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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.

16 votes
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    Steve VeachSteve Veach shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Dave FDave F shared a merged idea: phone number field  ·   · 

    12 comments

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      • LizLiz 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.

      • SuzanneSuzanne 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

      • CindyCindy 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 jodyGoldmine 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.

      • RedMountainMakersRedMountainMakers 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 BartonArthur 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

      • JnelsonmooreJnelsonmoore 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 KinchJarren 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

      • Evgeny aka Apricot KernelAdminEvgeny aka Apricot Kernel (Product Manager, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think that we need to have some kind of common validation patterns plus ability to use regular expressions. And admin (in fields management form) can choose if he want the field to be validated and choose a proper validation pattern or defined custom (regular expression). Then the system will just validate the field against the pattern.

        In more ideal situation I can think of a special system page (or may just some theme override configuration file?) where admin can control validation patterns himself somehow (e.g. through regular expressions or even providing some js code) and then use them in fields customization. This approach would require advanced skills from administrator.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks for bringing this up Steve.

        I would appreciate comments from others, especially specific examples of fields where validation would be beneficial. So far phone numbers and zip codes have been mentioned.

        Also, some questions:

        1) How to handle validation:

        a) post-input (allow any entry, validate and display error)

        b) display formatting and enforce valid input only. E.g. .'('&[field_for_three_digits]&')-'&[field_for_3_digits]&'-'&[field_for_4_digits]

        2) How to deal when records are imported

        3) How to deal with records already in the database

      • Dave FDave F commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        it would be nice to have a phone number field that would correct format numbers instead of having a free form text field resulting in several different formats.

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