Data Field Definitions

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The Campground Master database allows flexibility in what information is stored, both for future expansion and to minimize the amount of "useless" information presented.  The Data Field Definitions function in the Maintenance menu allows many of the pre-defined data fields to be disabled or enabled to fit the customer's needs.  Some of them can also be redefined for further customization (particularly the Attribute fields for site attribute/preferences).


Modifications to the data fields can be dangerous and should only be attempted if you're very familiar with the function of the fields and what they might affect, and fully understand all of the information here.  An Administrator access level is required to access these lists, and if you're using Networking then this function is only available on the master (server) computer.


Each of the Field Definitions dialogs looks the same.  They are simply grids with buttons for Print List and Close.  Unlike the Raw Data Table and Pick List dialogs, there is no "Allow Editing" safeguard -- all changes are immediate!


Each data field definition consists of the following elements (treated like fields in a record or pick list):


Field ID -- This is not editable, and is the way the field is identified internally to the software.

Type -- Only shown if the "Show field type" box is checked.  This is not editable, and shows the data type for the field.

Status -- This is either "Fixed", "Enabled", or "Disabled" (see below).

Justif. -- Show data as Left, Center, or Right justification by default

Field Name -- The name of the field as usually seen in maintenance functions (e.g. selection lists).

Short Label -- A short name for the field, used on dialogs and places where space is tight.

Report Heading -- A typical heading, used on reports, receipts, etc.

Notes -- A longer description for the field, for your own reference.


The main item of interest is the Status.  If it's "Fixed", that means the field is enabled permanently and cannot be changed.  Many fields are set this way by default because the program logic depends on them.  If the status is "Enabled", then the field will be visible and usable by the software, and if it's "Disabled" then the field will be ignored by the software.  A disabled field will not show up on the Raw Data Table dialogs or on data entry dialogs.


Some fields are Disabled by default.  This is because some fields are not needed by most campgrounds but can be enabled if needed.  This includes many of the less common attribute fields, and some features like metered water, etc.  You can change the status to Enabled if you need them.


Some of the fields enable or disable not only the data entry but a lot of associated functionality as well.  For instance, if you enable the Site "Dirty" field, then you also enable the associated functions and display options that go with it -- menu functions to mark it dirty or clean, columns to show it on the Rack and other reports, options to automatically set the flag and warn if it's dirty on check-in, etc.  Enabling the Shift fields adds functionality for shift changing and reporting (more on that later).  Enabling the Reservation "Label" field allows you to change what shows on the Rack for a reservation, and gives you another way to search for reservations.  


The most commonly used fields are Enabled by default, but you may want to Disable fields that you're not interested in.  In most cases, disabling a field will simply remove its field from dialogs and reports (resulting in less clutter and faster data entry).  In a few cases, it will also remove associated functionality.  For instance, disabling the Guests field from reservations would remove the Guest Management functionality.


WARNING -- All changes to the data field tables are instant and permanent!  Text changes cannot be canceled or undone.  More importantly, while it's easy to change the status back and forth between Enabled and Disabled, any data that was stored in a field will be cleared as soon as you change it to Disabled.


P.O.S. Note: If the P.O.S. option is enabled, then there will be additional menu selections for the inventory and vendor records, etc.  See the P.O.S. Setup section for details on those.


Customizing Attribute Fields


This is one area of field definition where it is safe and encouraged to set them up to meet your campground's needs.  But there are several rules to follow.


The most important rule is that this applies only to fields that have a Field ID starting with Attrib_, plus a few fields that start with Resv_ that have also Site attributes.  These fields are recognized by the software to be attribute fields, and will show up in both the Site Preferences list from New Reservation dialogs and the Site Attributes list from the Site Setup dialog.  The same Field ID's are used in both the Sites table and the Reservations table, although the reservation fields would more appropriately be called "preferences" rather than "Attributes".


The next rule is to make sure that the Attribute fields in the Site data fields table matches the Attribute fields in the Reservation data fields table.  This means that the same ones must be enabled in each table, and that they should have compatible names (the Field Name text).  We say "compatible" names because they don't have to be exactly the same text, but should make sense as an attribute/preference pair.  For instance, you may have a site attribute of "Has Patio" and a corresponding reservation attribute of "Needs Patio".


