Visit Boris website Concepts - Lists

Using lists in Boris

Lists are a general purpose way of creating and maintaining choices for use in drop-down boxes, multiple choice questions etc. Lists obviously have many advantages over simple text entry:
  • they enforce consistency of data entry
  • they allow faster completion of forms
  • they lend themselves to importing and exporting of data from other systems
  • they lend themselves to the automation of rules when processing forms
Commonly used lists are:
  • parts/stock items
  • quantities
  • job codes
  • job status
  • simple Yes/No or Pass/Fail type choices
  • specialized lists such as wards for a hospital, available drawings for a building, types of installation, outcome codes for an audit, or fleet vehicles
List sizes range from 1 to many thousands.

A list consists of a list name and a number of list entries. Often the list entries are simply the text required (eg. “Yes”, “Re-visit required”, “7”, “Large flange”). However, list entries can also have an associated numeric value (eg. the price of a part or a score/weighting for calculating a total).

Lists can also be associated with additional “attributes” which their list entries might require. Attributes may be additional text items (eg. each item in the Parts list might require a part code and product description). They may be numeric values (eg. Parts may have a current stock level value or a cost price). They may in themselves be values in another list (eg. Parts may have a product type or supplier). The attributes may even be documents, or images (eg. the Pass and Fail list items might be associated with tick and cross images for use instead of text, or the list of drawing names for a building might be linked to the drawing files themselves). These attributes allow for great flexibility and power within the system.

NB. Attributes must be created by Boris support staff.

By default, list entries will be shown in alphabetical order, but the default order can be overridden by administrators.

Lists can be linked together in a “cascade”. For example, a set of lists could be created to allow the user to choose a vehicle make. Selection of the make would then give an additional prompt for vehicle model, with the models being restricted to the make selected. There could be an additional selection to give a list of vehicle derivatives, with options being the various flavours of model chosen.
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