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Should this be an Element Type or a Property? Dealing with controlled inputs and option lists

One of the most common questions we get when initially configuring a Studio or City is “Should I make this piece of information an Element Type or a Property?” This is especially confusing when the information to be added is to be constrained to a list of possible responses.

I've been designing city schema's for Exaptive for many years now and often (and unfortunately) the answer to is "it depends". There are several ways to go about this and I've tried to list some of the reasons you might choose one way or another in the following article: Multiple Choice inputs: Dropdowns, Autocompletes, and Radio Buttons

In that article, I describe:

  • What the different options are for these sort of controlled input types
  • Some of the pros and cons of each
  • The sort of things to think about to help decide which to use

If you're looking for help of a more technical nature, how to create property fields or connection fields, check out these articles:
Properties on Element Types

Connection Fields on Element Types

If you're looking for some quick information and don't want to read the whole article, here is the quickest synopsis I could come up with:

  • For short lists that won't change too much and will have only one option chosen for any element, use a property
  • For everything else (long lists, multiple selection, allowing users to add new choices, sharing choices across different element types, etc.), use a connection to an Element Type.


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