Are proxy fields really necessary, or even that useful?

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I am just wanting someone with some in-depth knowledge to help me out with a few pros and cons of using proxy fields. I get the idea behind them, but it seems like proper use of the record picker fields, along with designating any lookup field as a "link to related record" pretty much makes the whole proxy field thing irrelevant. Is there specific situations where proxy fields are a must?


In my app I have Order #, which is what I want users to interact with instead of the record ID. So what I have done is set the first record picker field to show the order#, which allows for searching/index typing in drop downs. I also designated the order# field as a link to related record on all forms. At the moment I can't see a real need for using proxies. 

Thoughts? 
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David Brogdon

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Alex Wilkinson

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I, too, find little use for them, and routinely take steps exactly like the ones you describe. About the only circumstance I can imagine that might be useful would be when: (a) users will want to refer to a record by some field they know well, such as an ID from another system or an email address, and (b) that field is unique, but (c) you as the admin have other reasons for wanting to use Record ID# as the key field. As a related point, I think a proxy that's not unique may be an invitation to user-confusion.
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Proxies are in fact very useful and should almost always be used when the key field of the table is Record ID#.  The exception might be if you are using the [Record ID#] field as the number wheel for say an auto generated Order# or Quote#. 

The purpose of the Proxy field is that you use it on forms for data entry. 

In Edit/ Add mode it will behave as Related Parent so you can select the [Record ID#] of the Parent, but then in view mode, you do not want to expose the meaningless record ID# to the user, so in view mode the proxy field automatically would display Parent Name if that was set as the proxy field for [Related Parent].

You van do this manually on the form by having related parent show in =edit / add and [Parent name] show in view mode, that is clunky and extra steps to se up.  It can also mess you up in Grid Edit to need to expose the [Record ID] to the users. 
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Forrest Parker

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The Edit/Add vs. View mode discrepancy is the reason I use proxy fields.  I'm not sure why Quick Base finds it necessary to display the record ID# in view mode and the useful value in Edit/Add.  If they would simply show same value for all three modes (add, edit, and view), then proxies could probably go away, which would be nice.
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David Brogdon

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I was  not aware of the View Mode discrepancy regarding record picker data. It seems that, because of this one flaw, proxy fields are a necessary evil in this case. I guess I will have to set them for any forms that will require certain data in view mode besides the record ID. 

Thanks for your replies.