Applications often require access to data that is used to process cases but is not directly part of the application. Data records provide values for the fields associated with a particular data object and can be stored outside the case. As a result, you can widely reuse and reference data records.
Data records define permissible values for data fields. Limiting the input values to valid options reduces errors and allows for automation.
For example, you have an airport code drop-down list. There is a data object for Airports. Each airport includes a value for the airport code, city, and country. The values in the Airport data object do not vary among case types. In this example, only the user-selected airport code and location information is added to and persisted with the case.
Note: After adding data records to a data object, you can reference the data object in a form. By default, the data records display in a selectable drop-down list. When an option is selected, the associated values can be displayed in the form, as shown in the following image.
Data records and data objects
In Pega Platform™, data objects represent key business entities, such as customers. Data objects contain all the fields necessary to describe an object. For example, an identifier, name, address, and date of account creation describe a customer.
Generally, a change to data record values does not need an associated change in the business process to support the change. Whereas, a change in the data object fields represents a change in the business processes. For example, adding a new customer is part of the standard business process. Adding a new customer level — for example, platinum — results in a modification to the business processes to manage platinum customers.
Local data storage
In a Pega Platform application, there are several ways to create and use data records to reference data.
A local data storage lets you store data records for a data object without creating or maintaining database tables.
In the following image, click the + icons to learn more about data records.
External data sources
You can configure a data object to retrieve data from an external data source, such as a database or a web service. For example, a purchase application needs access to currency exchange rates. Exchange rate information is stored in an external database table.
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