Uploading the week's reference data just once



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  • Official comment

    HI Sara,


    Yes, there is a way to upload reference data once, but when the user goes into the app, they will only see the data for that day. It involves the use of dependent reference data as well as a hidden date field and even a "backdoor" feature. It involves a bit of setup, but if you are comfortable in the app builder, you can follow these steps:

    1. Create a column at the start of your reference data for "date". Then under every row, enter the date it is associated with. Make sure you format it mm/dd/yyyy (or if you have a date field in use in your app, in the settings for the date field, you will decide whether it is this format, or another format, the format I mentioned is the default). If row 2 in your data is the first job, then under the column for date, under row 2 would be the date that this job will be done on. Your file would probably look something like this:

    2. Go to the app builder. Create a date field on your first screen of the app before anything else is asked of the user. Set it to default to today's date. Make the field read only in the settings to prevent the user from changing it and uncheck the "mobile visible" checkbox if you want so the user can't even see the field. If you are familiar with reference data, you may know that a date field can't be linked to your reference data, we are now going to do a work around for making it work. 

    3. Go to screen 2 in your app (It is important that you go to a later screen, it can't be on the same screen as your first field). Remember what you named the date field exactly how it was spelled in the field label. Create a "short text" field on this later screen, name it the exact same thing as your date field on the earlier screen. Make this field read only as well. In the more area of settings for this field, go to receipt label and in there enter MIRROR
    This will make it so that the date from the first screen gets mirrored into this field without the user having to type it. This is a backdoor feature. Since the field is now mirrored into the short text field (which can be linked to reference data) we can proceed.

    4. While still in the short text field, link it to the date column in your reference data

    5. Now go to the later fields in the app linked to reference data. The next field in your data which may be the list of jobs for example as a dropdown, would be linked to the job column in your data, and the reference screen/field would be the short text field in the app that was linked to the date column. This way, the field that gives you the list of jobs will only give you the list of jobs for the day that was selected previously. If this step seems a bit confusing, please check out our help topic on dependent reference data here: https://help.gocanvas.com/hc/en-us/articles/115006629447-How-to-add-dependent-Reference-Data


    This method above is the automated way of doing it. The user will not have the ability to select their own date and will only ever see today's jobs. If you prefer the user to be able to select their own date so they can see later jobs, you could just link a dropdown field to the date column so they see a list of dates, they select the date they want, and then the reference data will then populate the later fields based on what date was selected through dependent reference data. 

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