Field creation

What are fields?

A field is a specific data point to be digitized on a template.

A schema field is a universal field created in an account’s field library. It is available to be assigned across multiple templates in the user’s account.

Fields overview

A field is the standard field definition mechanism for all new workflows. Users may create fields in their account field library and place the defined fields across multiple templates. All fields are managed within the field library directly, which increases the ease of field management and compatibility with downstream processes.

For legacy workflows, the field library may not be enabled, and fields are required to be defined and placed onto the template directly. SS&C | Blue Prism Document Automation recommends all new accounts to be configured with fields within the field library.

General field rules and behavior

  • All fields must denote a unique field name and data type.
  • A field applied onto the template will reflect all of the properties as defined in the field library.
  • Schema fields can be reused across different templates. For example, date_signed can be placed across multiple templates as required.
  • Fields cannot be reused across the same template. For example, date_signed cannot be re-used within the same template.

Field placement rules and behavior

  • Fields should be placed exactly in the area where the data of interest is to be captured.
  • Fields can be drawn over spaces with form text, however, form text should be avoided if possible when drawing fields on the template.
  • Fields placed on one version will be automatically placed on all the other versions of the template page. The fields can be moved, resized or made inactive on the versions as needed.

All workflows require a unique Document Automation account login to access templates and fields. When the field library feature is enabled, all schema fields for the workflows will need to be defined in the field library before being placed on any template within the account.

For legacy workflows, the field library feature may not be enabled, and can be configured upon request. Any template created prior to the addition of this feature will not be eligible to have schema fields placed on the page and will maintain its original document definition process. If an old template is required to be associated with the field library, contact a Document Automation staff member.

Field library specifications

The schema field library enables schema field creation under multiple settings. To create a schema field, the following columns must be completed:

  • Field Name – Create a distinct name for each schema field.
  • Data Type – Select the appropriate data type. For example, Medium Text or Select One.
  • Multiple Choice Selection – If it is a Select One or a Select Many data type, list each multiple choice value separated by commas only (no spaces). For example, Male,Female.

Additional features for the field library are available, but are not recommended for use and are better addressed in post-processing:

  • Range Constraint – This specifies a minimum and maximum value allowed (for example, 1,10) for a field with Number data type.
  • Allowed Special Characters – This specifies a comma separated list of special characters permitted in the data returned for a field with Number data type. Eligible characters include “-,+()?$%:".
  • Special Instructions – Specific instructions for a field, which is used for Crowd training. This is for Crowd workflows only.
  • Secure – Setting to send shreds to the Premium Crowd. This is for Crowd workflows only.

Field library actions

The field library can be accessed through the Fields tab in the Navigation bar. Users can begin creating or making edits to schema fields by clicking on the grey pencil in the schema field’s cell. The green checkmark must be selected for changes to be saved. If multiple columns have been updated, the green Save All button can be used to save all changes.

The image shows the Edit a value icon, which looks like a grey pencil.

Edit a value

The image shows the Save your edit icon, which looks like a green checkmark.

Save an edit

The image shows the Revert to the original value icon, which looks like a grey cross.

Revert to the original value

The image shows the Expand the field icon, which looks like a blue right chevron.

Expand the field to show all field placements of each template. The links listed after the template will take the user to the sheet where the schema field has been placed on the template.

The image shows an expanded field that shows all the field placements of each template. There is a blue down chevron next to the field name, highlighted with a red box. Below the field name there is a list of templates under the heading Placements. The templates are also highlighted by a red box.

For other bulk actions, click the checkbox on the top far left to select all the schema fields or click on specific schema field’s checkbox to make those changes. A selection of actions may be made after selecting the grey button at the top right with the three dots (next to Save All):

  • Delete – Remove this schema field from your field library. Please note that this will permanently delete the schema field from the field library and remove all the existing schema field placements on defined templates.
  • Duplicate – Make a copy of any selected schema fields. The new schema field will inherit features from the original schema field and will be named _[original schema field name]_copy_[number]. You can click into that schema field name to rename it.
  • Export – Export all the schema fields in the Field Library into a CSV file.

Field library filters

By Template

Under the Filter by Template section header, individual templates can be selected and will show all associated schema fields. Only schema fields that have been placed on the specific template will appear in the filtered view. By default, the selection is set to All Fields, which shows all created schema fields across all templates. Within the filtered view, new schema fields can still be created, but it will not be exclusive to that specific template. The schema field would still require placement onto a template directly to appear in the field list.

