Rules of thumb for using datafields

As stated under Creating Concepts, concepts should either be used to:

  • mimic legal terms that would customarily be drafted with a capital (e.g.: "the Purchaser"); and/or
  • provide a storage location for datafields (e.g.: the Purchaser's name, address, company number, etc.).

In order to make concepts and their datafields as relevant as possible in any given situation, the following rules of thumb should be applied:

  • Concepts should generally not have more than 15 datafields.
  • If more datafields are required, then concepts should probably be subdivided into a general concept, and a few more specialised but related concepts. The required datafields should then be assigned to the most suitable specialised concepts.
  • Concepts are intended to foster re-use of datafields across different documents. Highly specific concepts for which the likelihood of re-use is limited (e.g., because the datafields are only relevant for a specific customer, or even for a specific contract) should thus be separated from more generic concepts that can be reused across documents.
  • Do not think about concepts as only mimicking legal terms that are customarily drafted with a capital. It is perfectly fine if a concept is never used as such, and only used as a storage location for datafields (e.g.: an employment agreement will rarely refer to an employee's salary as "the Salary" but the salary amount is nonetheless crucial to include in such a contract).


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