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Why Related Element fields are important for managing building data efficiently

Related Elements Fields are one of the most powerful field types within Layer when it comes to managing your building data.

At the same time, they can be one of the most intimidating to implement.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

When structuring your data in Layer, you may need to record different types of data under separate Categories, but may also need to cross-reference that same data in a different Element from a separate Category. That’s where the Related Element field type comes in.

A Related Element field allows you to show data stored in the Elements of a separate Category within a field in the current Category.

For example, a Facilities Manager might want to see all of the work orders ever associated with a piece of equipment without having to navigate to the work orders Category.

To add a Related Element field to a Category, select an Element, then click Edit Fields.

200511-01-To add a Related Element field to a Category, select an Element then click Edit Fields

Click the + button at the bottom of the Edit Form window.

200511-02-Click the + button at the bottom of the Edit Form window

You will find Related Element field about half way down the list.

200511-03-You will find Related Element about half way down the list

Selecting Related Element will open the Field Settings window. Enter a name for the Field, then click the Related Category icon.

200511-04-Enter a name for the Field then click the Related Category icon

Select the Category from which you want to access data. You can only pick one Category per Related Element field.

200511-05-Select the Category from which you want to access data

Back in the Field Settings window, you will now see the selected Category listed in the Related Category field. In the case of work orders, there will likely be multiple items per piece of equipment, so be sure toggle on the Select Multiple? option before clicking the Save Field button.

200511-06-be sure toggle on the Select Multiple? option before clicking the Save Field button

In the last window displayed, you have the option to reorder your fields. Move the new Related Category field to your preferred location, then close the window.

200511-07-Move the new Related Category field to your preferred location then close the window

As with all fields, once the Related Element field has been added to an Element, it will appear in all of Elements within that same Category.

To add items to a Related Elements field, there are two options:

You may already have a pre-existing Element in another Category to connect to. In that case, click the +ADD ITEM button to select from available Elements.

200511-08-click the +ADD ITEM button to select from available Elements

If you need to create a new Element, such as a new work order, type the name of the new Element in the Search or Add New field at the top of the window then click Create a New Element.

You will now see the Related Element listed in the field.

200511-09-You will now see the related element listed in the field

Clicking on an Element icon will open that Element, allowing you to fill in additional information. You will also see that there is a new Related Element field at the bottom of the list connecting this Element back to the original. Related Elements are bi-directional.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post discussing how to get even more out of your Related Elements using Lookup Fields.

Need more help? No problem, email us at help@layer.team.

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