Glossary of Common Terms

Some common terms used in Method environment

Updated over a week ago

The following is a list of terms we commonly use in the Method environment. Each of these concepts is explained in more detail throughout this help center, so use this list as a one-stop cheat sheet for a basic definition of each term.

Action: A command caused by an event that tells Method to perform a particular function. Applied to controls individually or in sequence.

Action Result: A way to temporarily remember and recall a custom value within an object.

Action Set: A sequence of actions that can be set up on one control and called to by other objects.

App: A pre-built or custom program designed to perform a specific function in Method.

App ribbons: A way for Method Apps "talk" to one another — they display related information from a different app and serve as a shortcut directly to that information.

Base Table: Table upon which a screen is based during screen creation. Cannot be altered once specified.

Button: A clickable object that can be assigned one or more actions to take place after the click event.

Canvas: The space in the designer where sections, objects, and fields are dragged to build a screen.

Caption: Commonly the title ascribed to a control; can be hidden.

Cell: Individual unit found in sections; formed by the intersection of columns and rows. Similar to cells in Excel spreadsheets.

Column: A vertical separation of values in a grid or a section; combined with rows to form cells.

Contact: A contact describes a person associated with a lead or customer, for whom you have contact information (like a phone number or email address). Each lead or customer can have multiple contacts related to it. For more information on contacts and how they are related to customers and leads, see our article "What is a Contact?"

Container: Dragged onto the canvas, used to contain and order objects. see: Section.

Control: The general term used to describe things that can be dragged onto the designer canvas: includes objects, fields, and containers.

Customer: A customer is anyone who pays you for goods and services. A customer has accounting information (e.g. an invoice) and will therefore sync to your QuickBooks file.

Customize: The act of modifying existing apps or building entirely new ones using a suite of tools in the Designer mode of Method, based on criteria unique to your small business.

Database: A repository of information; made up of tables. Analogous to a filing cabinet.

Designer: A mode in Method that allows users to manipulate elements of a screen and even build a screen from the ground up.

Dropdown: A field or object type that displays a data list. When used as a field it can create relationships with other tables.

Event: Something done by the user or Method itself to trigger an action (e.g. click a button, load a screen).

Expression: A combination of values and operators that computes and produces an output.

Field: Defines what type of information is stored for each record. There are many different field types you will use in Method.

Filters: Used to selectively display information based on a set of predetermined criteria.

Focus: Term used to refer to a control actively being used by a user (e.g. if a user clicks into a text field, that field has gained focus, and when the user clicks away, the field has lost focus).

Grid: Unique object used to display information in a specific order. Similar to grids in Excel spreadsheets.

Icon: Picture or symbol object which can be dragged onto the designer (e.g. a floppy disc for “save”).

Lead: A lead is a CRM-specific term that refers to a potential customer: someone who might do business with you but hasn’t yet. A lead doesn’t have accounting information (because there have been no transactions) and therefore does not sync to your QuickBooks file.

Linked Field: A read-only field in a table that references the value of a field from a related dropdown table. See article Field Types.

Load State: The default state of a control when a screen is first loaded.

Object: Series of controls that can be dragged onto the canvas to add different functionality to a screen (e.g. a button, chart, date picker, etc.).

Padding: Added “white space” around a section, cell, or control.

Record: An entry within a table.

Record ID: The unique number (primary key) identifying an entry within a table.

Redirect: The act of automatically redirecting a user to a specified screen.

Required Field: A field that must contain a value in order for Method to save the record.

Responsive: The act of auto-adjusting a screen’s size and layout depending on the device upon which it is being viewed (e.g. a tablet or smartphone).

Row: A horizontal separation of values in a grid or section; combined with columns to form cells.

Screen: Individual element of an app made up of sections and controls designed to perform a particular function; analogous to a page in a book (e.g. New Contact screen, Edit Contact screen). 

Screen Active Record ID: Used by Method to keep track of which record is currently being viewed or modified on a screen.

Section: Unique container control used to hold objects, fields, and other sections, and to manipulate space between controls on the screen.

Snapshot: A small tile found on the App’s main tile used to display pertinent information about the app and/or serve as a shortcut to a particular screen.

Starting Screen: The default screen that loads when an app is first opened.

Table: A table is a stored collection of related data. For example, Method has a table called the contacts table which stores all the contacts.

Tag: A way to assign a label to your record to make it easier to search for groups of records (e.g. you could search for all leads tagged as “VIP”).

Unique Field: Field that requires the value to be unique for that particular field within the table.

Version: A way to make changes to a version of a screen while the live version is running.  Can also be used to test changes to a screen without interrupting live use. See Screen Versions.

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