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Creating and using custom fields
Creating and using custom fields

Information on custom fields

Written by Raymond Carrel
Updated over a week ago

The Layer allows you to define Custom Fields to make sure you can store all the information you need.

Reasons for creating custom fields include:

  • The requirement to accommodate records from a data migration e.g. they did not fit into any of the standard core or meta fields.

  • Fields existed in a legacy CRM system that have been identified as useful to your company going forward.

  • Fields have been identified as being required to store information that has been captured via a form that has been created in the Layer

Where are custom fields stored within a record?

All custom fields are stored in the Custom Fields tab on both Customer and Lead records:

The above example shows an instance where no custom fields have been defined.

Custom Fields and Custom Field Groups

It is important to establish your custom field requirements before you begin creating any fields. Identify the fields you will require, and group them logically by function / record type.

In order to help manage custom fields, you must define Custom Field Groups. Custom field groups can be considered as categories or labels to assist with organisation. A custom field group must be created before any custom fields are defined.

Administrators can configure groups from Settings - Custom Field Groups.

From here you can create a new group, and edit or delete any existing ones.

Custom Field Types

There are four different custom field types. Consider which is the most appropriate for your custom field.

  • Drop-down – this will allow users to select a value from a menu.

  • Check Box – Useful when you want to offer a binary option - true or false.

  • Text Box – This allow users to free-type a line of text

  • Text Area – This offers a larger text box, which allows the user to free-type text that can span multiple lines.

Creating a custom field

To create a custom field group, administrators can go to:

Settings - Custom Field Groups

Each custom field has a number of properties:

  • Group: The custom field group that your custom field will belong to

  • Name: The name of your custom field, and how it will appear within your custom fields tab in a customer or lead record

  • Description: Here you can enter a short description of what is required in your custom field

  • Type: This denotes the types of custom field it will be - check box, drop-down, text area or text box

  • Sort: This can be used to order custom fields within a group, e.g. 1 will appear first in the list

  • Req: Denotes that this field is mandatory when it appears on a form.

Encrypted: This is a security feature within the Layer and allows you to encrypt any sensitive information that is stored within a field. Only users with permission to view encrypted data will be able to review this data.

  • Please note that, for the purpose of data migration, fields can only be encrypted after import

  • Encrypted fields can't be used in forms or documents.

Creating a form with custom fields

Custom fields can also be used to create forms. Drag the relevant custom fields to the right to include the required fields.

The Description field provides the option to provide the user with details on how they should populate the field.

The description will appear in tooltips for your users, e.g.:

Defining drop-down menu and checkbox list options

If your custom field is a drop-down menu, you can define the options available to the user by clicking on the chevron as below.

Checkbox list options are defined in the same way.

Text areas and text

To make a custom field with more room for larger text answers you can chose to make it a Text Area instead of a Text Box. You can see the difference below.

Text Area and Text Box custom fields also allow you to store hyperlinks within the customer record. This can be used to store links to customer specific billing platforms or even just a link to the customer website.

Note: If the custom field is promoted to the Home page, the link will be stored in a text-only format. You can find out how to promote fields to the customer Home page below.

Adding custom fields to a customer or lead record

Once you have created your custom groups and fields you will need to enable them, so that they will be shown within the Lead or Customer record.

Select either Lead or Customer fields depending on which record type you want to add your custom field to, then check Included for the field in question.

TIP: The same field can be included in both a customer and lead record if required, simply ensure the field is included in both record types.

Adding a custom field to the Home Page in a customer or lead record

It is possible to add a custom field to the home page of your customer or lead records.

The Priority checkbox can be used to display important information more prominently.

Once a field has been promoted to your record it will appear at the top of the home tab:

Delete custom fields

Once a custom field has been created and has been populated, it cannot be deleted. This is to ensure data integrity. It can, however, be removed from view.

To do this, locate your custom field as above, and uncheck Included against the field name.

Can I rename a custom field to use it for something else?

No, we advise that you do not edit a custom field once it has been used, i.e. populated within information, by re-purposing its use e.g. changing it's name to capture other information should the original field become redundant.

The reason for this is that these fields will still contain information that has been populated previously under the original name of the field. When any exports on your data are ran from The Layer it will result in mixed information within that exported column.

Instead we recommend that you create a new field and remove the redundant field from view to prevent users from populating information within that field. This ensure that you data integrity is not compromised as a result.

The only time that it would be acceptable to edit a custom field name would be to correct a spelling mistake.

Can I export custom field data?

Yes, any custom fields that are created in the Layer are exportable from the Layer via the following custom reports:

1. All Customers

2. All Leads

How do I import data to encrypted fields?

Even if a custom field was set up as an encrypted field, you can still import data to it via Data Manager. Data will be encrypted when it is imported.

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