In the Projects Setup, Custom Fields associated with Project Containers, Projects or Project Work Orders can be created, and Project related settings can be defined.
Project Containers are at the top of the hierarchy and each Container can contain a number of Projects. Project Work Orders can only be created through Projects to assign jobs that are not time-related and therefore are not booked on the Timeline.
Container/Project/Project Work Order Custom Fields
New: To create a new Custom Field click on the green plus icon next to Container Customs, Project Customs, or Project Work Order Customs, as needed. In the Custom Field window, the details of the Custom Field can be defined. See Article: Custom Fields for details on the different types available.
Sort: To change the order of appearance of the Custom Fields, drag and drop them above or below the existing ones (blue arrows will indicate the direction).
Delete: To delete a custom field, select it, and while keeping the left mouse button pressed, drag the item to the left until the trashcan appears. Move the mouse pointer onto the trashcan and release the mouse button to delete the item.
Modify: Any modification performed will only apply to new Containers/Projects/Project Work Orders.
Changes can be applied to existing Projects, though read carefully about this option further down.
Additional Custom Fields settings
After a set of Custom Fields has been created, click on the drop-down arrow above Container Customs, Project Customs, or Project Work Order Customs. The options are:
Save To Template List: Use when you need to define different sets of Custom Fields e.g. for different types of Projects. Click to save the Custom Fields to a Template list. Enter a name for this Template list. When creating a Container, Project, or Work Order, a specific Custom Field Template can be chosen. To add modifications to an existing Template List, first load it (see below) and after adding the new Custom Field or modifying an existing one, you need to re-save to the Template list using the same name. The changes will not apply to existing Projects that are using this Template. Note that you can reload that Template in existing Projects where you need to show the changes, but this action will not only apply the changes but will also remove the values entered on all Custom Fields on that Template.
Once all the needed Templates have been saved, all Custom Fields can be removed from the view. So when a User creates a new Container, Project, or Project Work Order, the default view under the Custom Fields area will appear empty and the User will be able to choose a Template by clicking in the drop-down arrow.
Load Default From Template List: Click this to load a list of previously defined Custom Fields.
Delete From Template List: Will delete the selected Template from the Template list. The information will remain in the projects where the template has been used. But the fields will disappear from the Advanced Searches, Toolbox > Projects Display list, Print Designer (Project, Financial Report).
Copy Customs To Project And Media Order Customs (under Container Customs only): This option will copy Custom Fields created at the Container level, to the Project, and to the Media Order Customs.
When performing this operation any existing Custom Fields in the Project Customs or Media Order Customs will be overwritten. After confirming this action a second dialog appears: Do You Also Want To Copy Template Lists? Select Yes to overwrite any existing Template List on Project Customs or Media Order Customs. Otherwise, select No.
Copy Customs To Container And Media Order Customs (under Project Customs only): This option will copy Custom Fields created at the Project level, to the Container Customs, and to the Media Order Customs. When performing this operation any existing Custom Fields in the Container Customs or Media Order Customs will be overwritten. After confirming this action a second dialog appears: Do You Also Want To Copy Template Lists? Select Yes to overwrite any existing Template List on Container Customs or Media Order Customs. Otherwise, select No.
Apply To All Existing Projects (under Project Customs only - NOT RECOMMENDED)
We only recommend using this option during the training/implementation phase before the actual database goes live. In any case, always run a backup before. It is important to understand the consequences before using it:
- Never use if you use Template Lists, as all non-archived Projects will get their selected Template replaced with the default Template, thus removing the Custom Fields and values that had been filled in. As a workaround, you can re-load the modified Template on those Projects where you need the change to apply.
- If a Label name is changed, the values in all non-archived Projects not matching the new Label will be lost. E.g. if a Custom Field has the label "Delivery" and is changed to "Delivery Date", the information previously entered in the existing Project will be removed.
- If a Custom Field is deleted, the Custom Field and the values will be lost on all non-archived Projects.
- When modifying the Type of a Custom Field, but keeping the Label name, the information will remain in that field except in the case of the Date Widget. E.g. if a Custom Field has the Label "Delivery" and has been created as Entry Widget, and is now changed to a Text Widget or Selector Widget but with the same Label name "Delivery", the information will not be lost. It will only get lost if changed to a Date Widget or vice versa. This is because the Date Widget consists of a different structure than the other fields.
*From version 7.0 onwards the Apply To All Existing is no longer clickable if you are using Project Field Templates:
Before it was possible to click and use the option in fw Server > Setup > Projects tab > Project Customs > "Apply To All Existing", even if you have "Saved Custom Field Templates" (Saved Template Lists). This would however provoke a Custom Field loss on all Projects, as it would apply the displayed Custom Fields to all Projects. This has now been blocked and the option is greyed out if you are using Custom Field Templates for Projects.
Report behavior when deleting or renaming custom fields
When a Project Custom Field is deleted or renamed, and this change is NOT applied to all existing projects, the change will only apply to projects, that are created after the change. The old field label and data will show up on the old projects and the new field label and data will show up on the new projects and the data will be available in existing reports accordingly.
However, if the changes to the custom fields are applied to all existing projects, all the old field values and labels will be deleted from the database and will no longer be viewable in the Projects or available in any Report.
So if you want to still report on the data in the field with the old names or before the field was deleted, the way to do it is to NOT apply to all existing projects, and adjust the Reports slightly to make sure FW will show the right field in the reports.
Hot Tip: the report can be modified by adding a Concat string operator to display either the old and the new values where applicable. Or ask your friendly FW support team for assistance.
In 6.8 we have added a new feature, which allows users to receive an email notification if project custom fields are being updated or changed. This can be powerful in some workflows, where Project Custom Fields include essential information for your projects and everyone involved in the project should be updated with all the changes.
If you'd like to configure the notifications, please see the article on Global Notification Emails.