Procedure: Creating data types

To create a data type, point to New in the Explorer menu and choose Data Type. The Data Type Definition window will appear.

  1. Name the data type.

Enter the name in the Data Type Name field. The data type name will appear in a list of data types that will be used later when you’re defining fields.

The data type name should be descriptive enough to allow you to choose the appropriate data type when defining fields, without having to open the data type to see its characteristics.

  1. Select the control type.

The control type specifies how the data type will store and display data, and is the main characteristic of a data type.

  1. Enter a keyable length (if required).

Data types that have certain control types allow you to define the data to be entered. The keyable length sets the maximum length of the data that can be entered.

You can define the keyable lengths for the following control types:

  1. Enter static values (if required)

Static values are any static text or pictures associated with a data type. Static values are text, pictures or native pictures that can be displayed on fields associated with the data type. Examples of static values include text or pictures on push buttons, or the items in a list box. The following data types can use static values:

Only those selections available for the control type you selected will appear. Once you’ve selected the static value type, click the Static Values lookup button. A window will appear allowing you to enter static values for the type of static value you selected.

  1. Choose or create a format for the data type (if necessary).

A format contains the extra characters, spacing and attributes that can be applied to a data type when data is entered or displayed. For example, a phone number can be displayed as (555) 123-4567. The actual phone number stored in the field is 5551234567. The format applied to the number is (XXX) XXX-XXXX. By using a format, only the phone number itself needs to be stored, not the extra characters for the formatting.

  1. Select a composite if the data type is for a composite field.

A composite is a group of fields and their associated data types that are combined to form a single data type. You may also choose to mark the Call Component Scripts option for the composite data type. Composites and the Call Component Scripts options are described in Composites.

  1. Mark the Auto Add Field option (optional)

If this selection is marked and the data type is saved, Dexterity will automatically create a field that has the same name as the data type and is assigned the data type. (The field name will be the same as the data type name; the field’s physical name will be created using the first 25 characters of the data type name. You can use the Field Definition window to change either name.)

  1. Save the data type.

Click OK to save the data type. The Data Type Definition window will close. If you are creating a new data type, you can click the Add button; the data type will be saved, but the Data Type Definition window will remain open, allowing you to create another data type.

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