💡 In this guide:
Dropdown lists are great as they allow users to choose from a range of options. But what happens when there are too many options to choose from, or when the options showcased are not relevant enough?
By using Dependent Fields in Atlas Play, we can make sure that we only display relevant values to users in Cascading Dropdown Lists, based on previous values entered.
What are Cascading Dropdown Lists?
Cascading Dropdown Lists in Atlas Play allow you to show values based on the selection made in a previous dropdown field.
For example, a company is working on a new project which depends on specific roles and users within those roles. By giving an initial option to select the desired role, it is then possible to choose a specific user within that role without having to sift through irrelevant data.
This allows you to create smarter processes, with more accurate and consistent data displayed to users.
How to use Cascading Dropdown Lists
When mapping a process, you will be able to add an External Call Select Option Field to forms. This enables the creation of Cascading Dropdown Lists, with the selection made in the first field determining the data displayed in the next field.
Let's say we want to be able to look at what players are in specific teams of different sports. If a first set of data allow us to choose the sport, the second data sets shows the team and is populated depending on the value of the first one. After choosing a sport and a team, we are able to see a list of relevant players based on the selection.
To achieve that result, in a selected user task we are going to add three Select Option Fields (Remote): Sport, Team and Player.
As you will see, Sport and Team can't be deleted because they both have a Dependent Field (Team and Player, respectively).
In our configuration of the Select Option Field (Remote) we are calling all relevant data sets, starting with Sport.
Once Sport is set, we are going to call the second data set: Team. Here, it's important to select Sport from the Depends On dropdown. This will make sure these two sets of data are connected, and that the Team data set is displayed only after having selected the Sport.
After that we are ready to add the Player and making sure that Depends On has Team selected.
After adding the URLs to the Select Option Field (Remote) it's important to add the Querystring Parameter setup for each field, as we need to send the data returned in the preceding call with the next call in order to retrieve the desired data.
The Querystring Parameter will need the pipeline key to work. A different key could help to draw the distinction there.
The Querystring Parameters will look like this for the Team field:
And will look like this for the Player field:
Now that the scene has been set, we are ready to run the process.
How Cascading Dropdown Lists work in Running Tasks
Once you have set up your External Call Select Option Fields in Map, it's time to go to Run.
Within your task, only the first dropdown field will be active. All other Dependent Fields will be activated only after the first one has been completed, in a clean and structured data hierarchy.
In this example, you can see that the Sport dropdown is the only active dropdown to start with.
After the choice has been made, for example selecting Football, it's time to choose a Team.
That will allow users to select a Player of that specific Team.
Once all selections have been made, it's possible to complete the task.
As you can see, this opens up many possibilities within the options that we want to display the users and that we want them to select. What could only be achieved with two different tasks before, is now immediately available within one single task.
Cascading Dropdown Lists Scenarios
a. In an Additive Manufacturing project we have a requirement for the selection from a Select Option List (Remote) field to be available as a filter for a following list on the same task.
The filtered selection would look a lot like this:
Select Order Number (based on selected Customer)
Select Part Number (based on selected Order Number for the specific Customer)
AM Build Number
This enables a clear and error-free process based on the needs of the customer.
b. In a Defect Management process used to drill down through different levels to categorise a defect, we would see something similar to this:
Select high level defect type
Select next level defect type
And so on, depending on the accuracy
In this specific process, we could drill down further for many levels. This allows structured and accurate description of the defect with as many details as needed.
In a Sale process interfacing with an external database of leads, the selection for the salespeople would be:
Select Master Campaign
Select Regional Campaign based on the Master Campaign
See relevant leads and documents
This is a quick and smart way for salespeople to have a relevant list of leads when making calls, removing the need to sort through tons of irrelevant data.