By Field Name

In the Search by Field Name box, individual schema fields can be filtered and identified by schema field name. This can be used to quickly view a specific schema field or to view all schema fields with common name components.

Create and edit fields

How to create fields in the field library

Field creation is done in the field library on the fields tab of your Document Automation platform. There are two methods that you can use to create fields:

OPTION 1: Create fields via UI on the field library

  1. In the field Name column, type in a unique field name.

    If there is already an existing field with that name, the field library will not allow a new one with that name to be created.

  2. In the Data Type column, open the drop-down menu and select the data type for this field.

    This image shows the Fields page where you can add fields to the Field Library. It shows a new field being added with a Name of user_email and a Type of Medium Text.

  3. If it is a Select One or Select Many data type, list the multiple choice values in the Multiple Choice Selection column in the correct order as it appears in the form from left to right, then top to bottom.
  4. To save changes, click the checkmark button (the X to the right of this checkmark will cancel the changes).
  5. Finally, create the field by clicking the green checkmark button from the Name column. The schema field you’ve just created will drop to the last row of the table.

OPTION 2: Add fields via CSV on the field library

  1. Click the ... button at the top right hand corner of the field library to reveal a drop-down menu. Select Export All. This will download the field library CSV.
  2. Open the CSV in your spreadsheet application. It will be titled All Fields - [Day] [Month] [Date] [Year].csv.
  3. Add your field by making edits in the field_name, field_type, and multiple_choice_selection columns.
    1. field_name – Create a unique field name.
    2. field_type – Write the data type of the field in the title case (for example, Medium Text). Please refer to the Data Type Best Practices article to determine the best data type for your field.
    3. multiple_choice_selection – If it is a Select One or Select Many data type, list the multiple choice values in the Multiple Choice Selection column in the correct order as it appears in the form from left to right, then top to bottom.

      The image shows a CSV field with the following columns: schema_field_id, field_name, field_type, multiple_choice_selection, and template. The CSV includes some sample data.

  4. Save the spreadsheet changes.
  5. In the field library, click Import CSV in the ... drop-down menu.

    This image shows the Fields page. The triple dot menu has been selected and a drop-down menu including the following options is displayed: Delete, Duplicate, Import CSV, and Export All.

  6. Browse and select the file to import by clicking the file name and Open. All the field names will now be uploaded into the field library.

    This image shows the select file dialog accessed by selecting Import CSV on the Fields page. The dialog includes a panel on the left to browse the local folder struture. In the middle panel, users can select the desired CSV file. A panel on the right side of the dialog provides details about the selected file. There is a search field on the top right of the dialog and Cancel and Open buttons on the bottom right.

How to edit fields in the field library

OPTION 1: Edit fields via UI on the field library

  1. Locate the field you would like to edit by searching for the field name in the search bar.

    If you know the template for which the field you are wanting to edit is in, you can filter by templates in the left hand corner.

  2. Click the pencil icon next to your field name to open edit.

    You may now edit the field name, change the data type, and create/edit new columns onto your field.

  3. To save your changes in all fields, click the green Save All button in the top right hand corner. For individual field saves, click the green check mark next to the field name.

    To cancel your changes, click the x button in the field name icon. It will revert to your last saved field.

OPTION 2: Edit fields via CSV on the field library

  1. Click the ... button at the top right hand corner of the field library to reveal a drop-down menu. Select Export All. This will download the field library CSV.

    A new CSV must be downloaded in order to see and make the most up-to-date changes to the field library. Field IDs must already be assigned to the field or a new field will be created or prompt failure of the CSV upload.

    This image shows the Fields page. The triple dot menu has been selected and a drop-down menu including the following options is displayed: Delete, Duplicate, Import CSV, and Export All.

  2. Open the CSV in your spreadsheet application. It will be titled All Fields - [Day] [Month] [Date] [Year].csv.
  3. Make the field edits.

    Be sure that the field ID remains the same. You may update the field name, data type or multiple choice selection columns. All other changes will not be processed and may result in the failure of the CSV upload.

  4. Save the spreadsheet changes.
  5. In the field library, click Import CSV in the ... drop-down menu.

    This image shows the Fields page. The triple dot menu has been selected and a drop-down menu including the following options is displayed: Delete, Duplicate, Import CSV, and Export.

  6. Browse and select the file to import by clicking the file name and Open. All the field names will now be uploaded into the field library.

