Understanding Metadata

Chris Quiroz -

This article will what through what Metadata is within FluidReview and how you can add it to your site. 

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What is metadata?

Metadata is a special set of custom data that you can implement in your site.  It can be used to gather or apply extra data for different aspects of your site, such as submissions or users.

Metadata within FluidReview can be very useful when you want to apply or keep internal notes on those site aspects.  


Basic examples of this include:

Building a user profile with metadata through triggers and piping applicant responded their address is 123 Fake st., a trigger populates the “address” metadata field for the user as 123 Fake st.,


Adding metadata based on inferred information (an applicant indicates they attend school in Boston, Massachusetts, a trigger has been set up to correlate their location by country, it populates the “Country” metadata field with “United States”).

Once again these are just some examples, there is a list of where and how metadata can be used in your site below!


Adding Metadata

In order to add new metadata onto the site,

  1. Click Configure your site
  2. Click Metadata
  3. Click on the indicated Add Button to add a Metadata field

You will then be prompted to fill out the following fields:


This can, and should, be as specific as you like.  For example “address 1” and “address 2” versus “main address of residence” and “secondary residence”.  All four are acceptable entries, but any extra clarification you can offer yourself is highly recommended.

Data Type*

This refers to the metadata’s entry format, in fact there are seven different methods that metadata can be entered and reflected on your site.  It is important to note that as an administrator you also retain the ability to manipulate or change a metadata field’s content at any time from the Manage pages:

Data Type Description
Text Entry

  • A text entry field will allow an admin to associate data in text format either at the submission or user level.
  • Can be entered manually via admin, or updated via a trigger’s add metadata action (accepts both piping or manually entered field)
Single Choice

  • A single choice field will allow the admin to associate data either at the submission or user level from a dropdown list.
  • The admin will choose the data they want to associate from a dropdown list

Email Address

  • An email address field will let you associate an email at the submission or user level


  • A number field will allow you to associate a number at the submission or user level
Decimal number
  • A decimal number field will allow you to associate a decimal number at the submission or user level
Identifier (numbers, letters, hypens)
  • An identifier field will let you associate identifiers (a combination of numbers, letters, hypens) at the submission or user level
  •  A URL field will let you associate a URL at the submission or user level

Setting a Default Value

This is an optional metadata setting, and should typically be used if the metadata field you create should never be blank.  It is important to note that updating metadata manually means you can change the full content, or add on to the existing content.  If you are relying on triggers to populate metadata, the existing metadata will be overwritten 100% of the time.   

This can be used to your advantage when trying to build an accurate and current applicant profile, for example.  In case of manually updating, it can be very useful to update these fields yourself when an applicant has submitted the wrong information and no longer has access to the original task to make changes, such as a deadline being passed.

Select a Target*

This will determine where your current metadata field gets applied.  Once again there are a total of 7 choices available to admins setting this up, but the biggest difference here is the Target type is a checkbox style selection.  Your metadata field can be created for multiple targets.  Here are the seven options, with some examples:


Target Description
  • If you select Users you will be able to associate metadata at the user profile level
  • Examples include country of residence, user address, or phone number.  Typically items that only need to be recorded once are included here.
  • If you select Submissions you will be able to associate metadata at the submission level
  • Examples include School Year, Current Sponsors, Annual Budgets.  Typically items that should be recorded per-submission are used here.
  • This metadata type is typically used on its own, its primary purpose is for process automation, site configuration, and organization
  • Examples of award metadata would include award group types such as 501c3 compliant organization awards, awards for a specific subset of applicants such as high school students, or for a personal touch that helps you keep track such as 2016 cycle.
  • Like awards, team metadata is also typically used on its own, however it is a legacy option and very rarely used in the current iteration of FluidReview.  We don’t recommend making use of it as there are alternative ways to keep track of teams.
  • Like both Awards and Teams, this is a Stand Alone option, however it is also very underused and situational.  Generally this metadata type does not need to exist within the site, and we do not recommend its use on the current version of FluidReview.
  • This is a general use metadata type, the ‘transaction’ title is more like a label in this case.  We recommend using this metadata field to populate dollar amounts and is best used for organisational purposes
  • Submissions data is capable of being piped into metadata fields that target Transactions. Transaction metadata can also be text entry or choice fields so that admins can enter transaction-specific information.
  • The installments field is similar to the Transactions field in that it is typically used for organizational/personal purposes.
  • Also like the Transaction metadata, submission data may be piped into installment metadata, these fields can be set up as text entry or choice fields as well.

Required Field*

Setting your metadata as a Required Field is used for user metadata, and will force applicants who are registering to fill out this field, and any existing users on the site will need to add a response to this field on their user account settings page before they can save any other changes there.  If your metadata has a Default Value it will count as being ‘filled out’, so these two settings should not be used together.

Multi-line Text*

Enabling Multi-line Text on your metadata will increase the size of the metadata field when you are viewing it, exactly like the Text response question type within forms.  Normally the text entry field metadata type is a single line, this setting expands it so that more text can be visible at one time, which is useful when piping fields such as essay responses or full addresses.

Read Only Field*

Setting your Metadata field as a Read only Field will lock the current response from being edited by the end-user.  As an administrator you would retain the ability to edit from the Manage pages.  This setting should be enabled if you want to show the metadata field to the user without allowing them to make changes to it via locations such as the Account Settings.

Sensitive Information*

Indicating your Metadata as Sensitive information will cause the entered value to be hidden by asterisks ( ***** ) after it has been answered.  This will remain visible to you, the administrator, and can be pulled into reports as well where needed.


Finally, once you have selected all relevant settings and entered all required information for your Metadata, hit Save at the bottom of the page to finalize the field.  You will be brought back to the previous page where you can see your newly created metadata.



Using Your Newly Created Metadata*

Now that your Metadata has been created and added to the site, we can begin assigning values to metadata. Depending on the metadata Target you chose, the location where metadata exists and can be edited will be available from different locations.

For Metadata where Submissions is a selected Target you can view this in the Manage Applications/Submissions page.  This is the page that lists all of the existing submissions under a specific group (the label for this page in your site may be different, based on the name of the applicant group or groups).

Through the Columns dropdown on this page, you will be capable of adding individual metadata columns to your administrative view. Please see the following documentation for further info: How can I Add or Remove columns to my Table.

When you have selected all the metadata you would like to show, click on Save to refresh the page and allow it to populate your new selections.  Under the newly added Metadata columns, you can click on existing or blank fields in order to update the contents of that metadata field, for the submission on that row.  This ability to edit the metadata will be available for all metadata types as long as the metadata is set up to target submissions.

You also have the ability to apply Metadata automatically using triggers within your site. You can view more information on the Metadata actions available under the Metadata section of the following documentation: Explaining the "Actions" Section Within Triggers


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