This guy just loves databases

To create a portfolio that showcases your work on the web, you'll probably need some sort of... shudder.. database.  Wow, if that word doesn't make you want to snore, it may just make you want to run and hide.  The poor word sounds complex, boring, and useless - a horrorifying noun reminiscent of Office Space ... right?  Well perhaps not quite.

When you think about databases as simply lists of items, it's hard not to think of an application for them.  The films an actor has starred in, the real estate listings available (and those already sold), the recent portfolio work by an artist, photographer, or... web designer.  We thought of databases that way in Convergence, so in one of our most creative naming brainstorm sessions, we decided to call them "Item Lists".

Let's take that example of the web designer's portfolio and see how Item Lists work in Convergence.

Step A: Create the Portfolio Item List

Login to your Convergence site (make sure you have Item Lists enabled, if you need to upgrade your site, visit the ACCOUNT section when logged in). Click ITEM LISTS up in the admin bar.  Click + CREATE AN ITEM LIST - name your list Portfolio and click SAVE

You are now able to add items to Portfolio, but before we do that, let's change the list settings.  Click the link for Portfolio settings... on the right pane.  You'll see the right pane now has the settings for this Item List.  When creating an Item List, it's important to think about the fields you'll want to add for each item in the list.  Let's add some fields now.  For a project in our web design portfolio, we'll probably need Project Name, Description, URL, Image, and an Type of Work Completed

First thing to notice in your list of fields is that Convergence adds a name field by default to all Item ListsThis is important because it means we don't have to add a field for the Project Name.  So let's move on to Description.

Click + add field at the bottom of the fields list.  A new field is added, first we should add a LABEL.  Type Description in the LABEL box. Notice that the SLUG fills in automatically (the SLUG will be important in Step B).  Lastly, under TYPE choose Text Area. This will give us room to write a few sentences about our Portfolio projects.

Using the above steps add a field:
LABEL: URL and TYPE: Link to a website

Add another field:
LABEL: Image and TYPE: Image

Next we'll want to add the type of work that was done on this project.  Sometimes you may simply work on the design for a project, sometimes you only code a project, and sometimes you design and code the whole thing.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could choose from a dropdown list of common work types for each project?  Let's do it.

Click SAVE CHANGES up at the top of the settings pane.

Create a new Item List called Work Type.

After you've created the Work Type Item List, click the blue + ADD WORK TYPE button.
Type in Design and click SAVE.
Add another Work Type called Coding
and another Work Type called Design and Coding.

Now that your Work Type items are in, click on the ITEM LISTS tab.

Click settings... under Portfolio.

Add a field:
LABEL: Type of Work and TYPE: Work Type (Dropdown)

Click SAVE CHANGES up at the top.

Next you are ready to add a Portfolio entry, click the big blue EDIT ENTRIES button in the settings pane.
Click + ADD PORTFOLIO and just for fun, name it Google - then click SAVE
Now in the right pane, you will see the fields that you've added appear.  Let's fill them out:
Under Description type: I worked on this small search engine website.
Under URL, type: http://www.google.com
Under Work Type, choose: Design and Coding
Lastly, under Image, upload a screenshot for the google homepage.  Here's one if you need it.

Click SAVE CHANGES

Step B: Display the Item List on your site