Designating a Reference Proxy

Once you've created a relationship (what's a relationship?  How do I create one?) you may find that the reference field doesn't show the information you want. For example, when you display a record or report, the field shows the Record ID# instead of listing the company name. How can you make it show information that means something to your users, like the Company Name?

Numbers are a common sight in reference fields because Quick Base uses the master table's key field (which is usually numeric and random, like Record ID#) to link the tables together (read more about reference fields). When the key field's a number, it must appear in the reference field, there's no getting around it. However, you don't need to use the reference field in reports and on forms. Instead, Quick Base lets you select a proxy field. Use this feature to specify that another field containing more user-friendly information should look and act like the reference field when you edit a record or activate grid edit. For example, instead of Record ID#, use the Company Name field. You then use this proxy field in reports and forms instead of the reference field. The best part? You can still use the field to select values from a master table or to access the master record. In a nutshell: when you edit, the proxy field acts like a reference field, and when you display a record or report, the proxy acts like a lookup field. It's the best of both worlds.

Before - The reference field (Related Artist) shows only the Record ID numbers for each artist record. To show the artist names, you must add a lookup field, like Artist-Last Name (shown on the right).

After - After you specify that the lookup field should serve as a reference proxy, you can get rid of the reference field in forms and reports. The proxy field offers the same edit functions that the reference field did. Click one of its values to open the related master record or switch to grid edit and click a name to select a different artist.

You set up a proxy field within the field properties of the relationship's reference field. The reference field is always in the table on the details side of the relationship.

To designate a reference proxy:
  1. Access the field properties of the relationship's reference field.

    Tip: Need help locating the reference field in question? In a table's list of fields, all reference fields have a reference label in the Info column.

  2. Select a proxy field.

  3. Click Save.

  4. Add the proxy field to reports and forms.

Tip: What if the Last Name field isn't enough? Maybe you want to see the first name too, so users know exactly which record they're selecting. No problem. To do so, just create a formula field that combines values from the First Name and Last Name fields. Then select that formula field as your proxy field.

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