That search/select feature should still be available for those who are not sure of which value to enter, but those who do know would like to be able to essentially skip those steps and simply enter in the value into the box.
Is there some way to accomplish this? Normal multiple-choice dropdown lists have this capability (where you can just type and it auto-fills a valid value as you type), but I cannot seem to find something similar for a reference field. I've tried using the "Use a record picker instead of a drop down menu" property, but it behaves as a record picker regardless of that setting (probably because there are so many records).
You have have your existing relationship, leave it in place, but do not base any lookup fields on that relationships. It will be used for the "usual" drop down box / record picker data entry method.method.
Make a new data entry field called [Direct Entry]
Also make a new formula field called [Related Parent (final)].
The formula will be something like
IF([related parent regular method] > 0, [related parent regular method], [Direct Entry])
Now, make a new relationship to the parent based on [Related Parent (final)].
So then the use can use the drop down, or the direct entry and then the lookup will be off that formula result of those two fields. All your lookups need to come off the relationship using [Related Parent (final)].
Either way, wouldn't this require two fields on the form? One for manual entry ([Direct Entry]) and another for the record-picker ([Related Parent Regular Method]). I'm building the app for users who are not the most tech-savvy to begin with and I imagine having two fields for the same input value will most likely confuse them.
But you are right, there is not a feature to dynamically offer choices when you have more than 1,000 records.
The only other off the wall idea if you prefer the drop down list, but have more than 1,000 choices is to contrive a way to limit the drop down to under 1,000 records via a conditional drop down. if you had any interest in that, i can describe further. With a drop down if you type quickly enough, it will position you to the, for example
az's if you type az , so you would be dynamically positioned to closer to your choice depending on how many characters you type..
I'll have to see whether they are okay with this setup or if they'd rather stick with record-picker-only, but I think I'm going to try your original suggestion with a little twist.
Here's what I'm thinking:
The [data entry] and [record-picker] fields will be placed side by side on the form within the same section by themselves to highlight the fact they go together. Then using form rules I'll make it so that when the [record-picker] is used and an item is selected it will populate the [data entry] field then immediately clear itself. So the result regardless of how the value was entered will always be a populated [data entry] field, an empty [record-picker] field, and populated lookup fields (assuming a valid entry was entered).
Conceptually it's sort of like how date fields have that little calendar button within them that you can click on to bring up a selection popup and then once something is selected it populates the field's entry portion. Ideally I'd have more control over the form and turn the [record-picker] field into a little box or something and place it flush against the [data entry] field to better mimic that, but I suppose this will have to do. Hopefully that made sense.
Then for validation I'd just have a rule that looks at a resulting lookup field and if there's no data in the lookup field then I can assume that an invalid value was entered and prevent the save from occurring.
A bit messier than I'd like, but we'll see what they go for. Thanks for the suggestion.
Type-ahead search picker
We’re working on a type-ahead search for records that will reduce time and frustration for those with large datasets. With our current record picker, you have to scroll through up to 1,000 records to find the one you want. With our new record picker, you can search by typing to narrow down your results.Because our new record picker doesn’t support conditional drop-downs, we’re looking for early access participants that don’t have conditional drop-downs. We’re also looking for individual apps rather than realms to test out this feature.