Introducing Calculated Fields

02 February 2015 by Coleman McCormick

Fulcrum customers worldwide are using the platform to collect a huge variety of data in the field, and the dynamic, adaptable nature of Fulcrum allows the flexibility to build the exact tool for the job. Today we’re introducing a new feature to extend this even further: Calculated Fields.

Adding calculated fields to your apps allows you to write simple expressions to calculate values dynamically based on input given to other fields in your forms. As you can see from the example video below, when you build an expression using a calculated field, you have access to all of your form field values from within the expression builder tool for driving calculations. There’s an extensive library of searchable functions, most of which you’ll recognize if you’re familiar with building formulas in spreadsheets like Excel or Google Sheets. Also included are several functions that are Fulcrum data-specific, giving you the ability to include in your calculations your record’s status, latitude or longitude, and more.

This is going to enable dozens of new ways to deal with data while in the field, and output useful results to your field staff:

  • Calculation of dimensions, areas, and volumes for site surveys
  • Determining totals for supply and inventory applications
  • Weighting and averaging for dynamic scoring
  • Displaying summary text with concatenation

For users wanting to calculate more complex results from their data, calculated field expressions can be written in Javascript. This means you can write complex functions (and entire programs) to spin results out of user-entered data on-the-fly.

Calculated fields on all platforms—the web, iOS, and Android— are powered by the same expression interpreter, in an open source library on GitHub, so enterprising technical users can see under the hood at how our expression engine is put together.

Do you have a data collection process where you could use this new calculation capability? We’d love to hear more - chat with us on Twitter or let us know on our support forums.

About the author

Coleman is a geographer and our Executive VP, working every day with our customers to bring better data management capability to their operations.

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