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Using Custom Fields in Active Forums 4.3

by Will Morgenweck on 20 Sep 2010 09:50 PM

One of the problems I have always had about with using a forum to handle customer support is not being able to structure or frame the initial request.  A help desk allows you to capture certain fields and ask questions before a request is submitted.  These questions help the support person better understand the context of the request and possibly answer the question with the first reply.  When using a forum for customer support we have to hope that a customer will read (and remember) the pinned topic that explains what is expected when submitting a new topic.  Very few people pay any attention to pinned topics.  

Over the years I have witnessed customers using forums for basic discussions, customer support, work order management, project tracking and many other creative uses.  Many of these hybrid forum implementations work pretty well but they would work even better if they could structure the content.  

With Active Forums 4.3 you can structure content with tags, categories and now, custom properties.  Our Active Social customers that have used custom properties with groups will find custom properties in Active Forums very familiar.  Custom Properties are defined per forum and allow for plain text, yes/no or custom list.  





Once the properties are defined, they will then appear when a user creates a new topic.  The fields are also template based so you can customize the layout the way you like.  



As you can see in the screen capture above, we have required properties for the version of DotNetNuke and Active Forums.  Now when we create our topic we will be able to display the property values along with the rest of the usual content.  Again, the output is also template based so you can style and adjust the layout to meet your needs.



The next step would be adding the ability to filter and search based upon the custom fields, but we need to save something for Active Forums 4.4.
Tags: News

    11 Comments for Using Custom Fields in Active Forums 4.3

    Frozen DNN
    Frozen DNN
    21 Sep 2010 01:06 AM

    Nice!!!
    Steven Webster
    Steven Webster
    21 Sep 2010 07:32 AM
    www.overlooktechnologies.com
    I'm pretty excited about what this can do.
    Duane
    Duane
    21 Sep 2010 09:09 PM

    Me too, nice feature Will.
    rlively
    rlively
    24 Sep 2010 02:09 PM

    When is activeforums 4.3 going to be released? I just purchased today, but the download was to Active Forums 4.2.7.0.
    Will Morgenweck
    Will Morgenweck
    24 Sep 2010 02:12 PM
    www.activemodules.com
    We haven't set a release date yet, but it shouldn't be too much longer.
    Jozef
    Jozef
    12 Feb 2011 02:15 PM

    How can I create the list for that field? I have "Data Type" value in Choose List only? I found this post as well, but that hasn't helped as well. http://www.activemodules.com/active...ck-editor/
    Ray Dixon
    Ray Dixon
    13 Feb 2011 11:40 AM

    You need this module: http://portallists.codeplex.com/
    Jozef
    Jozef
    13 Feb 2011 12:12 PM

    Thanks Ray. I installed PortalList and saved two lists. Actually when I saved the list I got the error, but the list has been created.

    1) When go to forum there is no new list showed, only DataType. Do I need to do something additional?

    2) How can delete the unnecessary Property Item?

    Thanks.
    Ray Dixon
    Ray Dixon
    13 Feb 2011 12:49 PM

    When you select List in the Data Type you should then be able to select the list you want to use for the values in the Choose list drop down.
    I think that at this time there is no way to delete a custom field using the UI. You can edit the SQL data directly to remove a custom field, but that can be dangerous and is unsupported.
    Jozef
    Jozef
    13 Feb 2011 05:07 PM

    1)Yep. That's the point. I can't the list in DropDownList. Could it be because of this error? I created the post on PortalList site: http://portallists.codeplex.com/dis...ons/245881
    2)Delete, I can live with it for a while :)
    Ray Dixon
    Ray Dixon
    13 Feb 2011 05:16 PM

    I don't know what's going on for you. Hopefully, one of the AM folks can chip in.
    test
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