Cost option amounts - string or number

The standard guidance shows “cost_option” as a UK extension to the base international Open Referral standard which just has a single “fees” text field for services. Cost_option is shown as a new table in blue in the data structure diagram.

As discussed with @pbrown, Placecube has implemented cost_option in its Open Place Directory product but for now it has made cost_option.amount a text field to allow for historic values such as “Free”.

I think amount should remain numeric, as specified and amount_description be used for any text descriptions.

Views from any other implementers are welcome.

Agreed amount should be numeric as then the consuming application can decide whether to offer a range of filters or show text of ‘Free’ etc.

I don’t think we should encourage people to enter things like ‘Free’ in the amount_description though. I think this should describe what the amount means.

Consuming applications are going to struggle with providing a consistent view of data if collecting applications start deciding what data they are going to put into fields. We really need strong guidance as to field contents.

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Thanks Ian. I’ve flagged this for inclusion in the next version review and guidance update.