Product Update

New Custom Date Field Feature

13-Nov 2017

One of Accelo's most popular features is the ability to create whatever custom fields your business needs. These fields - be it text fields, drop down lists, financial fields, or dates - make it easy for Accelo to be used for filtering data, reporting on work, and of course looking at the key information relevant for any sale, project, ticket, retainer or asset.

One of the challenges with having so many fields and encouraging end-users to fill them in is that busy people tend to make mistakes.

And if you're using Accelo's filters to find - say - a list of projects that had a "Project Approved" date between Date A and Date B and then a "Project Delivered" date between Date X and Date Y, having accurate data really matters. To help improve the quality of your data - so that silly mistakes don't mess up your reports - we've recently released a new feature for our Premium users:

Custom Date Field Validation

After speaking with one of our clients, we realized there was no way for users to set-up Rules across various Custom Field Dates. With this new feature, anyone who has the power to configure custom extension fields in Accelo will be able to specify a validation rule on a date field. We've also done some work on the backend so that you can do this for Projects and Tickets - to create more reliable reports with data you can trust.

For example, you track the “Estimated Delivery Date" for your projects, and want to ensure it isn't set until the client has approved the project schedule dates.

date valid

Applying the Rule

These rules will be enforced when you’re editing or progressing a Project or Ticket, and in instances when the dates fail to match the rules defined, you’ll see a warning on Save that the set validation rules have failed.

Examples of Rules that can be used would look like this in Accelo…

  • When being set/changed, Date Y must be >, >=, ==, <=, <  Date Z

  • Date Y must be empty when Date X is set

  • Date Y must be empty when Date X is empty

  • Date Y must be set when Date X is set

  • Date Y must be set when Date X is empty

The best part? You can be as complex as you like as there’s no limit on how many Rules can be applied - so you can say “Greater than Date X AND Less than Date Y AND only if Date Z is not set”!

Block vs Warn Setting

To ensure that the rules you create are followed by your entire team, you can also set a Block or Warn rule. We like to think of these as either a blocking failure (so you can't continue until the dates are fixed) or a warning (you are warned, but can choose to continue anyway):

  • Applying a Block rule (as seen below) will prevent you or your colleagues from continuing if the custom field date rules are not met.

  • A Warn rule will warn the user that the rule has failed to meet said requirements but will allow them to continue if they want to.

 date block

Implementation Process

Within the Custom Fields tab for Issues or Jobs, each Date field will have a Validation detail area in the space under the field type and Default Value inputs (see screenshot below):

date valid adm

  • If validation details already exist, Accelo will show you a preview of the conditions - like it already does with formulas.

  • If validation details don’t exist, Accelo will just show the text “No Validation.”

  • Either way, you’ll have an “Edit” option next to the validation text. Once clicked, you’ll be taken to a module where you can easily configure the validation conditions for that field.

Note: Custom date field validation applies only to Date extension fields (formula date fields are excluded), but they take affect in Status Progression screens and Edit screens.

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