Fields can use a prompt list to restrict values to selectable options. Fields that use prompt lists can be configured to store either multiple values for each record or a single value per record. In addition to making data entry more manageable, prompts make querying on data stored in these fields more precise. An academic interest field is an example of a field that should use a prompt list.


Some prompt keys are reserved for standard Slate fields and other system-wide functions. These special keys are listed at the top of the Fields tool and in the article Standard Person Scoped Fields & Prompts List.


Creating a prompt key

Prompts that share a key will be part of the same prompt list. Prompts are associated with a custom field using the key.

  1. Select Database on the main navigation.
  2. Select Prompts.
  3. Click New Prompt Key. A popup appears.
  4. Configure the following settings:

    • Name: Give the prompt key an internal name.
    • Key: Give the prompt key a computer friendly name. Prompt keys must be lowercase, cannot have spaces, and the only acceptable special character is an underscore (_).
    • Export Labels 1-5: Enter up to five export labels. An example export value is "SIS." Later, for each prompt you create for this key, you'll have an opportunity to enter a value for the SIS label. For the example of academic major, biology might be represented as "Biology" within Slate and as "10" in your SIS. When you build the queries that export this data to your SIS, you'll be able to select "SIS" as your export value, and Slate will automatically translate the prompt from your Slate value to the SIS value.
  5. Click Save. You are redirected to the Edit Key page.

New Prompt Key


Creating prompts

Refer to the prompts settings article for a full description of prompt configurations.


Prompt-based fields vs. text-based fields

If there is a finite list of possible values a field can hold, use a prompt list. Prompts offer a controlled list of options for students and administrative staff to select as field values and make it easier to report on data.

Free-text values can contain anything the user enters. Use a text value if a field stores non-standard data. For example, descriptions, or an “Other: please explain” option.


Where are the prompts I just created?

If you need to use a new prompt right away, force-refresh the cache by navigating to Database > Prompts and clicking on the force-refresh hyperlink.

Refresh Cache


A message that reads "OK" acknowledges the prompt is now available for use.

Once refreshed, any new fields and prompts will be made available for use throughout forms and queries. Cached values are refreshed approximately every 5 minutes in production environments.

To use a new prompt in a Configurable Joins query, you may also need to refresh the Configurable Joins library. Navigate to Database > Refresh Configurable Joins Library. A message that reads "Refresh Completed" acknowledges the refresh is complete.


If a prompt's key is associated with 1,000 or more prompts, it will not appear in the your list of prompt keys. To see these prompts, run the Current Prompt List query in the Standard Query Library.

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