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For those of you who are familiar with the Analytic App creation process, you know that you have many choices in the type of input you can provide to your users. What you may not know is that when dealing with a very common selection, the field map function, you can actually make one or all fields optional simply by adding the text '(Optional)' to the end of the field name.
First, let's cover what the field mapping function actually is. When you add a new File Browse question in your analytic app there is an additional option that allows you to generate a field map for a specific input. What this means is that rather than adding a question and action for each field you wish to map (which could be very cumbersome), the Generate Field Map option will automatically create these inputs based on your specified input tool. This is really helpful when you have specific field names and types for your app inputs.
Let's say we have an app that requires Address, City, State, and Zip, but we would like to add Zip4 as an optional input. With the Generate Field Map function, all we need is an input file that has all of these fields, with one exception. Since we want the Zip4 field optional, we simply add the text '(Optional)' to the end of the field name, so the field structure looks more like this:
The final result is an application that gives you an easy input method with options!