Add Dependencies to an Existing Project Management Application

Often one task can't start until another finishes. If this is true of your process, you can let Quick Base track these dependencies for you, with a Predecessor field. Pre-built project management applications come with this feature built in and working. But, if you crafted your own solution, you can easily add predecessors to it. A Predecessor field requires at least two Work Date fields:

  • Start Date. Must be a Work Date field. (You'll learn how to set this up in a minute.)

  • End Date. This must be either a Work Date field (if you want users to manually enter an end date) or a Formula - Work Date field (if you want to use a Duration field to calculate the end date).

  • Duration. (Optional) This is a Numeric field in which users enter the number of days that a task or event lasts. If you want to use a Duration field then your End Date field should be a Formula - Work Date type field that is calculated by Quick Base, based on entries in Start Date and Duration.

If you have these fields in your application already, you can tweak them to work with a Predecessor field. If you don't, you can add them. In either case, follow the steps below to add the predecessors feature to your application.

To add dependencies to an existing application:
  1. Open the application that you want to feature dependencies.

  2. Open a table from the Table bar, click , then click above Fields.

  3. In the Field Label box, enter a name for the Predecessor field.

    Usually, a name like Predecessors or something close to it works the best. Enter whatever descriptive name helps your users identify this field's job as a link to the task that precedes the one they're working in.

  4. From the Type list, select Predecessor, and then click Add.

    If prompted, be sure to add this field to forms. If you're not prompted, be sure to do it later. (Values in a field will not display until it is added to a form and/or a report.)

  5. Note: You can only have one predecessor field per table.

  6. Create or edit the Start Date field.

    Regular Date fields don't work with dependencies. If you don't yet have a Start Date field, create one and make its type Work Date. If you have an existing Start Date field, you must change its type from Date to Work Date. To do so, use the Change Type link on the Field Properties tab. Click the Select a field type dropdown and choose Work Date. Click Change Type.

    Note: The Work Date field type does not appear in the list of field types until you create a Predecessor field. That's because Work Date and Predecessor fields work together, and it doesn't make sense to create a Work Date field by itself.

  7. (optional) Format the Duration field.

    If you don't want to use a Duration field, skip to Step 8. In order for your Duration field to work correctly, it must be Numeric. If it's not, use the Change Type link as described in the previous step to change the field type to Numeric. You'll use this field to record the number of days a task or event lasts.

  8. Format the End Date field.

    If you want users to manually enter the end date, create or edit the End Date field so that its type is Work Date.

    If you want to use a duration field and have Quick Base calculate the end date, do the following:

    1. Edit or create the end date field so that its type is Formula - Work Date.

    2. In the Formula - Work Date field options section of the properties screen, select Use the End Date formula builder as the Formula.

    3. Within the Start date field dropdown, select the Start Date you configured in Step 6.

    4. Within the Time span field dropdown, select the Duration field you configured in Step 7.

    5. Click Save.

    Note: Quick Base automatically calculates the end date for a task based on a five-day work week. To include weekends in the calculation, turn off the Work week is Monday - Friday checkbox.

  9. Configure the Predecessor field.

    Open Predecessor field's properties page (read how). Within the Predecessor field options section, select the Start Date field and End Date field you set up in the preceding steps and click Save.  

Note: If you have customized one or more forms for this table, be sure to add the new dependency fields to them. Read how. (Multiple forms for a table are not available to accounts on the Quick Base Essential plan.)


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