone number, or even his name?
Instead of copying and duplicating the information from the Contacts table, you can create a linked field which will return the information Contacts table.
In the above image, I've highlighted three linked fields:
ContactsEmail: a linked field to the Email field in the Contacts table
ContactsName: a linked field to the Name field in the Contacts table
ContactsPhone: a linked to the Phone field in the Contacts table
You may be wondering why you need to create a linked field. One of the main reasons is displaying data in a grid. A grid can only show information from one table. If you were to display the Activity table in a grid, what if you want to show the phone and email of the contact, which is taken from the Contacts grid?
By creating linked fields, you link the information from the Contacts table to the Activity table, and thus can display it in the grid!