The management of a collection can involve a vast amount of information about objects / items / books, people and organizations, events, administration and more. This information is stored as records in database tables. Each record is a collection of fields, and it is mostly with fields that you interact as you work with Axiell Collections: searching one or more fields, editing data in a field, and so on.

Throughout this documentation we explain how to perform tasks such as searching, sorting, and editing records, all of which involve working with fields in one way or another. Here we take a step back and focus on fields themselves, starting with the basics:

Tip: A record can consist of many hundreds of fields arranged across multiple panels in Record details View. See Find a field to learn how to locate a single field amongst the many.

System name vs field label

As we see above, each field has a name in the User Interface (UI). It is important to understand the difference between a field's name (its label) in the UI and its system name, and perhaps more importantly, its unique two character tag:

Data entry, data types and data validation

A field's data type determines what kind of data you can enter in a field. A field with a Text data type will accept all characters, a Numeric field will accept numeric decimal numbers, an Integer field will only accept whole numbers, a Date field expects dates, and so on. For the most part it is obvious what data is required for a field (and if you enter the wrong sort of data, Collections will warn you).

Why some values have a dotted underline (or they are faded)

When viewing records in Record details View you may come across fields in which the data has a dotted underline (or it is faded in older versions of Collections1). These values are inherited from another record or, in a multilingual environment, they are invariant values:

Why some fields have a background colour or no border

When editing records in Record details View you will find that some fields have a background colour or they have no border. This tells you something about data entry for the field. For instance, a field with a red background is mandatory, and a field with no border cannot be edited in the current recordClosed The record currently displayed in Record details View or highlighted (with a solid grey background) in Result set View or Gallery View for instance.:

When adding a new record, you may find that one or more fields in the new record already include a value: these are default values. Your Application Administrator can specify that a value displays in a field by default whenever a record is created. A default value is the most commonly used value in a field and is intended to save time and effort during data entry. It can be overwritten at any time.

When editing a record you will find that you cannot enter new values in some fields, or edit existing values but must select a value from a drop list. These are called Enumerative fields and their values are added and, in a multilingual system, translated by your Application Administrator in the Collections administration tool, Axiell DesignerClosed An application for administration and customization of Axiell Collections. Amongst other things, field labels, tooltips, values in drop lists, etc. are specified and translated in Designer..


Information about many elements in the Axiell Collections user interface is available in a tooltip by hovering the mouse cursor over an element. For example, hover the cursor over a field to display the field's system name and tag:

System name and tag