You can add custom fields to job templates to customize the information you share with mobile workers and also to enable them to capture useful information as they complete a job.
Custom field information is added to jobs through the Custom Field tab in the job editor. To include custom fields on a job you must add them to the job template. You can learn more about creating job templates in the article: How do I create a job template?
In this article
This explains what custom fields are and how they are used. It lists the different types of custom fields that you can add to job templates and describes their purpose.
The topics covered in this article are:
- What are custom fields?
- Custom field permissions
- Custom field types
- Section Headers and conditional logic
- Custom fields and the API
To learn more about each type of custom field, please read the article: The custom field types you can use in jobs.
What are custom fields?
Custom fields are used to:
- Add extra information about a job that is helpful for dispatchers and workers.
- Enable mobile workers to capture information about a job, when they are working on it, through the vWork mobile app.
The information shared and captured using custom fields is useful for reporting, meeting regulations, updating status, providing proof of service or the condition of an item, capturing additional useful information as a part of completing a step to create a report, and auditing.
Custom field permissions
Custom fields have permissions that you must assign to them when you add them to a job template. Permissions control how mobile workers interact with the custom field when they are doing a job. When you set a permission for a custom field you control what information mobile workers have access to and what they can edit in the mobile app.
There are four different Permission options you can apply to custom fields. These are:
- Optional - this field doesn’t need to be completed by a mobile worker. This is permission is useful to assign where a worker sometimes needs to capture additional information about a job; for example, they may add a note to a job about something that was out of the ordinary or capture a photo of an aspect of a job that wasn’t as they expected it to be.
- Read Only - this field can be seen by a mobile worker but they can’t edit it. This is useful for providing extra information about a job; for example, a code to a lock.
- Hidden - this hides the entire field from a worker using the mobile app. It is useful for adding office-based information that is not required by the mobile worker, such as a purchase order.
- Required - this field must be filled in before the job can be completed. It is useful for things like signatures and proof of delivery.
Note: if a custom field with a Required permission has information added to it in the template, neither the dispatcher nor the mobile worker needs to do anything to the field as it will already be viewed as completed. When you use the Required permission it is best applied to fields that are left blank for the mobile worker to complete on the mobile app.
Please note, that these permissions only control the mobile worker’s access to the data when they are using the vWork mobile app. Dispatchers using the website are able to edit all these fields, regardless of the permission set.
Custom field types
You can select from any of the following custom field types in a job template.
- Free Text - allows you to enter text.
- Image - allows you to attach photos or PDFs to a job.
- Date and Time - allows you to add dates to a job.
- Number - allows you to add number fields to a job.
- URL - allows you to add links to websites or externally hosted files.
- Checkbox - allows you to add a checkbox to a job.
- Currency - allows you to add a field that requires the entry to be in the form of a currency that you have selected in the Finance Settings.
- Signature - allows you to capture a name and signature.
- Location - allows you to capture a location on the map using your GPS, a pin on the map, or a street address.
- Pick Lists - allows you to add a drop-down menu of options to your job. You can select from a predefined list of pick lists or create your own.
- Multi-value Pick Lists - these are the same as Pick Lists however more than one option can be selected. For example, if your custom field label reads: Select all conditions that apply. The pick list options you can select from could be: Wet, Dry, Overcast, Clear, Windy, Calm. If the weather is Dry, Overcast, and Windy you can select all these options.
For more information about each of these custom field types, please see the article: The custom field types you can use in jobs.
Section Headers and conditional logic
You can add customized Section Headers to group custom fields together. You might, for example, want to group all custom fields that relate to pre-start checks, or group together custom fields that only the dispatcher will use in the office.
Section Headers are also important when you use conditional logic. Conditional logic can be enabled for use with the Checkbox or Pick List type custom fields. It enables you to show extra groups of custom fields for a job based on what a mobile app user chooses in an earlier checkbox or pick list custom field. You use this a bit like you would when working your way through a flowchart. For example, you could set the conditional logic so that if the answer is Yes on a pick list, a section with one or more custom fields that relate to the Yes response is revealed to gather more information. This information isn’t required when the answer is No so the section with the extra custom fields doesn’t show when No is selected.
Conditional logic is an optional feature. Contact email@example.com to add this to your account. Or to learn more about how to use it please see the article: Use conditional logic with custom fields.
Good to know
- You can only move custom fields within a section, not between a section, on a template. For this reason, you must add the Section Header before adding the custom fields that you want to include under that heading.
- By default, custom fields listed under a Section Header are hidden in the mobile app. Each section shows only the name of the section header next to the icon. Each section is easily expanded by tapping to show the section's custom fields. This minimizes the scrolling required by your workers to see all the custom fields.
- Conditional logic can slow down the rate at which information refreshes for a job. It’s a good idea to keep the use of conditional logic clean and simple to get the most from this feature.
Custom fields and the API
If you are using the older “Jobs API”, then you need to specify all the fields you want on a job. To learn more about this please read the article: What types of custom fields does the API support?. (Spoiler Alert: all the custom field types are supported by the API.)
If you are using our Templated Jobs API, all the custom fields will be inherited automatically from the template when you create the job, you can just supply the field values.