Set Up a vCard Field

How often have you wanted to email some contact information from your QuickBase? Or maybe you've wanted to let users copy information into their email program's contact list.

The bad old days of copy and paste are over. QuickBase offers integration with vCard, a popular standard for exchanging address and contact information. vCard is a digital business card. You may have seen the vCard logo as a signature at the bottom of some emails you've received. (Read more about vCard.)

When you add the vCard feature to your application, users can click an icon to download a set of basic contact information. They get it all as a package: name, address, telephone numbers—whatever fields you want to make portable. Users can save it to disk as a .vcf file (read more about this format) or they can use a program like Outlook to open and save it in their own email contacts list (see image below). When you email a record that contains a vCard field (via a notification or by clicking the record's email button), QuickBase sends the .vcf file as an attachment the recipient can save.

A vCard field appears as an icon on QuickBase forms or in reports. Click the icon, and your browser lets you open and/or save contact information.

To add a vCard field:

To get this working, you'll follow the steps below to add a vCard field to your Contacts, Vendors or Resources table (wherever you store information on people) and configure it to draw details from fields in that table. Once you do so, the field lets you send that information on the road. You can export it into your Outlook contacts list or email it to a colleague.

  1. Open the application which should feature the vCard field.

  2. Add a vCard field in one of the following ways:

  3. Name the field and set the field type.

    In the Field Label box, type a name for the new field (vCard is a good name) and then from the Type dropdown, select vCard. Click Add. When QuickBase prompts you to add the field to custom forms you'll probably want to do so. That way, users can access this new feature. (You can add it to reports later.)

Now, you've got a nifty vCard field. But your work isn't over. You must configure the field to collect the information you want.

To configure the vCard field:

  1. Open the vCard field's properties page.

  2. Associate vCard fields with corresponding fields from your contacts table.

    The vCard contains contact fields, just like your contacts table does. You must match up your contact information fields with vCard's fields. That way, the vCard knows what fields to extract and group into its portable format and also what to call them. Within the vCard field options section, click each dropdown and select a field from your table that contains the corresponding information. For example, in the Name dropdown, select a field like Contact Name (You must select a text type field.) Match up phone number fields and pieces of address information. If you don't want to include a field from your table, don't select it. vCard won't know it exists.

  3. After you've matched up all fields, click Save.

FAQ - Can I draw my vCard field into another table by making it a lookup field?
Yes! The vCard field will work as a lookup field. Say you want to add the vCard field next to your Task table's Assigned To field so users can easily send or copy contact information. To get it there, create a lookup field that displays in Tasks. The vCard field functions the same way when it's a lookup field. Users just need to click the icon to open or download contact information.

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