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Use Connections in Your App

Danielle Kellogg Updated by Danielle Kellogg

Connections in the Builder

This information is referenced in the About Connections article. If you're just getting started, be sure to start with that article first. This article provides detailed information on the ways you can implement and use connections in your app.

Using Connections with Records

Once you have added your connection and defined how your connection works with your objects, now you can connect your records together.

It is important to note that connecting two objects together does not automatically connect the records in those object. These will need to be individually connected by assigning those connection field's values.

Connection fields work like lookups, sometimes called dropdowns, so when you edit a record, you can use that field to look up which record(s) to connect it to.

Here's an example of connecting a specific contact record to a company record:

Each company record will be available in that dropdown to connect the contact record to.

Display Fields

When editing a connection field, the records from the connected object show in a dropdown with the value from that single field. This is called the display field and each object has a designated display field.

You can change this field by updating the display field for that object. With the object selected in the Schema or Records tab select the "..." more options icon at the top of the Builder. There you will be able to change the Display Field setting. In the example below, the connection's display field is the Company Name field.

The display field value will then appear in any connection fields that work with that object:

If you notice your connection field displaying "Undefined" instead of the connected record. Go to the display field of the connected object, change it, save, and change it back to what you want. You will now see the connected record display properly in the original object. 

Importing

You can define connections when importing new records into your app. This is done by matching against a common value during your import. For example, if you are importing Employee records, you could connect each Employee to a Company by using a column like "Company Name" to match against a company record and connect to that record.

Calculate Sums, Averages, and Formulas on Connected Records

Formula fields are special fields that run calculations on connected records and stores the result.

For example, you could store the count of students connected to a class, or the average sale connected to an employee.

Click here for more on formula fields.

Include Connected Values in Equations

Equation fields can include values from connected records. This allows you to include values from connected objects in your calculations. When adding fields to an equation in the equation field editor you will notice connected records listed in the field dropdown. The example below shows Vendor fields connected to the Line Item object, denoted as Line Items > Vendors.

Click here for more on equations.

Connections in the Live App

Display Connected Records in Your Live App

One of the best ways to use connections is to show connected records in your Live App. For example, we could show any contacts connected to a single company:

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When you add a view on any details page, you'll see options for displaying these connected records:

Click here for more on displaying connected records.

Add Connected Records with Forms

Similar to the example above, you can also add a form view to add a connected record. When you add a new record with a form, that connection is automatically set based on the parent record being viewed.

Combine Connected Records in Views

When you display records in a view (such as a table or list), you can include fields from other connected records.

Any connected objects will be listed above the current fields in a drop-down list. Click the small drop-down arrow to open that list and select another object:

In the example above, you could include fields from the company record each contact record is connected to.

Use Dynamic Dropdowns in Forms

You can use connections to two objects to set up dynamic drop-down lists, like having a country selection automatically update the list of available states/provinces connected to that country:

When you have both connections on your form, you can set the second connection to use the first. Hover over the connection input in the form and click the edit "pencil" icon:

You can learn more about using dynamic dropdowns in your forms in our support article here.

When displaying a connection field in a view, you can display those values as links to view more details about each connected record. In order to add these links, a page capable of displaying details of that record will need to exist. Click on the connection field when editing the view to update the following:

  • Connection Separator
    • Determines how each value in the connection field will display. Options include Comma-separated, or New Line.
  • Connection Link
    • Allows you to choose an existing page for the object the connection links to. Adding a link will make each value its own separate link to view more information about that record.

In the following example, the Company column has the Connection Link set to a company details page so each company can be clicked to view more details:

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