For example, if you’re storing a simple list of employees, you might have three attributes: First Name, Last Name, and Job Title. All three of these are of an attribute type called, perhaps, “Single Line Text.” This renders as a simple textbox, giving us three textboxes in which to enter our information. The attribute types are the same; they differ solely in the most basic customization: name and label.
Other universal aspects of an attribute which might be customizable are:
- Whether or not a value is required (this is technically a validation rule, discussed in a later chapter, but it’s so common that it often appears as a setting)
- Whether or not the attribute has an editorial element at all (see the next section)
- Whether or not the attribute allows multiple values (discussed in a later chapter)
- Whether or not the value is searchable by default
- Whether or not the attribute is localized, and therefore has a different value for each language
- In which area of the interface the editorial element should appear (tab, group, or pane), for interfaces that can be so arranged
In some systems, these settings are universal to all attribute types, and each type might also have its own settings and rules. For example, while the concept of a value being required is applicable to both a textbox and a dropdown element, the textbox might have an additional, type-specific setting of a maximum length, which wouldn’t apply to a dropdown element.
Finally, attributes assigned to a content type are always assigned in a specific order, which can be adjusted via drag-and-drop or “move up” and “move down” options. The order of attributes is critical for editorial experience and will be discussed in a later chapter.