Custom Reference Page
  • 13 Mar 2024
  • 4 minute read
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Custom Reference Page

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  • PDF

Article Summary

In the default Slate-Hosted Application, the reference page (identified by the part ID ref) consists of a pre-made module that allows students to send requests for recommendations. 

This article covers the creation of a custom reference page in the Slate-hosted application using a Slate-hosted application-scoped form. By using this widget, you have the ability to introduce conditional logic to your form, customize instructions, and collect information in additional standard or custom reference-scoped fields.

  Four steps to creating a custom reference page:
  1. Create a Slate-hosted-application-page-scoped form.

  2. Create a reference widget-scoped form.

  3. Add the widget to the Slate-hosted-application-page-scoped form.

  4. Add the Slate-hosted-application-page-scoped form to a Slate application.

Step One: Create the Slate-Hosted Application Page

This form serves as the host for the widget you'll create later.

  1. Select Forms from the main navigation.

  2. Click New Form. A popup appears.

  3. In the New Form popup, configure the following:

    • Page Title: The page title will display to an applicant as the name of the page.

    • Folder: Keep organized by saving application pages within a clear folder structure.

    • Status: Set the status to Confirmed/Active.

  4. Click Save.

  5. Click Edit Form on the right side.

  6. Click Edit Properties. A popup appears.

  7. In the Edit Properties popup, configure the following:

    • Scope: Select Slate-Hosted Application Page.

  8. Click Save.


Considerations when creating the Slate-Hosted-Application-Page-scoped form 

When building the Slate-Hosted-Application-Page-scoped form, the following options specific to the Reference Widget are available when editing its Widget Table:

  • Row Limit This will prevent a new reference from being added if the number of currently listed references is greater than or equal to the limit set.  Excluded references can be displayed in the list, though, and these rows are excluded from the limit. 

  • Exclusion - When enabled, applicants will be able to exclude recommendations.

  • Reinstatement - When enabled, applicants will be able to reinstate recommendations.  


Step Two: Create the Widget

  Try a Slate Example

Use Suitcase to import our ready-made example Reference Widget form. Be sure to open and re-save each form field to break any potential cache from the suitcase import.

Suitcase ID


Create the widget-scoped form

  1. Select Forms from the main navigation.

  2. Click New Form. A popup appears.

  3. In the New Form popup, enter the following:

    • Page Title: Give the form a descriptive title.

    • Status: Set the status to Confirmed/Active.

    • Folder: Add the form to an existing folder, or select Other to create a new one. 

  4. Click Save.

  5. Click Edit Form on the right side.

  6. Click Edit Properties. A popup appears.

  1. In the Edit Properties popup, configure the following:

    • Scope: Set the form's scope to Reference Widget, within the section Page Construction Widgets.

  2. Click Save.

  1. Configure the widget with the form fields applicants should complete. See example setup opposite, or explore further in your own database by Briefcasing the ID at the top of this section.

Click the Slate Scholar Lightbulb    in the top left corner for a complete listing of all setting descriptions.


Configure the widget

Reference Exports and Merge Fields

Customize the columns displayed in the course widget with reference exports. To add reference exports:

  1. Navigate to the reference-widget-scoped form. 

  2. Click Edit Form.

  3. Click Edit Properties.

  4. In the General Settings tab, under Custom List Fields, add Exports for any fields that should be columns in the widget table. These are typically items like Reference First, Last, Title, Type, Email, or Status.

  1. In the Merge Fields tab, configure any merge fields that need to be displayed within the widget. 

Click the Slate Scholar Lightbulb    in the top left corner for a complete listing of all setting descriptions.


Widget Settings

The Widget Settings tab in the Edit Properties menu lets you configure advanced settings in the case that the applicant may import a previous recommendation. Note: If you select the option Do not allow submitted recommendations to be imported from other applications, none of the following configurations will appear.

  • Import References Custom Label - Set a custom label for the select box (optional).

  • Import References Help Text - Include help text below the select box (optional).

  • Import Records Query - If no exports are included, the default value displayed in the list will match what we currently display for the import references select box (First Last - Submitted: MM/dd/yyyy).

  • Add Filters to customize which references display. In addition to any applied filter criteria, displayed references must meet the following conditions:

    • The recommendation must not be excluded.

    • The recommendation must be associated with a different application associated with the same person record.

    • The recommendation must be submitted.

    • The recommendation itself must not be an import from another application.

    • The recommendation must not already be imported to this application.

    • Users may use an independent subquery join to pull in application data for the current app using @current_application as a parameter.


Be sure to map all fields in the widget to system fields of the same scope. Any custom fields created to be used in the widget should match the scope of the widget. 

  Note: The external reference form is covered in separate article

This widget-scoped form is the first half of the reference process. Once the applicant enters their reference's contact information and submits the form, Slate sends a separate form for the reference to complete. This form, which uses the reference page scope, is covered in it own article.

Step Three: Add the Widgets to the Host Form

  1. From the form builder palette, drag in a Widget Table.

  2. Edit the widget table. From the Widget Form list, select the widget forms created in the previous section.

  3. Add any additional fields or instructions to the form.


  Adding a widget form to the host form.

Step Four: Add the Host Form to a Slate Application

  1. Select Database from the main navigation, then select Application Editor.

  2. Choose the /apply/ link for the application base to which the new page should be added.

    NOTE: If only one application base exists, only /apply/ will appear.

  3. Click Edit Menu in the upper-right.

  4. Click Add Link. Enter the following configurations:

    • Type: Select Custom Form Page.

    • Subtype: Select the Slate-Hosted-Application-Page-scoped form you created.

    • Label: Enter the name to display as the page link in the application navigation.

  5. Click Save. The new form will be listed at the bottom of the application menu.

  6. Drag this page to where it belongs in the application page order.


The application form widget should now be live in the application. Be sure to test that data entered into the widget saves back to the appropriate table on the Profile tab of the Person record.

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