How do I add static text or placeholder columns in my data package queries?

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In some cases, when creating a query for use in data packages you may need to include static text or placeholder columns in order to match an import template from a third party vendor. Each column in a query result must be tied to an underlying field. In cases where you need to include static text or a blank 'placeholder' column, you can do so in one of two ways:

  1. Use Person Reference Numbers
    If there is static information that you want to store and you are querying person records, you can use the Veracross person reference number functionality to create a reference number and then batch-add that static value for all of the applicable people. Once you have added those reference numbers, you can include them in your query using the reference number function field. You can read more about using person reference numbers in this documentation article.

    Similarly, you can create placeholder reference numbers without a value, and when including the reference number function field in your query design it will return a blank column.

  2. Repurpose an Unused Field in the Database
    If you are not querying person records or do not want to use reference numbers, you can repurpose an unused field in your database, such as a notes field, to either store static information or include as a blank placeholder column.

With either solution, be sure to rename the field description in your query design in order to give your column the correct header.