Exception: Minimum's -- Some attributes which are normally Maximums, like Max Rig Length, also have a Minimum.  Since there's only one Reservation field for Rig Length but two separate Site attribute fields (for Max and Min), there will be a "Attrib_Rig_Len" field for the maximum plus an extra field "Attrib_Rig_Len_Min" for the minimum.  Note the only difference between the max field and the Min field is the extra "_Min" at the end.  Likewise there are both minimum and maximum fields for # Adults, Children, Pets, Extra Vehicles, and Trailers.  Of course if you change the field names to alter the meaning of these, e.g. change Trailers to Boats, then the min/max attributes will apply to that new meaning.


Now that you know the rules, here's what you can do.  You can disable any of the attributes that don't apply to your campground, to shorten the list of options for the operator to choose from.  You can also change the text for any of them to make them more applicable, within reason.  You should not change the Site Type field or Site Class field.  Also be aware that if you change the ones that appear in the dialogs separately, like the Site Facing, Pad Width, etc. that appear on the Site Setup dialog, the dialog text for the field name will not change, so it could be confusing. The names and text definitions of the others can be changed as needed.  You can also add your own attribute fields -- see "Adding New Fields" below.


What you can't do is change any of the field types.  Therefore you should know the field type before changing what it's used for. There are several fields of each type (size fields, yes/no fields, and ratings fields) so that you should be able to find enough to suit your needs.  You could even modify the pick-list fields normally used for Site Facing and Pad Type if you need different pick-list attributes, such as "bed type" instead of pad type.



Other Customizable Reservation and Customer Fields


Some of the customer and reservation fields can be renamed if needed for special data entry.  The new name should be put in the "Field Name, "Short Label" and "Report Heading" columns, and the new name will be used wherever that field appears on data entry dialogs, report headers, and receipts.


Note that the functionality of the fields does not change, so the customizability is somewhat limited.  For instance, a Phone number field will still act like a phone number (e.g. for searching, formatting, sorting, etc.), but you can make changes like renaming "Phone 2" to "Cell Phone".  Likewise, the "# Adults" field will still be a numeric field and still gets auto-copied from customer records to reservation records, but you may prefer to rename it to "# Over 18", or you could use it for another purpose like "Meals per day".


The following customer fields can be renamed:  Cust_Phone_1, Cust_Phone_2, Cust_Phone_3, Cust_Adults, Cust_Children, Cust_Pets, Cust_Pets_Desc, Cust_Vehicles, Cust_Trailers, Cust_Emergency, Cust_Rigtype, Cust_Rig_Length, Cust_Rig_Model, Cust_Rig_Color, Cust_Rig_License, all of the Cust_Car_Model/Color/License fields, and Cust_Drivers_License.


The following reservation fields can be renamed: Resv_Adult, Resv_Children, Resv_Pets, Resv_Vehicles, Resv_Trailers, Resv_First_Date, Resv_First_Night.


Since some of the fields are auto-copied between customer and reservation (e.g. Resv_Adult and Cust_Adults), the corresponding fields should both be renamed accordingly.



Adding New Fields


For further customization, you can add new fields to a table using the Add New Field button.  This will open a dialog where you can enter the necessary information. Adding a field allows for keeping track of more information, but keep in mind that the program will not automatically know what to do with any custom fields you add.   It's up to you to set up any custom Dialog entry fields needed to get information into the field, and to create custom Queries, Forms, etc. as needed to show the data once it's entered.  Adding a new field is only helpful if you also use the power of Advanced Customizations to make use of it.


Any added fields will have a "Type_User_" prefix, where "Type" is the record type like "Resv" or "Cust".  You will simply add the unique part of the field, e.g. "Member_ID".


A field can be any basic type (text, number, date, etc.) and some "Fixed list" types.  


It can also be a Pick-list item or Link to another record, but only if a custom Relationship has been is set up and a User-defined Table has been created for the record being linked to.  For Pick-List and Link field details, refer to Advanced Customizations / User-defined Relationships.



