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Types of custom fields that can be added
Answer ID 155   |   Last Review Date 07/14/2022

What types of custom fields can I add to our Oracle B2C Service application?


Custom Fields
Oracle B2C Service


Important! Custom fields can be created as needed from the admin console without submitting an incident to Oracle B2C Service. When custom fields are added, update statements must be performed against the corresponding database table. During the time of the updates, the records in the table are inaccessible. As a result, your staff members will not be able to open or save records associated with the table that is locked. In addition, depending on the type of field being added, your end-users may have difficulty submitting assistance requests through the Ask a Question page.

For example, when adding a contact custom field, the contacts table is locked to allow the custom field to be added in to all of your contact records. As a result, staff are unable to open or save incidents since the contact information is opened along with the incident record.

Important! Changing a custom field column name impacts the database much the same as adding a custom field. It is also best to do this during off-peak hours.

Important! Custom Fields work differently than Custom Objects. See Custom Objects & Custom Field Deployment Basics for information on Custom Objects. 

Record Types that can have Custom Fields

Custom fields can be added for several different record types:

  • Answers
  • Incidents
  • Contacts
  • Organizations
  • Staff accounts
  • Opportunities
  • Tasks
  • Sales Products
  • Sales Quotes

With each field added, your database becomes larger, and if you are indexing a number of these custom fields, this can significantly slow down the speed of your searches. For this reason, we recommend that indexing custom fields be kept to a minimum. Custom fields should only be indexed if you plan on searching by that field.


Data Types for Custom Fields

The table below lists the types of custom fields and descriptions available. Once you have saved a custom field, you cannot edit the field to change its data type. For example, if you create a custom text field, you cannot edit that field later and change it to be a menu field. Instead, you would need to add a new custom menu field and update records to be the appropriate menu option.

For descriptions of the input fields when configuring a custom field, refer to Answer ID 1131: Adding Custom Fields.

Date: Creates a date field in the format: month/day/year. Three sub-fields allow users to set each item separately.

Due to dates being stored as UNIX, the date field only includes dates back to 1970. If you need dates further back than 1970, you can add a text field. You can also configure a mask with the text field to require a specific format.

Note: Starting in August 2013 you can now create a custom object date field to hold dates that go as far back as January 1, 1902.

If you require calculations, or want to sort by date see text field used as a date field below.

Date/Time: Creates a field that includes both date and time that display in the format: month/day/year: hour/minute. Five drop-down menus are added to add each item separately. 

Integer: Creates a field for entering numeric values only. Numerical values must be less than 2,147,483,647. If your data includes integer values larger than that, create a custom text field instead of a custom integer field.  
Negative integer values are allowed for this type of field. 

Menu: Includes a drop-down menu from which end-users and staff can select an item. These fields do not allow for multiple selection using the CTRL or Shift keys as with the Product and Category fields. The name of a menu item can be between 1 and 40 characters.

Opt-in:  Includes a Yes/No option to include or exclude contacts from receiving emails from the Oracle B2C Service Outbound product. 

Yes/No:  Includes two selections: Yes or No. You may specify which option is the default. Replaces the radio button functionality from previous versions.  

Text Area: Creates a text box for adding information. The display of this field is multi-line and this type of field can have up to 4000 characters (up to 4000 bytes, 1333 characters, if you use 3-byte/non-ascii characters). 

Text Field: Creates a field for entering text. The display is on one line with a length between 1 and 255 characters.

You can use a text field for dates, you will need to set up the format to do so.  As an example, if you set up a text custom field to record birth dates. Using the format YYYY-MM-DD (1941-07-07), you could then sort the text string based on year, month, day because the format will text sort in a manner for the concept of year, month, day. You could set up a default value (YYYY-MM-DD) or a mask (M#M#M#M#F-M#M#F-M#M#) to represent the date format for data entry.

If you require sorting by month, independent of year, then you need to create two custom text fields, one for year, one for month and day.  As an example the year field default would be YYYY (M#M#M#M#) and the month/day field default would MM-DD (mask M#M#F1M#M#).  

Or you could have three custom fields for all three components of the date.

To add a custom field:

  1. Click the Configuration button on the Navigation Pane.

  2. Double-click Custom fields under Database. The content pane displays the custom fields tree.

  3. In the left-hand frame, click on the Custom field heading and click the New button on the ribbon.

  4. Configure the field settings. Note: The Name of a field can be between 1 and 30 characters.

  5. Click Save once all required fields are completed.

Important! After adding the custom field, you must edit the appropriate workspaces used by your staff and add the custom field to each workspace. Custom fields are not automatically added to workspaces.

Field Configuration

When configuring custom fields, set the following fields:

Data Type: This specifies the type of field to be configured: date, date/time, integer, menu, radio, text area, or text field. 

Column Name: This is the name of the field as it will appear in the database. This field does not allow spaces or punctuation and cannot begin with a number. 

Indexed: Select this box to have this field indexed in the database.

Note: Indexing should be used sparingly for custom fields. 

Name:  This is the text/prompt that is actually displayed for the administration and end-user pages of the interface. 

Hint:  This is additional text provided on the end-user pages to further aid site visitors when providing information. This allows you to add a brief description of the field or an example of how to complete the field to assist your site visitors.  
Note: You can add up to 4000 characters to the Hint field. If the custom field displays on the end-user pages, only the first 280 characters will display. From the administration pages, the full text entered in the Hint field displays when you mouse over the custom field. Prior to 8.2, you can add up to 40 characters to the Hint field.

Default Value: You can add a default value, i.e. text, an integer, a specific item from the drop-down menu, or a radio button pre-selected. If the field is set as Required, the default value is overridden and the end-user or CSR must answer the question. 
Note: Default values only apply when a human has the opportunity to manually override the default value before it is committed to the database. For example, if an incident custom field specifies a default value, the field will only populate if it is editable to the end-user pages. For incoming Ask a Question submittals, the default value is only added to the custom field if the field is editable to the end-user pages. If you do not want the field to be editable on the end-user page, set up a workflow rule to set the value of the field when it is created. 

Size of Field: This field only appears when the Data Type is Integer, Text Field, or Text Area. Use this field to set the maximum size of the field. 

Required: Check the Required box if the field must be filled out when a record is created.

Note: Setting a field to be required overrides the default value specified. When the Required box is checked, a default value does not display. The customer or staff member must select an option or enter a value for a required custom field.   

The Required box specifies the default property of the custom field when it is added to a workspace. Within the workspace, you can change the property of the field to not be required so that the field is not required for specific staff who use that workspace.
Similarly, if the Required box is not checked, you can make the field required in a specific workspace so that staff must complete the field either on new records or when they are edited.

Usage: With text fields only. You can specify whether the field is a plain, URL, email address or phone number field.

Plain: the field displays with no special formatting or functionality.

URL: the field displays as a link which opens in a browser when clicked.

Email Address: the value is an email address which easily allows staff to send an email to the value in the field.

Phone Number: the value is a phone number. 

Visibility: Specified where the custom field is displayed and where the field can be edited. For more information on the visibility settings for custom fields, refer to Answer ID 1102: Visibility Options for Custom Fields.  

Notes: You can enter comments related to the custom field. 

For more information on custom fields refer to the documentation.  To access Oracle B2C Service manuals and documentation online, refer to the Documentation for Oracle B2C Service Products.

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