Custom fields allow you to store additional information in your chemical inventory alongside ChemInventory's default fields. Custom fields can be defined for containers and substances, with customizable functionality.
By default, ChemInventory includes a range of fields to hold information for your inventory records. These include Container Name, CAS number, barcode number, etc. If you’d like to store other information in your inventory we recommend that you create a new custom field for each parameter to store.
For example, in the ChemInventory demo account there are two custom fields defined: expiry date and product code. The demo account can be accessed online .
Custom fields behave in exactly the same way as default fields; they are listed on the Add a Container and Current Orders pages when new container records are created, and are fully compatible with the Excel import tool. Users interact with custom fields just as they would any other field.
Each custom field is assigned a data type, which affects how information is displayed, searched for and retrieved by ChemInventory.
Text fields are, in effect, free entry fields. They can store text-based information and there are no limits on character set (for example accented and non-English characters are compatible).
Numeric fields can be used to store number-based information, such as quantities. Number fields are displayed differently in the Advanced Search tool to enable more customized searching (e.g. "greater than" filtering operators).
If you would like to store date information, such as container expiry dates, it is strongly recommended that the Date data type is selected. This will enable you to search, for example, by date range using the Advanced Search tool.
URL fields are similar to the Text fields in that they can be used to store text-based information. However, when displayed in the container information view, saved values are presented as clickable links to take users to external webpages.
When setting a value for a Dropdown field, users are only able to select one value from a pre-defined list. Users with Group Administrator privileges can set allowable values for these fields.
Fields defined as Tags are similar to Dropdown fields, as they allow selection of values from a pre-defined allowable list. However, Tags differ in that multiple values from this pre-defined list can be assigned at one time.
Container vs. Substance fields
Custom fields can be defined to apply to either containers or substances. Container fields store individual values for each container in your inventory, while Substance fields store a set value against substance records. Substance field values are consistent across all containers of the same substance, and are retained in your ChemInventory database for future containers.
Container fields should be created to store information that may differ between containers, even if the substance is the same; examples include Expiry Date or Lot Number. Substance fields should be created to store information that is a property of the chemical, such as Boiling Point or UN Classification.
Audit and history logs
As for ChemInventory's default fields, an entry is added to your inventory’s history and audit logs whenever a user makes a change to a custom field value. Entries for an individual container can be viewed from the container information view, by clicking on the View History link. Users with Group Administrator privileges can also view entries for an inventory from the Activity History & Auditing page.
Managing Custom Fields
Users with Group Administrator privileges can edit custom fields from the Inventory Management page, under the Container Tools menu. When defining Dropdown and Tags fields, you will be able to list allowable values for the custom fields. Discrete values should be added one per line in the entry area.
When creating or editing a field, you will be presented with the option of making the field Searchable. Enable this setting if you would like the field to be listed directly on the Search page, under the default Name, CAS Number and Container Barcode field entries. It is worth noting that all fields can be accessed using the Advanced Search tool, even if they are not saved as Searchable.
Site and Enterprise Custom Fields
If your inventory is within a site or enterprise license, then some custom fields may already be present in your inventory. These fields have been defined by users with Site Administrator or Enterprise Administrator privileges, and are present for all inventories within your site or enterprise license.