When you're building a form on Senta, you can give each field a name, or "Field reference", to use across the application. If you don't, Senta will look after the field itself, without a name.

However there are two very good reasons why you should give some of your fields your own name:

  1. if you want to refer to the field in an email, text message or in other messages on Senta

  2. if you want to use the same field on two different forms.   

To learn more about field references and placeholders, take a look at our guide here.

Using fields in emails

If you give the field a name, you can there refer to that field in email placeholders. Instead of writing something like:

Dear client,

Your year end is coming up soon, so please upload your documents

you can send something much more friendly. Firstly, name the year-end date field “yearend” and then you can automatically send emails like this:

Dear {to.name},

Your year end is coming up on {client.yearend}, so please upload your documents as soon as possible after that.

It's much more friendly and useful. Some of the placeholders are predefined (you can find a list of them in the knowledge base) but if you give a field a name you can use it as a placeholder too.

Using the same field on two forms

The second good reason for naming fields is that you can then capture exactly the same field on two different forms. I don't mean a field that looks like another one – you could always put the same sort of field on two forms and give it the same title, etc.

No, I mean actually the same field: what you type in the field in one form will appear in the field on the other form.

This might seem like an unusual thing to want to do, but you might find it quite useful.

For example, suppose you want to have different client take-on forms for, say, limited companies and partnerships. You might want to capture their year-end date, and use it in standard emails as above.

Senta doesn't make you fill in every form when you first add a client. We do this so that it's really quick to add a new client record. If you know the details, then you can enter them, but we don't force you to fill in every field.

So, if you want to make sure that certain data is filled in, you can add a field to another form and call it the same name on both. On the second form, you can make it a required field. You can fill in the field on either the client form, if you have the details, or you'll have to on the other form. Typically, the other form would be filled in as part of a client take-on job.

Another good reason would be just for ease of use. Sometimes it makes sense to ask for the same piece of information at different times. By giving the fields the same name on all the forms where it appears you can achieve this.