    This image shows the select file dialog accessed by selecting Import CSV on the Fields page. The dialog includes a panel on the left to browse the local folder struture. In the middle panel, users can select the desired CSV file. A panel on the right side of the dialog provides details about the selected file. There is a search field on the top right of the dialog and Cancel and Open buttons on the bottom right.

Multiple Choice Selection setup

If it is a Select One or a Select Many data type, users must list the multiple choice values in the Multiple Choice Selection column in the correct order as it appears in the form from left to right, then top to bottom. If values are listed in column-first order, your data will be returned incorrectly. To avoid incorrect data digitization, please set your values in the correct order.

This image shows how to order multiple choice item values so that they appear in the correct order.

Multiple choice values that appear differently on versions of your template require new fields to be created to account for a different order of values. For example, in this template, Version 1 (left) and Version 2 (right) would require different fields*:

This image shows that to appear differently on different versions of a template, you must create new fields for each version.

*Fields on versions with inactive multiple choice options marked in Support Set Builder will not be affected if they are in the correct order.

Best practices for choosing a data type

Choosing the most appropriate field type helps Document Automation digitize your data as efficiently and accurately as possible. Most fields are recommended to be captured as Medium Text data type by default. Fields are constrained to have one defined data type, so multiple fields should be created for the same field if the data type differs per template/version. The following list describes all the possible data types you may choose from:

  • Text Fields – Text fields allow any characters to be entered for a field.
    • Medium Text – Restricted at 100 characters.
    • Long Text – For multiline or any fields >100 characters.
  • Multiple Choice – Multiple choice fields allow you to capture multiple choice selections as defined by the user.
    • Select One – Constrains the output to one value, and will return --impossible-- if multiple values are selected.
    • Select Many – Allows for multiple values to be captured.
  • Signature – Signature fields indicate the presence of a signature. This data type is used to return the binary value of --signed-- or --blank--.
  • Presence Of Text – Presence of Text fields indicate the presence of text. This data is used to return the value of --text detected-- or --blank--.
  • Blacked Out – Blacked Out fields redact specified sections of a form image for digitization. These fields will remain redacted in the REVIEW interface.

Best practices for field naming

Field names should be created based on context from the form and streamlined to only have the necessary information required. The following guidelines have been created for standard field naming practices:

  • Denote field names as all lowercase letters (for example, Insured’s I.D. Number → insured_id_num).
  • Use an underscore(_) instead of spaces to separate words in a field name (for example, contract name → contract_name).
  • Abbreviate or shorten words to minimize complex field names (for example, Proposed Insured Social Security Number → prop_ins_ssn).
  • Keep consistent names across similar field types:
    • child_dob OR child_date_of_birth
    • prop_ins_ssn AND employee_ssn
    • owner_home_phone AND owner_cell_phone

Examples of field naming:

Form field examples

Append with

Example

Date

_date

plan_start_date

Date of Birth

_dob

prop_ins_dob

Full Name

_full_name

prop_ins_full_name

First Name

_first_name

prop_ins_first_name

Middle Name

_middle_name

prop_ins_middle_name

Last Name

_last_name

prop_ins_last_name

Phone Number

_phone

prop_ins_home_phone

SSN

_ssn

prop_ins_ssn

Full Address

_full_address

prop_ins_full_address

Address (Street, Unit)

_street_address

prop_ins_street_address

Address 2 (Unit)

_unit_address

prop_ins_unit_address

Address (City)

_city_address

prop_ins_city_address

Address (State)

_state_address

prop_ins_state_address

Address (Zip)

_zip_address

prop_ins_zip_address

Form Title

form_title

form_title

Form Code

form_code_pX

form_code_p1

Signature

_sig

prop_ins_sig

Select One – Radiobutton

_select

insurance_a_option_select

[DEPRECATED] Data map: Outlining field requirements

What is a Data Mapping Document?

A Data Mapping Document is a layout of customer data requirements that directly maps the intended fields for capture on a template. This document should outline the input and output requirements as needed by downstream systems. It will denote how the field is expected for capture as defined on the template, how the field should be returned as output, and what transformations will be applied on the transcribed data. Document Automation will return the field as denoted on the template, applying specified enrichments. This document tracks ALL the form field names for template definition. The second half of the table on the right is for Document Automation’s system set up for the provisional field formats and configurations.

Example of a Data Mapping Document

This image shows an example of a Data Mapping Document.

Data map columns

Every field requested for capture should be denoted as a row and should be captured on a template, unless otherwise denoted in the Processing Field column.

Template definition

Column name

Description

Document Automation action

Form Name

The name of the form including the form code.

This name may be used when creating templates.

