Create a Collection Relationship in Specify 7

Before you can create a Collection Relationship in Specify, you need to define a CollectionRelType view definition to create a Collection Relationship.

If you are unfamiliar with editing forms, please watch and read our documentation on the subject before proceeding.

Create CollectionRelType Form

First, you will need to either create a new form definition or navigate to an existing one available to your user in App Resources.

Once there, check “Show All Tables” to display all tables in the Specify model. Find “Collection Relationship Type” in the list.

Once selected, click the Create button to make a new view definition for the table.

Rather than choosing one of the default views, click New to create one from scratch.

You will need to leave the name as “CollectionRelType”.

Once the new view definition is created, copy the following XML and replace the contents of the new XML:

            <desc><![CDATA[The Journal form - unknown use in schema]]></desc>

            <columnDef os="lnx">115px,2px,195px,5px,125px,2px,210px,5px,125px,2px,131px,15px,p:g</columnDef>
            <columnDef os="mac">130px,2px,215px,5px,138px,2px,260px,5px,138px,2px,155px,15px,p:g</columnDef>
            <columnDef os="exp">p,2px,min(p;220px),5px:g,p,2px,p,5px:g,p,2px,200px,p,p:g</columnDef>
            <rowDef auto="true" cell="p" sep="2dlu"/>

                    <cell type="label" labelfor="1"/>
                    <cell type="field" id="1" name="name" uitype="text"/>
                    <cell type="label" labelfor="2"/>
                    <cell type="field" id="2" name="remarks" uitype="text"/>
                    <cell type="label" labelfor="4"/>
                    <cell type="field" id="4" name="leftSideCollection" uitype="querycbx" initialize="name=CollectionRelationship" isrequired="true" colspan="6"/>
                    <cell type="label" labelfor="5"/>
                    <cell type="field" id="5" name="rightSideCollection" uitype="querycbx" initialize="name=CollectionRelationship" isrequired="true" colspan="6"/>

After this, you need to add /specify/view/collectionreltype/new/ to the end of your Specify installation’s base URL (e.g. and navigate to the new Collection Rel Type form.

Give the CollectionRelType a name

Use the :search_: (search) icon to the right of the Left Side Collection and Right Side Collection query combo boxes to search for the collections you want to make the relationship between.

Note: If the collections are in a different discipline, you will need to set both query combo boxes to use the collection within the current discipline. Then, switch collections, navigate to the Collection Relationship Type record, and set the appropriate “Right Side” or “Left Side” collection.

This is due to the ‘Query Builder’ system being scoped to the current collection.

Once the collections are set, you can click Save to create the relationship.

Form Definition Usage

In the forms, these relationships can be referenced directly in the Collection Relationship form plugins.


In the XML,

<cell type="label" label="Tissues:" initialize="align=left;"/>
<cell type="field" id="colrel" uitype="plugin" name="this" initialize="name=CollectionRelOneToManyPlugin;relname=Has Tissue;" colspan="9"/>



In the XML,

<cell type="label" label="Tissues:" initialize="align=right;"/>
<cell type="field" id="colrel" uitype="plugin" name="this" initialize="name=ColRelTypePlugin;relname=Has Tissue;"/>