Set Up an App Ribbon

How to show your custom records in another screen's app ribbons.

Updated over a week ago

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

This article will show you how to get your custom records to show on another screen's app ribbon. For example, if you have created a Rewards App and a contact can collect reward points, you can show those rewards in the Contact's App Ribbon.

Before you can set this up, there must be a relationship between the two tables. For more information, please see App Settings - App Ribbons.

Where to Configure the App Ribbon

The trickiest part of setting up an app ribbon is figuring out where to configure it.

For example, if you want reward points to show up in the Contacts app ribbon, do you configure the app ribbon in the Contacts App or do you configure the app ribbon in a custom Rewards App you built?

The answer is the custom Rewards App you built. You will need to have created an app for your custom table, and you will need to manage that app and configure its records to show up in the View Contact's app ribbon. Imagine it like granting permission to the Contacts app to see rewards, and only the source, the Rewards App, can give that permission.

To clarify, if you want records to show up in an app ribbon, you do NOT configure the App that shows the app ribbon. You configure the App that manages the records.

NOTE: Unfortunately, you cannot add other apps as app ribbons in your custom app. For example, if you wish to show related activities in your Rewards App, you cannot do so because that would require editing the app ribbons in the Activities App, which is restricted no matter what permissions setting you have.

Set Up the Custom Table

In the following example, we will set up the View Contact's app ribbon to show the rewards from a custom Rewards table. The Rewards table is shown in the image below. Note the Contacts dropdown field in the below image. This is a necessity if you wish for reward points to appear in the View Contact's app ribbon.

NOTE: Remember, Rewards is a custom table created for this example. If you are looking for this table or this app, it won't exist in your account.

Create an App Ribbon

Before creating an app ribbon, you need to have created your app first. This scenario assumes an app called the Rewards app has been created. If you have not created an app, then you will not be able to add the app ribbon.

  1. Click the vertical ellipsis [] on your custom Rewards App, and select Manage.

  2. On the left menu, click App Ribbons

  3. Click the box labeled Create App Ribbon.

This will take you to the New App Ribbon screen:

Step 1: Specify how this app’s base table relates to tables in other apps.

Show how the Rewards table relates to the Contacts table.

  1. Rewards Fields: From your Rewards table, select the dropdown field which holds the Contacts table. This was named 'Contact' in our Rewards table.

  2. Join to Table: Since we want the reward points to show up in the Contacts App, we will need to choose the base table of the Contacts App, which is the Contacts table.

  3. The Join on field option is a bit more complex. Take a look at the below screenshot of our Rewards table:

    See how the Contacts dropdown field connects to the Contacts table via its RecordID (which is in brackets). This is the field we are joining on. It is the field that joins the Rewards table to the Contacts table.

Step 2. Set up what your ribbon tile will display.

  1. We want the Rewards tab to display the number of records for each contact. Value lets us choose how we wish to calculate the number. In this case, we want to count the number of records there are.

  2. Aggregate Field: this is the field we will be counting. Since every record will will have a RecordID field, we'll count based on that field.

  3. The Caption is the title for the tab in the app ribbon, which we have labelled "Rewards".

Step 3. Set the order and number of records to display.

  1. The Sort by option identifies what field we can use to sort the records when someone views the rewards in the app ribbon.

  2. Order sorts by ascending or descending values.

  3. Number of Records: At the moment, this value does not do anything.

Step 4. Apply additional filtering.

  1. This option allows you to filter the displayed records in more advanced ways. See the Criteria Builder for examples on how to use this.

When you’re finished with your changes, click Save. Your app ribbon is set up, however, there are few more things left to do.

Configure Record Summary

The app ribbon will be generated for you, however, it will need a default name for each record in the row of the generated grid. You will eventually change what the grid displays, however, this is a required step.

While you're still managing your custom app:

  1. Click Record Summary and then select Default Summary.

  2. Change the summary text to what you wish and click Save.

Generate the App Ribbon Panel

Once the above is set up, Method will generate the App Ribbon panel when you visit the Contacts app and view your new App Ribbon. Note, this panel will not be generated until you view it. In the below image, we named our app ribbon Rewards.

Note that there are four rewards, and they are all named "Rewards Line". This was the name we gave to the Record Summary in the previous section.

NOTE: If the panel does not generate, it was because the Record Summary wasn't set.

This App Ribbon being displayed is an actual screen that Method has automatically generated. If we go back and Manage the screens of the Rewards App, we will see a brand new screen was created called Panel - Rewards (Contacts). This screen name was derived from the label we gave it, the table it's associated with, prepended with "Panel - ".

When you customize the screen, you will find it is a live version. When you edit it, you will make a new version of this screen.

Now you are free to customize how this app ribbon appears!

Here are the objects you will find on the screen:

  • New: This is a hidden text object which you can use as a link to create a new record.

  • List: This is the grid that appears in the app ribbon. It will only have one column, RecordName, and its width is set to 100%. Even if you add other columns, you won't see them because this one is set to 100%. Remember to remove this RecordName column and add columns you want.

  • Contacts: This text object will hold the RecordID of Contact we are viewing (and may be called something different depending on what you named the dropdown field in Step 1). You may think the Screen Active Record ID will hold that, but it doesn't. The App Ribbon panel acts like a screen within another screen, and will have its own Screen Active Record ID. Thus, if you are viewing a contact, the Screen Active Record ID for the View Contact Screen will have the Contact's RecordID, but Screen Active Record ID for the Panel - Rewards (Contacts) is "-1"! In other words, it is empty.
    This text object holding the Contact's RecordID is important because you may want to prepopulate your New screen with the contact's information on a Go To Screen action.

  • ParentID: This is not applicable at the moment. For more information, see the article, Customize the Screen Displayed in an App Ribbon.

If you make a mistake, feel free to delete the Panel - Points (Contact) screen. When you view the app ribbon again, it will regenerate the screen again.

The only thing you need to remember is to make the version live so your users can see it when you are done!

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