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I’m working on an application that will keep various types of records that vary from adding or editing two entities (name and uploaded document) to a user added either by searching through the database (either using a modal dialog or auto-fill) or manually entering at least 7+ entities. All of the entities won’t be displayed to the user in the data grid.

I know there isn't a best way of adding or editing data and varies based on how much information is used to create the one record. I wanted to use two of the methods from this post to create or edit records: What is the best UX to let user perform CRUD operations?

For records with 7+ entities, I wanted to use a modal dialog; while for the records where all the fields were showing, use inline record editing.

Is it a bad practice to use inline editing/sorting on one data grid for one type of record on a separate tab or page, and then to use a modal dialog to either add or edit another type of entity?

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It's not a bad practice in general if you have a reason for it and the visual and interaction design will be good. On the other hand yes, it might be confusing and happens to be confusing in software that was not designed and implemented properly.


Hope it helps, if not, feel free to attach a sketch of what you have. The CRUD and entity things are pretty hard to parse and imagine just from words.

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it's generally a good practice to not treat objects as "records" in a database, as they vary not only in number of properties, attached entities, etc, but also on importance, and their place in the workflow.

An object might have a full-blown single page datasheet of its own in one workflow, and might be automatically created just from a string in the other - for example, a contact. Current UX of Jira is a perfect example of this.

The "I just want to have a list of entities, which pattern should I use for CRUD operations" question is too general from a UX perspective I believe: for the user, it's never a list of records, it's a list of living things inside their mind, something which is connected to their goals.

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