The last update added operations on peer single and owned by attributes. This is great because it allows for the adding of new references at the time that they are needed.
It also allows for the use of more complex lookups on reference data. However from a UX point of view this is confusing, because there is a drop down and a button to search for items.
To avoid confusion I avoid putting an editable field where there is a more involved lookup involved, i.e. the type that uses the lookup method above, and instead I use a short cut to the field. To do this I have to use an HTML button but this is not ideal.
If I have a simple lookup type where the operation is just to add another option to the drop down list I would use the operation on the combo box and it would look like this
The button is nice and tight next to the field it is related to.
If I have another field that has a more complex lookup that I only want the end user to use an operation to fill then I'd need to use an Button/Link to kick this off.
This creates a spacing issue. The operation is in a separate cell within the form layout and is formatted slightly differently (one is grey and the other is blue grey)
I could set the Combo box to calculated instead of using the shortcut approach, however this again creates a UX issue as it places the drop down arrow in the combo box, despite the drop down arrow being disabled. The user is then presented with a field that does not act in the same way that other fields with drop downs.
The ability to place an operation next to all fields would make for more consistent placement of the operations and would clearly indicate that the operation is closely related (both in terms of placement and functionality) to the field it is beside.
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