Following are some important considerations when defining fields:
- Set site standards for field Descriptions, Labels and Column Headings. (Refer to Corporate Data Dictionary Concept.)
- Always assign a default value for a field. These values are used on screens, reports and for database operations.
- Field input and output attributes are very powerful. Input attributes influence screen behavior. Output attributes will have database impacts. For example, stamping attributes can automatically assign values to field values when fields are updated in a databases.
- Match the field's Column Heading text length to the field length. For example, a 2 character state code might have a 2 character column heading of "ST" instead of using "STATE CODE".
- Remember that single line column headings require less display area on screens and reports.
- If the partition is multilingual, the description specified for the default partition language will be used as the default for other languages. You must manually edit and update other languages after initially creating the field.
- It is recommended that most validations rules be specified at table level in the Repository. (Refer to Field versus Table Level Rules.)
- Remember to add field level help text. It is entered just once in the Repository and then it becomes available to every LANSA application that uses that field. Some simple text can have a huge impact across your application. (Refer to Repository Help Text Development.)
- If you are using Reference Field, use impact analysis to review the list of related fields before making changes to the referenced field.
Remember, when you define a field's characteristics, you are really defining screen layouts, report layouts and other important information which will be used in your applications. Spending time to properly set up the Repository will save significant time during application development.