Having a Compulsory Attribute within a Config model

In previous version it was possible to set an attribute up as compulsory - ie the data collector could not move on or save an observation without completing that particular attribute. I don’t seem to see this option any longer in Smart 7 (or is it hidden somewhere I am not seeing it). The attribute I need to make compulsory is a multi-list attribute type (in case that affects the option at all as well) - below is a screenshot of the attribute that I would like to make as a compulsory attribute.

Hi Debby,
The setting to make an attribute required is in the Data Model, not the Configurable Data Model. You should see a ‘Required’ checkbox for that attribute if you check the Data Model.

Thanks Matt. it is only in certain config models that I need it to be compulsory and not in all models. If I set it in the data model section, I am presuming then that it will be compulsory in all config models that it is used?

Hi @DebbyT,

Yes, if you set it as required in the Data Model, it will be required whenever you use that attribute in the configurable models. There are likely potential workarounds, but they may or may not work depending on your context. For example, you could try to use the conditional data entry elements in the configurable model (See page 275 in the Technical Manual). I just tried this with a test attribute that was required - in one category I set it as always enabled and the other I set it as never. I was able to record observations for both. Again, this would be a workaround and is somewhat inelegant, but it may work for you.

Depending on your reporting needs, you could also set up unique attributes with the same values, with one being required and the other not. In your reports, you could then set up a joined dataset with the join on the attribute values (eg, the names).

Thanks Drew, this is the 2nd time the use of Joint datasets has been suggested - so clearly this is something I need to brush up on :). Any idea which of the new manuals I will find information on using joint data sets in? I think I will need to look at this as an option possibly???

@DebbyT You can read more about them in the section 10 (“Table Joins and Hiding and Highlighting Columns”) of the Advanced Reporting Manual.

Not directly related, but the Advanced Reporting Manual also has a tutorial on data cubes. Data cubes are a powerful way to summarize data in table that is more flexible than a standard summary query. Using data cubes you can create tables that would be too large to present in a report if you used a summary table directly.

Excellent - thank you @drew.cronin and @rbergl - will have a look at both and see if they can help achieve what I need to be achieved.

Much appreciated :smile:

Hi Debby,
I also submitted an enhancement request to allow the requirement to be set in the configurable model, as having to manage two separate attributes for the same thing isn’t ideal.

HI Matt. Thank you for that - that is greatly appreciated. Yes, managing the one (and this particular attribute changes repetitively every month), is already a big of a task so remembering to update two different attributes for the same purpose could prove tricky.

Hopefully there will be a way to adjust the setting to be usable in the config model stage and not just the data model stage.

Many many thanks