As we discussed in our Data Types article, the String Data Type has the most Item Formats to choose from. Some of them are pretty straight forward, but many of them require a bit more explanation.
What are the different String Data Types?
Below is a list of the Item Formats that can be applied to a Data Store Item of the String Data Type.
The first, and most straight forward, is the Text Item Format. Text can be made up of alphanumeric characters, punctuation, and anything else you might enter in a text input or text display. These can be used if you need to collect written information from a user in an Entry Field or if you'd like to show a user text in a Display Field.
The Date Time Item Format allows you collect or display a Date and Time in your chosen format. Whether that's dd/mm/yy --:-- or however you'd like to display it.
Similar to the above, the Date Item Format allows you to capture or display a date.
Similar to the above, the Time Item Format allows you to capture or display a time.
The Email String Item Format allows you to capture, display or utilise a String in the form of an email address. You could also capture or display an email using the Text Item Format. So, you should use the Email Item Format if you want Atlas to check and know that the string being input or used is an email address, for example: email@example.com
IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Name. An IDN Email is one that contains not typical character inputs, such as Arabic, Chinese, or Cyrillic. You should use this if you want to allow your users to input an email with non ASCII script.
A Hostname Item Format Item allows Atlas to recognise that the input or display related to a Data Store Item with this Item Format as being linked to a Hostname. A hostname is a label assigned to a device connected to a computer network.
In terms of utilising this Item Format, it could be used when needing a Task to speak to or refer to a device on a network. That might mean a sensor, a communication device, a PC, or any other device connected to a network. You could use this to collect data from a device, send data to it, or any other kind of communication needed between a Task within Atlas and a connected device.
IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Name. An IDN Hostname is one that contains not typical character inputs, such as Arabic, Chinese, or Cyrillic.
This Item Format functions exactly the same as the one above, but allows for IDN formatting.
IPv4 and IPv6
Both of these Item Formats relate to the storing of IP (Internet Protocol) host addresses in binary format. You should use these when collecting or utilising IP addresses as they provide input error checking and specialized operators and functions.
A URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) Item Format allows Atlas to identify logical or physical resources. Unlike a URL which points to a resources location on the internet, such as a webpage, a URI allows a user to encode a resource, such as an image, into a String and place it inline in a web page.
You might want to use a URI to increase load speed in your processes. Rather than displaying an image or video within the process, you can use a URI Item Format to point to a resource hosted elsewhere on the internet.
A URI reference is used to refer to an existing URI without having to use the full syntax of the original URI. As such, this Item Format enables that capability, allowing Atlas users to point at established URIs using a shorter version of the syntax.
IRI and IRI reference
IRI stands for Internationalized Resource Identifier. Much like URI and URI reference above, these Item Formats allows Atlas to identify logical or physical resources, but permits a greatly expanded set of characters to be utilised.
A URI Template is used to specify that a URI includes parameters that need to be substituted before the URI is resolved.
A JSON pointer Item Format is used to designate a String Data Store Item that can be used for accessing values on a JSON document.
Regex is a shortened way of referring to a Regular Expression, a sequence of characters that specifies a search pattern in text. Using a the Regex Item Format allows Atlas to understand that this string is being used to find something.