Adding Attribute Fields


There's a special way to create a field that is recognized as a Site Attribute or Reservation Preference.  Start the Field Identifier with "Attrib_", and it will be recognized as an attribute, and thus will be automatically included in the appropriate places like the "More Preferences" list, as a Quick-Prefs option, and other places where attributes and preferences can be used such as Rates definitions.  For instance, add a Reservation field with the Field Type of "Request/Attribute" and enter "Attrib_Non_Smoking" for the field identifier (the complete ID will be Resv_User_Attrib_Non_Smoking), and it will be treated as an attribute.  (Note that the Field Type of "Request/Attribute" should be used to make it available as a Quick-Prefs option, although Boolean also works in version 11.2 and later.)  The only other field types that can be used for custom attributes are the ones starting with "Number : " -- e.g. "Number : Rating (1-5)", "Number : Signed Integer", "Number : Floating Point", etc.


Matching Reservation/Site attributes -- If you want a custom site attribute to be automatically checked against a Reservation's preference (e.g. if Use Pref's is checked when making a new reservation), you need to have matching field identifiers as discussed in the documentation for Edit Site Details.  Since user fields always have Site_User and Resv_User at the beginning the fields it's obviously not possible for them to exactly match, but the program allows for the Site/Resv difference on user fields.  For instance in the Non-Smoking example above, after you add the Reservation field as described, go to the Site Fields and add a field with the type "Boolean (Yes/No)" and a field identifier of "Attrib_Non_Smoking" (the full name will be Site_User_Attrib_Non_Smoking) to match the reservation field.  Note that a Site field type of Boolean must be used to match up with the Resv field type of Request/Attribute.  Now you can set the Non-smoking attribute through Site Details, and when you choose Non-smoking as a reservation preference, only those sites with that attribute set to "Yes" will be shown.  If your Reservation Attribute is a "Number" field type, the Site Attribute must also be the same "Number" field type.


Minimum Attributes special handling -- If you need a numeric Site attribute that's checked as a Minimum against an equivalent numeric Reservation field (rather than the normal assumption of a Maximum), you need to add "_Min" at the end of the Field Identifier.  The program will interpret Site attribute fields with the extra "_Min" as the minimum for a Reservation field with the same name without the "_Min", and you can have both a minimum and a maximum.  For instance you can add a Reservation field of "Attrib_Slides", and then add Site fields of "Attrib_Slides" (as the max) and "Attrib_Slides_Min" as the minimum.  All of these fields should be a "Numeric" type.  As mentioned above, ignore the fact that it will add "Resv_User" and "Site_User" to the beginning.   Don't be tempted to add _Max to the maximum, that won't work!  A numeric field without a "_Min" suffix is always assumed to be a maximum.



IMPORTANT -- All enabled fields take database space even if they're not used, so don't add fields unless you really need the information and have no other way to do it.  For instance, don't add a "Full name" field to customers if it's just going to be repeat information (combined First and Last names).


Fields cannot be deleted and the type cannot be changed.  If you do add one and later decide it's not what you want, just change its status to Disabled.  All data that was in the field will be cleared and it will no longer take up and space in the database.



Shift Functionality


If you need to enable the functionality for Shift reporting (for instance if you have 2 or 3 shifts per day and need reporting based on shifts, rather than days), then you need to enable two specific fields.


In the Parks field definitions, enable the Park_Shift field.


In the Transactions field definitions, enable the Tran_Shift field.


With these enabled, the Shift Change and Shift Report functions will be available on the Maintenance menu, and the Shift filtering and summarizing options will be present in the Transaction tab view filter and options.



Receipt # Field


There is a receipt/invoice number field in the Transactions table, which is set according to the formatting specification in Program Options.  This can also be printed on receipts, and is especially useful for point-of-sale receipts.  By default, this field (Tran_Invoice) is called "Receipt #".  However you can change the Short Label and Report Heading for this field to anything you want (like "Invoice #", "Reference", etc.), and the text will be changed accordingly anywhere it appears in the program.



Reservation Label Field


The Reservation field "Label" is disabled by default, because it's important to know how to use it before enabling it.  See the notes in the Reservations section for more details



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