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Database Fields Custom Validation - e.g. regular expression, IBAN Bank number, phone

While I am pleased with the site overall, it's clear that it does lack some features that I consider essential, although not critical.

One such feature is field validation of database records.

Currently there is very limited field validation.

I would request more robust import and user entry field validation capabilities to keep data clean. Without this capability, the database very quickly starts to contain garbage fields.

For example, currently a user may enter their phone number in any format they choose, including completely invalid phone number entries. The same is true for zip code fields and others.

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Steve Veach shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

30 comments

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  • Joanna Straub commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Adding my voice to this. While we can (and will) export and clean up data, having it entered right the first time would be a huge time saver.

  • Skotty Dawg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Does anybody have a work-around on this, or has their been any progress on WA's end? Even just allowing us to set our own validation...

  • Alex Sirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Just an aside -- database hygiene is always an issue even in the most complex and expensive products. There is always a way people can break validation with ingenious lack of information or purposely provide invalid data. Until a feature is available built in, Excel exports of problematic fields along with User ID can be used to bulk clean up data.

    There are great Excel formulas that are easier to implement than regular expressions (many don't know REGEX patterns and directives). These formulas can be used to "clean up" data using built in Excel formatting rules for phone numbers, formulas like MATCH, LEFT, MID and RIGHT and data transformation tools like VLOOKUP, IFS and other means to convert values based on specific input. It takes some Excel smarts, but once you have a good workbench in Excel you can clean up data all day long :)

    https://xltools.net/data-cleansing-in-excel/
    https://support.office.com/en-us/article/top-ten-ways-to-clean-your-data-2844b620-677c-47a7-ac3e-c2e157d1db19

  • htfairfax commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Bulk mailings require a zip+4 code. A lost of membership applications include only 5 digits and a street address. Adding a lookup to check/add the additional 4 digits should be straightforward and would be helpful. Tal Day, Alexandria Historical Society.

  • Jim Bradley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It was suggested that I ask my question here, to wit:

    James Bradley
    Jun 8, 7:45 PM EDT

    Howdy All,

    My name is Jim Bradley. I am the Membership Chairman for the B-52 Stratofortress Association and maintain the Membership Database. I have a question: Most database allow setting a field so that only certain appearances happen or that certain characters may be entered in certain fields. Example: Only CAPITAL letters or only a specific date format, etc. Is this possible with our database? Or is it something planned/wished for in future? If it can now be done, where will find the instructions?

    Thanks for any Help given.

    Jim Bradley, Membership Chairman
    B-52 Stratofortress Association

  • Cindy Cooper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Phone and email fields are quite important. State (in US) could be done as dropdown I suppose but that is not as user friendly as allowing only a two digit state entry typed. The directory and lists are not very "professional" looking when phone and state are all different formats. The map service we use won't accept the wide variety of state entries we get and we have to edit them by hand.

  • Liz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Field validation is important to our organization to keep our data clean and organized. Common fields (e.g. phone, zip code) would be a great start, but I agree with Evgeny - giving the administrator a way to input custom validation via regular expressions or js is the way to go. Then a help page could be created that shows a list of common expressions/code snippets that Admins can enter. And if an Admin needs a validation that's not on the list, they can ask the community for assistance creating the code they need. This way the WA coders aren't baking in every possible validation to all instances of WA.

  • Suzanne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In particular I would like to see the phone field:
    Phone number -- (###) ###-#### Ext ####
    with the Extension #### being available either for an office extension OR where an international phone number is longer than 10 digits

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree. I would like to be able to add a mask feature to membership fields; example: if I'd want a member to enter a phone number into format (###) ###-####, I'd like to specify that on the field so that error entries are not accepted. Our members don't follow the text that explains the field's format. Would also like to set a field's maximum length of data/characters.

  • Cindy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have to concur with my fellow users. Without controls on how data is stored - you get messy data. I spend hours going through exports to clean up phone numbers especially.

  • Goldmine jody commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We do a printed roster so having the contact details stored in the database in a uniform fashion is important. Phone numbers and postal codes especially.

  • RedMountainMakers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'd like to add another vote for this request.

    Within our membership, we have some members for whom second emails (they have an official role email, as well as their personal one) and second phone numbers are required.

    Also US zip codes (we request this in lieu of land addresses - allows us to map membership location while respecting some members' wishes not to make land address information available)

  • Arthur Barton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In Europe in order to be able to collect Membership Fees by direct debit it is necessary to record the IBAN Bank number of members. (There are other safety conditions that need to met but they need not concern us here.)

    The IBAN number has a specific format , for example:

    DE11 7016 9619 0000 0699 99

    Because it such a long alpha/numeric input, spacing the input into groups of 4 characters will help to avoid mistakes and subsequent confusion.

    It would be useful to have a field which has this input format as a pull down option for Bank Account Details.

    Arthur Barton, MELTA Germany

  • Jnelsonmoore commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Adding my vote in favor of edits on form fields. My example: Ability to make an event registration field that accepts only whole numbers. When we register our members for art shows, we always have to go in and edit their entries to make the show labels...very time consuming. Other fields not edited in membership fields make the database messy. For example, initial caps on names and phone number formats.

  • Jarren Kinch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I concur -- validation is an issue for me.

    Fields that could use validation:

    Name -- capitalization rules

    Phone number -- (###) ###-####

    Zip Code -- limit to 5 numerical digits or 5+4

    Email address -- such as a javascript: [a-z0-9!#$%&'*+/=?^_{|}~-]+(?:.[a-z0-9!#$%&'*+/=?^_{|}~-]+)*@(?:[a-z0-9](?:[a-z0-9-]*[a-z0-9])?\.)+(?:[A-Z]{2}|com|org|net|gov|mil|biz|info|mobi|name|aero|jobs|museum)\b

    Other ID -- Our organization is a local chapter of a national organization with membership numbers that are always 5 numerical digits

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