Relationships make it possible to create connections between two or more objects using object type groups, which define which object type(s) a relationship can pull data from. For example, if your company needed to record which business unit each office location belonged to, this could be done by creating a Business Unit relationship on the Location object type, which would pull data from the Business Unit object type.
Specifically, relationships are required to:
- Create connections between two or more objects through a relationship field on a form. For example, selecting the BU1 object through the Business Unit relationship on New York creates a link between BU1 and New York. Depending on your permissions, may be able to create new objects through this field.
- Create and display connections between two more objects through a reference field on a form. References function the same way as relationships, with the exception that references are automatically created when the originating relationship is saved on another object type. For example, selecting the BU1 object through the Business Unit relationship on the New York object would create a reference on BU1 back to New York. If configured, the originating relationship object (e.g., New York) could be displayed on the destination object (e.g., BU1) through a reference field. Depending on your permissions, you may be able to create new objects through this field.
- Grant users access to related data when they're working with specific objects (e.g., users can only access business units when they're working with locations).
- Create data definitions to create assessments, data visualizations (reports or data grids), navigation forms, and automatic processes to move multiple objects to the next state in a workflow.
Data definitions are a group of related object types that are used to specify which objects are used in data visualizations (reports or data grids), assessments, navigation forms, and certain processes. Data definitions begin a with an anchor object type and can include some or all of the object types related to the anchor through relationships or references. If an object type is not associated with the anchor through a relationship or reference, it cannot be selected in the definition.
Definitions can include a single object type or some or all of its relationship and reference types. For example, the screenshot below shows a data definition with Asset as its anchor, thereby making it possible to select related object types (e.g., Attachments, Risks, Business Units, etc.). If you wanted to create a report that displayed asset data in your organization by business unit and location, you would select the Business Unit and Company object types, which are accessible through the Business Units and Company relationships saved to Asset.