How to Map Reference Data to your Fields in the Legacy Builder

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The third and final step of the reference data process is to attach the columns in the file to the fields in the form. Since we were careful in formatting our spreadsheet and naming it something memorable when uploading, this step should be straight forward.

How to Map the Parent Field

First, we must establish the first field that will automatically fill the values for the remaining fields. This is called the Parent Field and is the unique identifier of your dataset. 


This is also the only step required if you are using reference data to populate a standalone drop down list.

  1. Edit an existing form or select Create New to start a new form.
  2. Find or create a field that will be attached to reference data. In most cases, it is easiest to use the drop down field type for your parent field. Select it to open Field Settings in the left panel.
  3. Expand the Reference Data tab.
  4. Select the correct reference data file from the first drop down menu.
  5. The Reference Column is the column of data from your file that you want to appear in this field. In our example, we designated the "Customer Name" to be the parent field.

RD&I_AFB_Mapping Parent Field.png

Once the first two drop down menus have been selected, the Parent Field is complete. The third and fourth drop down menus will be filled in for those fields that are referencing the parent field but the parent field only references one thing and that is the file in the first drop down menu.

How to Map Fields to Fill Automatically based on the Parent Field

If we remember the two purposes of reference data, either to populate a drop down list or auto-populate fields, this next step would apply for when we want to auto-populate fields based on the value selected in the parent field.


If one field does not determine all the following fields but actually filters the next list of items to less choices but not only one, you will need to use the dependent reference data method for mapping your fields.

  1. Find or create the next field that will be attached to the reference data. Select it to open Field Settings in the left panel.
  2. Expand the Reference Data tab.
  3. Select the same reference data file used for the parent field from the first drop down menu.
  4. Choose the column of data from your file that you want to appear in this field. The next column in our file is "Address."
  5. In order to have this field know automatically what field value is needed based on the selection in the parent field, we need to tell it where the parent field is located and what it is called.
Reference Screen
This is the name of the screen where the parent field is located. The parent field could be located either on the same screen or on an earlier screen.
Reference Field
The name of the parent field.

RD&I_AFB_Mapping fields.png

GoCanvas Tip

Choosing in this order may seem counter-intuitive, to take the biggest piece and then go smaller. So the following statement explains what we are trying to accomplish in reverse order:

"When I select the customer from the Customer Name field that is on the Customer Information screen then the customer's Address from the Customer Information file will appear."

Simply repeat the above steps until all fields that will reference the parent field are complete.

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