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Overview

Fields are containers that capture and store discrete pieces of content. They give structure to sections and their entries, and are used throughout the system to organize content and to work atomically with data. Data sources, for example, use fields to filter, sort, and group result entries, and to selectively output and structure their contents.

A field’s type—e.g. textarea or date—determines how it captures data (as a form input in the entry editor), what kinds of data it can store, and how that data is handled.

Usage

A section’s fields are defined in the section editor (Blueprints > Sections > Create New or Blueprints > Sections > {Section Name}). A field is represented in the section editor by its settings pane.

Once added, fields can be edited, reordered, and deleted in place. It is important to note, however, that once a field has been added it cannot be changed from one field type to another. Sections and their field structures should be planned and tested carefully before entering much content.

Details

Each field is an instance of a generic field type which defines its behavior and the structure of its settings pane. There are eight core field types in Symphony, with additional field types available as extensions (one of which—Select Box Link—is included by default).

Settings Pane

The structure of a field’s settings pane will vary according to its field type, but nearly all fields share a few common settings:

Setting Description Examples
Label How the field should be labeled in forms, interface elements, and XML output. Title, Publish Date
Placement Where the field input should be displayed in the entry editor. Main content, Sidebar
Show column Whether the field should be displayed as a column when viewing entry tables in the admin interface. -
Make this a required field Whether the field should require a value in order for entry creation/editing to succeed. -

The Big Picture

Fields and field types determine both the format of a section’s entry editor and its data source output.

Fields of certain types can be used to create relationships among sections (Select Box Link is one example).

Fields are used as an axis for data source filtering and sorting and to populate data source output parameters.

Related Concepts

Related Articles

Symphony • Open Source XSLT CMS

Server Requirements

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  • PHP's LibXML module, with the XSLT extension enabled (--with-xsl)
  • MySQL 5.5 or above
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  • Apache's mod_rewrite module or equivalent

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