Custom vs User Defined Fields – Which is better?
Is it better to use custom fields or user defined fields? And really what is the difference? Can I create a lookup for a user defined field? Will they both show up on mobile? These are questions I often hear when users need a field to enter/collect data on Equipment, Parts, Work Orders, etc.. Unfortunately, the field is not offered in EAM. Really, the availability of both types of fields is great in EAM and there are some significant differences – which is why you need to know the difference before you choose which one to use.
Here is what you should know:
What you need to know about User Defined Fields:
- You can have user defined character, number, or date fields. There are also user defined checkboxes and buttons.
- You can define a default value or create a list of values for a lookup.
- You can make the user defined fields available on mobile devices.
- You can select if the field prints on work orders.
- You can create them specific to one or multiple user groups of your choosing.
- You can search based on the values in a user defined field.
- User defined fields will only show on the screen it is created for. For example, if you create a UDF on the asset record view, you will not see that same UDF on a system, position, or location field.
What you need to know about Custom Fields:
- You must create them for a specific entity (Equipment, Events (work orders, work requests), etc.)
- You can create them for a specific class within that entity. For example, you can create a custom field that will only show up when someone looks up or creates an asset record for an asset with the class of motor or pump.
- You can specify if the field is character, numeric, date, date/time, code+description, or entity. Furthermore, you can require a specific minimum/maximum length and have it included on the grids (or list view).
- You can define the lookup type and list of values of the lookup.
- You can select if you print the custom field.
- You can choose if users can update the field.
We are here if you need us!
I hope this quick list helps you understand and decide which field is best to use. However, if you still have questions please feel free to reach out and email me. I would be more than happy to answer your questions.