Form Section No.

The form section.

In large forms the same Form Field Name can be used in multiple sections. The form section can be used to determine which section is being referred to.

Form Field Name

Actual field on the form.

The actual form field name as written on the form.

Field Name

The field name to be returned by READ.

Specific output field name e.g. form_code, page_number_1, or insurer_name. Based on the context of the question.

Data Type

Based on how the data is present on the form itself.

How the field will be captured: Text (medium and long), Select One, Select Many, Date, and Signature.

System setup

Column name

Description

Document Automation action

System Format Requirements

Any special formatting required for the field and how it's completed, for example, mm/dd/yyyy or xxx-xx-xxxx.

Standard post-processing requirements as defined in this column (see below for reference). Additional post-processing can be handled by the downstream system.

Processing Field

Fields that will be captured on the template.

If Yes, READ will capture. If No, READ will not capture the field on form.

System Critical Field

Fields that should be flagged in REVIEW if it is --blank-- or --impossible-- on the form.

If Yes, the field names will be denoted with cr_ and will be flagged in REVIEW if --blank-- or --impossible-- . If No, the field names will not be flagged if --blank-- or --impossible--.

Spillover fields on versions

What are spillover fields?

During the template build process, field variations such as movement or absence of fields require adjustments to be made across all versions of your template page. Another example of field variations that users may encounter is a field on one version of the template page that may spill over onto the version on the subsequent template page.

In this example (below), form CF-A and CF-B are versions of each other. The mobile# field spills over from page 1 of Form CF-A to page 2 of Form CF-B.

This image shows an example of spillover fields. On the left form CF-A has the fields Full Name, DOB, Gender, and Mobile# on page 1, with Address spilling over to page 2. On the right, form CF-2 has the fields Full Name, DOB, and Gender on page 1, with Mobile# and Address spilling over to page 2.

When should I create spillover fields?

Because schema fields can only be used once on an entire template, a field placed on one template page cannot be placed again on the subsequent template page. A spillover field must be specifically created for where the field appears again on a different template page.

Spillover field creation guidelines

  • Create a spillover field named after the original field with a number appended to it. (i.e. owner_signature_2 for the owner_signature field).
  • Verify the spillover field’s data type on all versions are exactly the same.
    • If the spillover field’s data type is different from the original, you’ll need to create a new field to account for the change in the expected values (i.e. gender_select vs. gender_text).
  • Rename the original field by appending the field name with ”_1” to maintain consistency in your field naming conventions.

Spillover field placement guidelines

  • Place the fields on the version where it appears on the template.
  • Don’t forget to inactivate the fields on all the versions on the template pages where the spillover fields do not appear on the sheet.
    • If you add the spillover field to the first version in the template page, deactivate the spillover field you just placed.

Post-processing spillover fields

  • In your data output, you will now have two data items (i.e. mobile_1 & mobile_2). The inactive field from the two will return the result --inactive--. Discard that result and use the other field.

[DEPRECATED] Multiple Choice Field setup

For READ digitization, multiple choice fields require a full support set of all the possible Multiple Choice options present on the template. By providing a support set, the READ engine is trained to visually understand the options marked. This can be accomplished by using the support set builder tool. When a template is machine ready, all digitized shreds will be processed through the READ engine without crowd intervention.

Using the Support Set Builder

The Support Set Builder is a tool used to train the READ engine to capture Multiple Choice fields.

Step 1: Create a Multiple Choice schema field in the field library

The schema field must be first set up in the field library as a Multiple Choice data type and have populated the Multiple Choice Values column.

  1. On the first row of the Fields column, give the schema field a unique name.
  2. Under the Data Type column, click the grey pencil button to edit the data type. Choose either the Select One or Select Many data type from the drop-down menu.
  3. Scroll to the right of the field library to find the Multiple Choice Values column. Click the grey pencil button and input the possible values separated by a comma like so: male,female.

    Please be sure to list the multiple choice values from left to right, then top to bottom as it appears on the field.

  4. Back on the Fields column, click the green checkmark button to save all the changes made from the three column.

This image shows how to create a Multiple Choice schema field in the field library

Step 2: How to access the Support Set Builder

  1. Drag and drop the defined schema field onto the template image. The Multiple Choice schema field should be drawn as a small, tight area around the checkbox to be captured.
  2. Double click the schema field (green box) on the template page image or from the field list in the right panel.
  3. On the schema field details page, locate and click on the blue Support Set Builder button.
  4. In the modal that pops up, a series of support set tools will appear above the schema field image.

