Best way to create a "tagging" / "category" search system?

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I have a field titled categories where I would like the user to be able to select more than one item in the field. This could be a solved by a drop down list where multiple items can be selected but Quickbase does not offer this functionality. (Attention Quickbase: Your competitor PipelineDeals does offer a "Picklist - multiple selections" field. This would be trivial to add and very handy.)

Without the ability to add a "multi select" dropdown, I need to find another way to create a multi-select categories field. To jump to the chase: is there any way to mimic the functionality found in the attached picture? The picture is taken from this very forum, when asking a new question (creating a new post) on the Quickbase Community forum there is a section on the post called Add Topics where the user "tags" related topics. As the user types in keywords, or tags, the system recognizes tags that have been entered before. (See the picture for clarification).
Photo of Jack


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Posted 6 years ago

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Photo of Jack


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I could create my own tagging system simply with a textbox. The user would then type in keywords/tags into the textbox separated by commas.

However, this is problematic. The users will forget what keywords/tags have already been entered into the system and create multiple variants for the same tag. Furthermore, they will inevitably misspell tags, and the entries associated with these tags will be lost in the system.

A multi-drop down box is handy because one sees all the tags entered previously, and can easily select multiple if needed.

I foresee no solution to my problem without either: a novel programming approach, or added functionality to Quickbase. I hope that this case will spur further development – or that kind community member could point out a programming solution.
Photo of Brian


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My only thought is that you could create a series of checkboxes for the different tags that you want available.  One checkbox field per tag.  Or possibly a set of multiple choice fields with the same choices in each field and the option to "allow new choices" turned on.  Multi-choice fields remember the custom entered choices for others to use.  Then create a "combo" field using a text formula that does [Field 1]&", "&[Field2]&,", "&....  .  That will merge all the fields into one for each sorting or filtering in reports or display on view-versions of the form.
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David Reeves

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I'm running into the same issue. It would be great to see QuickBase solve this problem!
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Ⲇanom the ultimate (Dan Diebolt), Champion

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This is not hard to do with script. I can think of dozens of ways to do this. One of the traps people fall into is thinking all data should be placed in a record in a table. If the tagging data you are dealing with infrequently changes it may well be easier to not store the tag data in table records but rather store the data in a user defined page or a single file attachment field. For example a chart of accounts ( may infrequently change and could be stored in a user defined page (csv, xml, json etc) and introduced into a form's selection options using script. In fact if the tagging data comes from an external source as a file that updates occasionally it may be substantially easier to just upload the new file and not have to worry about creating, updating or deleting individual records in a table. This simple chart of accounts could be easily stored in a text file and used for selections on forms without using a related table:

ASSETS Current Assets (10000-19999) 10000 Cash10100 Accounts Receivable10101 Allowance for Doubtful Accounts10200 Notes Receivable10300 Interest Receivable10400 Service Supplies Non-Current Assets (20000-29999) 20000 Leasehold Improvements20100 Furniture and Fixtures20101 Accumulated Depreciation – F&F20200 Service Equipment20201 Accumulated Depreciation – SE LIABILITIES (30000-39999) 30000 Accounts Payable30100 Notes Payable30200 Salaries Payable30300 Rent Payable30400 Interest Payable30500 Unearned Revenue30600 Loans Payable OWNER'S EQUITY (40000-49999) 40000 Mr. Gray, Capital40100 Mr. Gray, Drawing INCOME (50000-59999) 50000 Service Revenue50100 Interest Income50200 Gain on Sale of Equipment EXPENSE (60000-69999) 60000 Rent Expense60100 Salaries Expense60200 Supplies Expense60300 Utilities Expense60400 Interest Expense60500 Taxes and Licenses60600 Depreciation Expense60700 Doubtful Accounts Expense 70000 Income Summary
Photo of Carolyn


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Unfortunately that doesn't solve the problem. The list expands on a per user basis so a read-only file won't work. Also, your answer assumes that I know what xml or scripting is. The reason I use/like QuickBase is because I don't know the programming/technical side and don't need to. I really think this needs to be internal to the application.
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Michael Barrow

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