Request forms can utilise a wide variety of data fields. The information in this Appendix is designed to help System administrators choose which field should be used when they are designing a Request form, and for reference staff users to understand what the standard fields are used for.
Your System Administrator is responsible for determining which of these fields appear in each Request form, in what order, and with what descriptive label, so there may be some fields in your Request forms with names not shown on this page.
Some fields can hold up to 2 Million characters, however, all the data you store in these fields will have to be passed across the Internet for display, so be aware that very long fields will create very long URL strings and that the resulting screen will take some time to display. Attachments should be used if you need to handle very large amounts of data.
Data fields can be single line text entry boxes, multi-line text entry fields, and code tables. Your System administrator uses the Data dictionary to manage the creation and naming of data boxes and areas, and Code tables to manage the code table drop down boxes. Both data fields and code tables can be renamed and they can be disabled (no longer able to be used in your RefTracker system).
RefTracker provides many user defined fields, but many RefTracker provided fields have special meanings and so it is important that they are consistently used for the purpose specified here. However, you can apply fields to other purposes, but any special functions associated with that field must be taken into account when deciding to adapt a field to another purpose.
No matter what you use a field for, it must be used consistently so that the integrity of the information in these fields is retained, and appropriate statistics can be gathered. For this reason user defined data boxes areas and code tables must be appropriately named and enabled before they can be used.
Use the Details tab of the Summary screen to see all of the information that has been collected about a question at any specific point in time - in other words, to see all of the data fields that have data recorded in them for that question. The Details tab shows values stored for data fields used in that question, using the labels provided by the Request form used to enter the question. It also shows the question data automatically maintained by RefTracker.
There are six types of data fields associated with a question:
The following provides a summary of the use of each field in RefTracker. The summaries are arranged by type as the types determine where the data will be displayed in the Details tab, and the data that will appear close by in the staff emails. System administrators need to be very careful when adapting ILL fields to other uses, that any special characteristics of the field are taken into account:
Max # chars = Maximum number of characters allowed in the field.
Client data fields:
For programmers, more information is provided about these fields in the Data dictionary and the Global variables help pages.