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Title: User-Defined Fields (UDFs)

Brief description:

User-Defined Fields (UDFs) are fields that you can utilize to capture and report on data that is not available in other fields in the system.

What’s covered in this document:

Where are UDFs available?

UDFs are available to capture data in the following areas:

  • Contact Type
  • Customer Profile
  • Documents
  • Expense Type
  • Organization
  • Person
  • Project
  • Project Note
  • Purchase Order
  • Purchase Requisition
  • Task
  • Vendor Profile

There are twenty (20) UDFs available in each of these areas, and can hold up to 128 characters of text.

How do I create a UDF?

An Admin can create UDFs by going to Admin > Setup > User-Defined Fields and selecting the area where you wish to create a UDF.

Let's say you want to create UDFs for Expense Types. Click on Expense Type, and then click the edit pencil (or double click the row) for the number of the UDF that you want to create. You'll need to give your UDF a Label, determine the Data Type, decide if this will be a Required field, select how it will be viewed on the UI (Do not show, Show disabled, Show enabled), and you can make the field active by checking the Active box. You can choose from a number of Data Types, and depending on what you select you may have additional options, such as a Pick List wizard if this field chooses from a list of values. Specific info on setting up the fields is available at Help to create User-Defined Fields.

How do I use a UDF?

In this example, we've created UDFs for Expense Types to capture our account numbers for Direct, Overhead, and G&A.

Looking at the Expense Types master list (Admin > Setup > Expense > Expense Types), you can add data to the fields on the far right of the screen by editing the row and going to the Other tab.

Now this data can be used in an adhoc report or an export.

Can I report on a UDF?  Can I export the data from a UDF?

You can create an adhoc report to access data from a UDF. Let's look at an example where we created a Person UDF to hold Promotion Date, and we entered the date that the Person was promoted:

  1. Go to Reports > Adhoc and click +Adhoc Report
  2. Under VIEW, select Person, click Continue.
  3. Under Available Columns, find and select Person Promotion Date.  Click the blue arrow to move it under Report Columns.
  4. The Person Promotion Date is now available as a field to add to my report. 

When doing an export, in this case a Person export, you will see the data in the user11 column, since the Promotion Date was added to UDF 11 for Person. 

You can also add UDF to a custom export by selecting the field from the Field/Expression Chooser. You will not see the Label which you gave to the field, but you can determine which field it is by looking at your UDF via Admin > Setup > User-Defined Fields.

Why would I want to create a UDF?

 There are a multitude of reasons for creating UDFs. Some of the most common examples in each area are:

  • Expense Types
    • Store financial accounting numbers to signify that the expense is Direct, Overhead, G&A, etc.
    • A pick list of items that you wish to use as an additional identifier to the Expense Types.
  • Organization
    • A pick list of items identifying the market segment.
    • A date field noting when a contract was closed or renewed.
  • Person
    • A date field noting Last Employment Date.
    • Payroll system employee code or number.
  • Project
    • QuickBooks Customer Job Number.
    • Expected Close Date.
  • Project Note
    • A pick list (or multiple pick lists) noting attribute(s) you wish to track regarding the note.
  • Task
    • QuickBooks Customer Job Number.
    • A date field noting a Customer Agreed Upon Due Date.

Any information that you want to capture, track, or use to/from an integrated system can be stored in a UDF.

Special considerations when using UDFs.

A few things to be aware of regarding UDFs

  • Many Unanet systems utilizing a VSP (Business Rules Enforcement tool) use the Person user-defined field #5 for the VSP. The field is used to indicate whether a person is set to display debug information (value "D) or is only set to trigger error messages (value "Y")  in a system that has a test VSP. (For systems with a production VSP, the user-defined field is not examined at all.) 
  • When you edit a Task where you have UDFs, you will see two additional fields, Output and Status. These fields are artifacts that remain from an earlier version of the system. You simply ignore these fields. They do appear for selection in the exports or adhoc reports, but they do not appear on other reports.

Additional Information

Help Docs - Setup User Defined Fields

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