Powerful Forms With Conditional Field Logic

17 October 2012 by Andie Dodd

Field types aren’t the only feature of Fulcrum that allow for optimal customization during app creation. Use of conditional logic through the visibility and/or requirement rules allows you to create a very specific, powerful app that meets your needs. Conditional logic is very useful if you want to create efficient, organized forms that flows well on the mobile device during data collection.  Use of this feature allows you to hide individual fields or entire sections of your app when not applicable to an individual record, only appearing when a specific condition occurs. Conditional logic can be applied to every field type; text, labels, single choice, multiple choice, classification sets, photos, dates, and sections.  The two types of conditional logic used in Fulcrum are visibility and requirement rules. Both can be modified as the rest of your content is created within the web-based app builder.

Location of conditional logic options

Visibility Rules

Visibility rules allow you to hide certain fields and sections so that they only appear when the data collected has (or doesn’t have) a specific characteristic.

A great example for using visibility rules would be if you create an app that is available in two languages such as a financial inclusion survey in English and Arabic. While collecting the survey data, you would only want to see the language that yourself and/or the person being surveyed can speak. The very first field should be a language selection. Using a choice list, you would type the two choices (English and Arabic).

Multiple Language Surveys

After that, make separate sections for each language and click on each to select visibility rules. For the English section add the rule: where ‘Choose a language *is *equal to English’, *and one to the Arabic section where ‘Choose a language *is *equal to Arabic’. *Having the drop down lists with options from the previous fields makes this an incredibly easy task.

Drop Down Lists

Now, when collecting the data, the first option would be to choose a language, and then only the section in the selected language will appear.

Select Language

Requirement Rules

Requirement rules give users the ability to make a certain field required when the data collected does (or doesn’t) have a specific characteristic.

A sample use case for requirement rules is an irrigation equipment inspection.  In the app, there is an ‘issues’ choice list for documentation of types of damage to the irrigation system. In this case, if there is an issue, it would be important to include a photo of the damage. After the choice list has been created, add a photo field.

There are several selections for the conditional logic in Fulcrum, including ‘equal to’, ‘not equal to’, ‘is empty’, and ‘is not empty’.  You can have one or many rules associated with each field. You can match ‘all’ or ‘any’ of the conditions. The possibilities for ways you can use these visibility rules are endless. How do you like to use conditional logic while creating apps in Fulcrum?

About the author

Andie worked on analytics and GIS projects, as a geographer at Spatial Networks. Also a self proclaimed ‘tea snob’ in an office full of coffee drinkers.

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