Orion Advisor’s API: The Power of user defined fields

Orion’s open architecture enables the sharing of information through their API. When developing a custom application with the API user defined fields (UDFs) are extremely useful in many ways especially if you trying to avoid utilizing a database. When you are creating a client portal and you do not want the weight of a database to store settings, UDFs may be a good alternative. User Defined Fields or UDFs are custom fields that can be created at different levels including client/household, account, and transaction and different datatypes including boolean, string, date, time, and numeric. The fields can be created and updated either through the API using the endpoints under /Settings/UserDefinedFields or the Orion app household overview. Once the UDF is created and populated it can be utilized through several endpoints depending on the level of the UDF was set.

Let’s look at some real-world uses for UDFs at the client/household level. The UDF values at the household level can be retrieved by using Portfolio/Clients/{ClientId} endpoint.

  • Turning features within your custom application on and off. Suppose there are screens that you only want to creating uses to see. Then a boolean UDF could be created and either controlled through your application or Orion’s apps.
  • Integrating third-party application. Suppose you want to integrate Orion with another application and you need to store an authorization key before you can utilize the third-party application. You could encrypt and store the key in a string UDF for a secure solution.
  • You could store user acknowledgements. Suppose you have certifications or terms of service and you need proof it had been seen by the user. A date UDF would do the trick. Provide a checkbox in your custom application that would update the field with the current date.

These are just a few of the many uses of UDF at the household level, but what about other levels. Suppose you or a third-party are loading transactions and there are values in the transaction that do not have a corresponding field in Orion. UDFs can be created and populated at the transaction level and the values can be retrieved by /Portfolio/Transactions/{transaction}/UserDefinedFields endpoint.

In this post, I hope I demonstrated the power and possible uses of user defined fields to extend the functionality of Orion for your distinct purpose.

You can get more information from the Developers Getting Started Guide for the OrionApi here.

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