Linked Record fields connect Tables within and across other Solutions, allowing processes to flow seamlessly while maintaining single sources of information. Any time you link two records together, you’ll see that the association is mirrored in the other record. These reciprocal links allow you to see related information without duplicating it.
For example, you can track the contacts associated with an account, the clients associated to projects, and the venues connected to your upcoming events.
When to use Linked Records
Determine your data's relationships
When developing and managing a workflow it is important to know how the components of your data work together. Understanding which task connects to which project or which customer owns which account can help keep your data organized and allow you to create relationship among it.
In SmartSuite, not only can you store all key information within a record, but you can also easily link those records together, capturing the dynamic relationships between them.
Determine your workflow relationships
Prior to building relationships between your records, you should brainstorm what these relationships will look like.
What type of information you’re tracking, and how the information comes together is all dependent on your workflow. You might have a list of companies, a list of projects, and a list of clients. Or potentially a list of properties, tenants, and partners.
In SmartSuite, it is best to separate these lists into separate Tables within your solution.
Your properties have related partners, locations that hold tenants, and so on. Let us go on to explain how you can create these connections in your solutions.
It may be useful to map out the relationships in your workflow before creating multiple Tables. If you are creating a simple Table with tasks, status fields, and other basic field types, the standard field types may be enough.
However, if you wish to connect multiple Tables together and establish relationships between them, you need Linked Records.
For example, if you want to create a solution to manage your simple process you may only need a single Table and a handful of fields. You can create a Text field to name the process, status fields, a select field to add categorical tags to each task for sorting, grouping, or filtering, a Due Date field, an Assigned To field, and a Checklist field for subtasks.
Because these processes can exist independently and do not require relationships with other records in this Table or others, adding a linked record is not beneficial.
However, in many cases, you do want a connection between two Tables to share references to records between them. Linked record fields facilitate these relationships, allowing you to view and use linked information.
For example, if you’ve decided to create an Agency Marketing solution you could have a Table for client projects, clients, and another to track tasks related to each client. Here, all the relevant tasks, along with the project's client, are linked to the Client Project Table.
If you created only one Table for both things, you would have to re-enter information for each client or contact every time you added a new production task. You can eliminate this extra work through Linked Records.
In this situation, every time you create a new client project you can simply add an existing client and tasks to the project and avoid unnecessary data entry.
Linked records go both ways, when you add new tasks to the Production task Table you can also link the client it pertains to there.
Any time you want to view that client's information, you don’t have to switch Tables. Instead, you can expand the linked record and access that information directly from the Client Project Table.
Adding Linked Record fields and values
Customizing Linked Records
When creating a new Linked Record field, you'll be able to:
Select the Display Format: Compact Display, Simplified Display, Expanded Display
Choose the Table to link to in SmartSuite
Select the Fields to Display (and Sort Order and/or Filters)
Select if Single or Multiple Records (default) can be linked between Tables.
Make entries in the field required for new records
Note: Once a link is established and records are connected between Tables, you will not be able to modify the linked record. Solution Managers can delete the field, which will break the links and replace data as a Text Field in the linked Tables.
Indicate whether you want to allow linking to multiple records and if you want to require an entry in this field.
Linking Across Solutions
Solutions are groupings of Tables that all address a common business process. They acts as containers for their set of Tables, allowing users to navigate SmartSuite content in an intuitive way.
One of the most powerful features of SmartSuite is the ability to "link" Solutions together, combining the information they store to tackle virtually any type of task, project or workflow.
Many things that organizations do as part of their everyday work involve several functions, departments or types of data. A sales department might interact primarily with Customer and Order records, while the operations group needs Inventory information - along with information about customers and orders - to be able to send out shipments.
Let's sketch out how this might look in SmartSuite. Suppose that you have a Sales solution and an Operations solution, as in the diagram below:
If you already have sales and order information in the Sales solution, it wouldn't make a lot of sense to duplicate that data in the Operations solution. Instead, we can connect the solutions and share that information to build a complete picture of the entire lifecycle - with no redundancy!
Linked Record fields allow you to connect SmartSuite records together, and those records can be in any Solution.
The Solutions are listed in bold followed by the Tables within each one. You can find a Table across any Solution quickly by searching for the name.
In this display, a Linked Record field connects the Accounts table and Contacts table, so you can easily visualize and view all the information on the contacts of each account.
Then, we show the real power and flexibility of SmartSuite - the Sales CRM Solution uses Linked Records to connect Accounts and Teams who are working on each account. Two Linked Records, linking all three tables together across two Solutions to give you a clear picture of the entire CRM relationships.
Linked Record Permissions
When creating linkages across Solutions, Solution level permissions are applied in the Linked Record field. We also enforce permissions if the user does not have access to the linked content.
Users will see the Linked Record field in their fields to display, but records that they do not have at least Viewer access to will not be displayed.
Dynamically Filter Linked Records
With this powerful capability, you can customize how you access data through linked records in incredibly granular ways, enhancing your data management and efficiency.
Let's say we are in a Solution and have 3 Tables: Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities. When creating a new Opportunity, you want to ensure that only the Contacts a part of an Account will display when you are making the selection (after linking the Account).
Filtering Linked Contacts by Account
In this example, we'll show you how to filter contacts based on the company they are associated with, ensuring that you only work with relevant contacts for a specific company.
Accessing Record Picker Settings
Open the Linked Record selector to Contacts and navigate to the gear in the top right.
Setting up Filters
In the top right corner, click on "Filter." Apply a dynamic filter to the linked contacts based on the associated company. In this case, we want the Account in the Contact to match the Account linked. This ensures that only contacts linked to the chosen company are visible in the selection list.
When choosing contacts, you'll only see contacts linked to the selected company, streamlining the process and preventing errors.
As displayed below, with the set filter, when I link the Account "Ventura" only Ventura contacts show as an option to link. When I link the Swing & Cradle Account, only their contacts display for me to select.
Printing Linked Records
Previously when you printed Linked Records to a PDF you would only see the Linked record Titles. With our Enhanced Printing Display, we've transformed how Linked Records are presented when being printed.
The printed view will display based on the display format you've selected for that linked record.
For example, the Expanded record view now shows all the details including the field names on the left and their views beside them.
If you have selected one of the other display formats, they will display as they would in the Open record view.