Hierarchy vs User-to-User

by C.W. Holeman III

See also: User-to-User Overview & Hierarchy Overview

Although they seem to be synonymous as first glance, there are important distinctions between a User-to-User profile field and a Hierarchy profile field:

A U2U Profile Field links a specific User to another specific User (who can in turn be linked to another User, ad infinitum).

Whereas a Hierarchy Profile Field builds a set of connections between arbitrary, pre-defined values. Values which can then be assigned to an arbitrary number of users.


  • Are set in each user's profile.
  • Only a single User-to-User profile field can exist on your site.
  • Are typically used to create a chain of X-reports-to-Y relationships.

Examples: Elanor Reports to Sam. Sam Reports to Frodo, Frodo reports to Gandalf. Meanwhile, Legolas & Gimli also report to Gandalf:

  • Elanor → Sam → Frodo → Gandalf.
  • Legolas → Gandalf.
  • Gimli → Gandalf.


  • Definable only by manually uploading a .csv file.
  • Any number of Hierarchy Fields can be created.
  • Can be used for a wide variety of functions, such as nested locations, management level, etc.

Management example:

  •  President

    • Regional Director

      • General Manager

        • Assistant Manager

          • Floor Worker

Location example:

  • USA
    • Montana
      • Yellowstone County
      • Gallatin County
    • California
      • San Diego County
      • Orange County
    • Wyoming
  • Canada


Article is closed for comments.