Building Database

Revision as of 09:42, 9 January 2012 by Helen Foster (talk | contribs) (moving content to Using Database, content moved from Database fields)

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is probably available here: Building Database.

After creating a database, as explained in Database activity settings...

  • Next you define the kind of fields that define the information you wish to collect. For example a database of famous paintings may have a picture field called painting, for uploading an image file showing the painting, and two text fields called artist and title for the name of the artist and the painting.
  • It is then optional to edit the database templates to alter the way in which the database displays entries.
  • Note that if you later edit the fields in the databases you must use the Reset template button, or manually edit the template, to ensure the new fields are added to the display

Database fields

A field is a named unit of information. Each entry in a database activity module can have multiple fields of multiple types e.g. a text field called 'favourite color' which allows you to type in your favourite shade, or a menu called 'state' that lets you choose one from a list of the 50 that make up the United States of America. By combining several fields with appropriate names and types you should be able to capture all the relevant information about the items in your database.

Field name and description

The name is what is shown when an entry is added. It must be unique and short. The description is for your benefit to help identify that field.

Field types

The following screenshots show "before" and "afters" of setting up fields. The selection in orange shows the field as it is displayed for the user when they add an entry.

Checkbox
This allows you to offer checkboxes for the user to select. Add the options one under the other. The word will appear next to a checkbox when the user clicks to add an entry. They can check more than one box.

Checkboxfield1.png

Date
This allows a user to enter a date by picking a day, month and year from a drop down list.

Datefield1.png

File
Users can upload a file from their computer. If it is an image file then the picture field may be a better choice.

Filefield.png

Latitude/longitude
Users can enter a geographic location using latitude and longitude. For example, Moodle HQ is at latitude -31.9545, longitude 115.877. When viewing the record, links are automatically generated linking to geographic data services such as Google Earth, OpenStreetMap, GeaBios,Mapstars and more. (The teacher can choose which of those links appear, if any.)

Latlongfield.png

Menu
The text entered in the options area will be presented as a drop-down list for the user to choose from. Each line become a different option.

Menufield.png

Menu (Multi-select)
The text entered in the options area will be presented as a list for the user to choose from and each line become a different option. By holding down control or shift as they click, users will be able to select multiple options. This is a fairly advanced computer skill so it may be wise to use multiple checkboxes instead.

Multiselectfield.png

Number
This allows users to enter any number. For example:
  • 42
  • -1000
  • 0
  • 0.123
  • 3.0e8
(For those who care about the technical details, the field stores floating point numbers.)

Numberfield.png

Picture
This allows a user to upload and display an image file. "Single view" is when the image is viewed on its own; "list view" is when it is viewed in with other images. Single view can be larger than list view.

Picturefield.png

Radio buttons
The user gets radio buttons and can choose only one. They can only submit the entry when they have clicked on one button. (Note:If you only have two options and they are opposites (true/false, yes/no) then you could simply use a single checkbox instead. However checkboxes default to their unchecked status and so people could submit without actively selecting one of the options. This may not always be appropriate.)

Radiofield.png

Text
Users can enter text up to 60 characters in length. For longer text, or for text that requires formatting such as headers and bullet points, you can use a text area field.

Textfield.png

Text area
This allows users to enter a long piece of text using the text editor.

Textareafield.png

URL
The user can add a link to a website here. If you select autolink then the URL becomes clickable.. If you also enter a forced name for the link then that text will be used for the hyperlink. For example in a database of authors you may wish people to enter the author's website. If you enter the text 'homepage' as a forced name then clicking on text "homepage" will take you to the entered URL.

Urlfield.png