In the section which introduces Jet ‘Users’, we mentioned some of the data which Jet might record about users. These always include things such as basic contact details, but can also be extended to other things such as fax numbers and so on if required. Such information is called ‘User Data’. This is data which is stored on a per-user basis. Jet’s profile-management tool (discussed elsewhere) can be used to create new kinds of ‘User Data’. This means that you can add customised data fields to store information about your users within Jet’s database.
Similarly, ‘Service Data’ is information Jet can store in its database, but with an important difference. Service data is information which can’t just be recorded against a specific user, but nor can it be recorded just against a particular plan. It only makes sense when recorded on a per-user *and* a per-plan basis.
For example, the full national number (FNN) is a characteristic of the combination of a user and a plan – it makes less sense to attach it to either the user or the plan separately.
As another example, consider the case where you have decided to allow sales staff to define discounts, so that they can set-up various different promotional offers.
Now consider a customer who has has been given a discount of $10.00 from their initial registration fee for a hosted web-site. It wouldn’t make sense to attach this piece of information directly to the user, since they may well have other services from you, and the discount only applies to the web-hosting. On the other hand, not all users who subscribe to the web-hosting will receive a discount, only those who signed-up during the promotional period.
In these cases, we attach the data to the combination of a user and a plan. The term used in Jet for this kind of data is ‘Service Data’.
Here we present a theoretical overview of what service data is. There are step-by-step examples showing how to attach service data to a plan, and then assign a value for this service data to a particular user on that plan in the ‘Service Data’ section of the manual you are currently reading. There is also an example and some discussion in the main Jet System Administration Guide, in the chapter called “Creating New Bundles”.
In discussing service data, it is important to distinguish between the type of an item of service data, and the value of this item of service data.