Create a Timestamp with Form Rules

Lots of QuickBase application managers want to keep track of when things are changing in their application. QuickBase automatically lets you know when a record was last modified and by whom. But the information you want is probably more specific. For example, when a task is marked "completed," you want QuickBase to record the date and time. Or you may want a timestamp to record the moment when a staff member gets a project assignment.

You can use QuickBase's dynamic form rules to create timestamps. Rules let the program record a value (like the current time) when a user makes the specified change on an add or edit form.

To create a rule-based timestamp:

  1. Create a Time/Date type field within the table containing the field you want to track. (Get help with adding fields.)

  2. Create or open the form to which you want to add the rule.

  3. Add a new rule.

    When you create the rule, make the following selections:

    1. Set the condition.

      This is whatever you want to trigger the timestamp. For example, the "Status" field "is" "Completed."

    2. Set the timestamp action.

      From the first dropdown, select "change." From the second dropdown, select the date/time field you created in Step 1. In the third and final dropdown select the current date/time.

    3. Within the Options section, make sure that the "change" actions only fire when conditions become true checkbox is turned on. Otherwise, QuickBase would timestamp the record each time it's opened.

FAQ: What does "change" actions only fire when conditions become true mean anyway?
This checkbox appears whenever you choose "change" from the action menu. When you turn on this checkbox, you're telling QuickBase that you want to base the change action upon a change condition (say, when Status changes to "completed," for example). Because choices in the When section's dropdowns are limited to timeless options like "is" or "is not," a fulfilled condition is technically met each time a user opens the form following the change. In a world without this checkbox, the action would fire every time. This can really cramp a rule's style, especially if you want it do something like create a timestamp to record the change. Instead of showing the time of the change, the date/time field would always show the current date and time. Yikes. Checkbox to the rescue! Use it to tell QuickBase to perform the change action only once, the first time a rule condition is met.

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