    This image shows the different support set tools available in the Support Set Builder.

The Multiple Choice setup for a single schema field is independent from all others schema fields in the sheet, versions in the template, and template pages in the template. This process must be repeated across all versions of the schema field.

Step 3: Create the Support Set

  1. When the modal appears, you will be presented with the first multiple choice option. Either drag an X to make a selection or click the pencil icon to freehand draw your selection.
  2. Use the Next and Previous buttons or the list on the left-hand of the modal to navigate to the other multiple choice options and draw selections.
  3. Click Save All Edits and ensure all selections were saved successfully - a green checkbox should appear by each option. Exit out of the modal.
  4. Repeat for all Multiple Choice schema fields in your template. All values in the schema field must be marked to complete the support set for that schema field.

This image shows the Support Set Builder modal

Best practices using the Support Set Builder

The best practice for Checkbox Support Sets are to utilize the provided X symbol. Be sure to mark the Checkbox area clearly to ensure good data quality. The support set builder is also compatible with different types of multiple choice marks, in which case the pencil icon can be utilized. Here are some examples:

This image shows the recommended ways to mark a checkbox by using the X symbol or using the pencil tool to draw a circle around the selected option.

This image shows some ways that are not recommended to mark a checkbox including putting an X outside the box or drawing a line through an option.

The mark drawn in the Support Set Builder should reflect what is most often seen in Production.

Field readiness tags

In the field list of your Edit Template page, the field readiness tag will appear to the left of the active/inactive tag. It indicates whether the Select One or Select Many field has a completed support set. A multiple choice field that has a Ready tag has a complete support set and will be able to guide READ for which value is marked in the field. If the readiness tag says Not Ready, the data digitized using that field will be returned as an impossible. All other non-multiple choice fields are already Ready and do not require a support set to be built.

This image shows the field list with field readiness tags. Some fields have a Ready tag and some have a Not Ready tag.

Behaviors of calibrated schema fields

After a support set has been built for the schema field on a version, it is important to note that the following actions may affect the field on the overall template.

Resizing/moving schema fields

After schema fields have had their support set defined, the schema fields are ready for digitization. If the schema field is moved or resized, the schema field will lose readiness and will require re-defining.

Moving a schema field even by a pixel will result in lost readiness. Be careful to leave all schema fields as-is after definition.

Duplicating templates

After schema fields have had their support set defined, duplicating templates will copy support sets to the recently created template.

Adding versions

Adding a new version of the template page will require new training for all schema fields in the new sheet. All other versions that have already been set-up in the template will stay as is.

If there are multiple variations of Multiple Choice values across versions, you can add all the possible values for that schema field in the field library. In the Support Set Builder, you may deactivate a multiple choice option that does not appear on the specific version. Otherwise, each multiple choice option on your new version must get calibrated. (Don’t forget to Save All Edits.)

Field library specifications

The Schema Field Library enables schema field creation under multiple settings. To create a schema field, you must:

  • Create a Field Name – Create a distinct name for each schema field.
  • Select a Data Type – Select the appropriate data type. For example, Medium Text or Date.
    • If it is a Select One or a Select Many data type, list each Multiple Choice Selection separated by commas. For example, Male,Female.

Staff settings

Certain features on the Field Library settings and enrichments are currently only configurable by Document Automation staff. Document Automation offers a standard set of data enrichments available upon request.

  • Actions – This link navigates to the Fields Admin pages only accessible to Document Automation staff.
  • Digitization Tier / ML Config option – This shows the digitization tier of the field
  • # of Enrichments – This indicates the number of customizations applied by Document Automation staff.

Standard data enrichments

Document Automation offers a standard set of data enrichments available for implementation. These enrichments are configured by Document Automation staff and can be available upon request.

  • Numbers only – Strip all non-numeric characters from value.
  • Find and Replace – Find specific value(s) and replace with different value(s).
  • Letter Case – Change the case of the value to UPPER, lower, or Title Case.
  • Date Formatting – Return standard date formatting, for example,. MM/DD/YYYY.
  • REVIEW Validation – Results are verified with established rules and flagged in REVIEW if invalid.
  • Required – Field(s)/section will be flagged in REVIEW if --blank-- or --impossible--.
  • Exact Character Count – Field flagged if not an exact number of characters.
  • Email format – Field flagged if email address does not include @ and a period(.).
  • Address – USPS validate whole single-line address, or all individual address components.

If you would like any of these enrichments applied to the template, please contact your Document Automation Customer Success Manager.