Field names and labels

A field name is a required element. You assign a field name in the Field Properties box when you create the field. You an also create a field label outside the field. A field label is descriptive text you create that appears with or covers the field on the form, and helps the user understand the field. Label text might name a field -- for example: To, From, Author, Subject, or Date. Or it might describe a user action -- for example, "Enter a product name."

Naming a field

A field name must begin with a letter and can include letters, numbers, and the symbols _ and $. The name can contain up to 32 bytes. (If you're using multibyte characters, remember that 32 bytes is different than 32 characters.) Use short, descriptive field names that you will remember when you write formulas that refer to the fields.

Field names cannot contain spaces. Run multiple words together, for example, ModifiedDate, or separate them with an underscore: Modified_Date. The Domino® Designer templates use the naming convention of an initial capital letter followed by lowercase letters, for example, SendCopyTo.

If several fields on forms in a database contain similar information, for example, the date of creation and the author's name, use the same field name for all of them. This makes sharing information between forms easier as you continue to develop the application. Establishing and maintaining naming standards simplifies application design throughout your organization.

Renaming a field

Unlike forms and views that can have aliases, a field can have only one name. Renaming a field has the same effect as deleting a field from a form. For example, if you have a field called "Comments," and users enter text into many instances of this field in documents, and you then rename the field to "Observations," all of the data in "Comments" will no longer appear when you display the document. If you must rename a field and need to transfer data, create a new field, create and run an agent to reassign data to the new field, then delete the old field. Remember to update all formulas to refer to the new field name.