Brick River Category fields use predefined lists to present options to users for data entry. 

For example, Contact records have a Category Field named "Type" used to identify contacts as people, authors, conference rooms, etc.

The options presented when updating the Type are determined by the the Category "Contact Types"


This link between the Type field and the Contact Types category is defined in the View Base XML for the Contacts Table.

<Category Id="Type" CatType="Contact Types" Multiple="true" /> 

Managing Categories

1 To manage Categories, click the Categories Link on the Admin Menu.  This presents a list of existing Categories and a button 2 to create New Category Types.  Click any Category  to see the existing options and a button to Add New entries. Only Administrators can create and edit Category Types. 

Administrators can:

  • add additional options to existing Categories,
  • create new Categories, and
  • customize View XML Overlays to control Category field behavior on Content and Contacts records.

Adding items to existing Categories

  1. Open the Admin menu and Click the Categories Link
  2. Click a Category name to open a list of existing choices
  3. Click the Add New button
  4. Enter a Label and optionally, an abbreviation, Sort By and Color attribute for the item.
  5. Click Save.

For example, to prepare your system to define a new Contact Type of "Sponsor", the first step would be to add this choice the Contact Type Category List

Note that items added to System category lists may be edited and deleted.  Items built in to the system, such as the Authors Contact Type, may not be edited or deleted.

Creating a New Category Type

  1. Open the Admin menu and Click the Categories Link
  2. Click the New Category Type button
  3. Name the Category Type and optionally, enable a tree display of items.

For example, a website will feature a registration system which will allow users to register for weekend activities.  The accommodations for the activities include Dormitories, Cottages, and Campsites.  To prepare the system to have a Contact Type of Accommodations, the first step is to create the Category Type 'Accommodations' with the desired choices.

Customizing View XML Overlays

In our example above we created a Category called Accommodations.  In order to use this new Category, it is necessary customize an XML overlay using the attribute: CatType.   The element below will create a custom Category field "Accommodation" which will allow a single option to be chosen from Accommodations list.

<Custom Id="AccommodationType" CatType="Accommodations" Multiple="false"/> 


When defining Category fields in Views, several important XML attributes control field behavior  For example, the following element defines the Mailing Address State field.

<Category Id="MailState" Name="State" FullName="Mailing State" Invisible="false" 
CatType="States"  Multiple="false" ExportAbbrev="true" />

Invisible="false" - display the field for data entry.  If the invisible attribute is absent, fields will display by default.
CatType="States" - use options defined in the States Category
Multiple="false" - only allow a single state to be entered in the field
ExportAbbrev="true" - include to optional abbreviation when exporting view data.  This is important here because the Category uses state names - 'New York' and abbreviations - 'NY'. When exporting addresses to a spreadsheet you will always want the abbreviation included.

More information about Category Field XML elements and attributes can be found here:  XML Overlays

Schedule a demo and see how easy it can be

Give us 15 minutes to hear your situation and share our solution.

Schedule a demo