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Formula references to columns automatically updated
References to columns in formulas are automatically updated in most places in the application. ie, if you change the column name, the reference is updated so that it still points to the same column. There are a couple of places I've seen where this does not happen:

-Filter formulas on custom buttons. Assignments ARE tracked and updated, but references in the filter formula are not. I've broken buttons a few times by changing the name of a column, and I had no idea the button was broken until it stopped appearing at the expected time.

-References to columns in email notifications. I've seen that references in Email Alert workflow actions do not update. I don't know about the "E-mail Notifications" objects - possibly this also happens there.

It would be nice if column names updated in both of these places. And also if these references were tracked and reported in the column Usage list, on the column configuration view form.

Right now, on the Usage list, some of my columns look like they're not used anywhere, when in fact they're referenced in Custom Buttons - and if someone mistakenly deleted these columns, it would cause problems.
ID
393
Category
Setup
Author

Nathan Phillips (CW)
Date Created
12/6/2010 8:47:25 PM
Date Updated
1/11/2012 8:48:41 AM
Status
Implemented
Score
90
Promoted By
Daniel Vazquez GerNils OrthRick Cogley
Philipp MatuschkaJosé AlencarScott Miller
basenineSam ParishNathan Phillips (CW)
Comments
José Alencar 12/7/2010 2:24:17 AM
Wonderful!!!
Philipp Matuschka 12/7/2010 7:22:26 AM
And also in Documents.
Kirill Bondar  Staff  12/7/2010 8:21:18 AM
@Nathan

> Filters on custom buttons

This is merely a bug, will be fixed with the next update

> References to columns in email notifications

Do you mean message bodies?

> if these references were tracked and reported in the column Usage list

Usage is tracked in email message bodies. In custom buttons it is not reported due to the same bug.

Kirill Bondar  Staff  12/7/2010 8:23:32 AM
@Philipp

Here support for old DOC format pushes us back as we can not parse the document on server - we simply store it as is and all the work is done on client. Though, for DOCX, while a bit cumbersome, it is possible.
Nathan Phillips (CW) 12/7/2010 11:50:42 AM
Hi Kirill,

>This is merely a bug, will be fixed with the next update

Great. Glad to hear it!

>Do you mean message bodies?
>Usage is tracked in email message bodies. In custom buttons it is not reported due to the same bug.

Yeah, message bodies. I don't think I use the "E-mail Notifications" objects anywhere, so I don't know about them. I use the workflow "E-mail Alert" actions. I've just checked the Usage list in a couple places, and I see that you're right - I do see my email alerts in the Usage list when they reference a column. That's great.

But if I change the name of that column, the reference is not updated. I just tested that to confirm. This has caused problems in my apps in the past. Like with the Custom Buttons, it wasn't even known that the references had been broken until an incorrect email went out.

I see that it's also possible to add a [Column] syntax into a message body that does not reference an existing column. I tread carefully in email alerts because of that, because I know that if I mistype a column name, I won't get any message that tells me the column could not be found.
Philipp Matuschka 12/7/2010 3:53:09 PM
Hi Kirill. While you say it is possible in DocX, it's not implemented yet is it?
Kirill Bondar  Staff  12/8/2010 9:50:36 AM
@Nathan

1. The bugfix is online, also as a bonus, we now update columns references in subjects and message bodies.
2. TeamDesk does not validate column references in emails - in fact some markup elements also use square brackets syntax - but, to minimize the chance for an error you can use dropdown below the editor to insert column placeholders.

Nathan Phillips (CW) 12/8/2010 11:33:37 AM
Great, that's excellent! And faster than I expected. I tested the updates in both places, and they're working perfectly. That makes things easier for me - thanks very much.
Rick Cogley 12/8/2010 3:39:46 PM
Thanks very much, Kirill and team. This makes for much better QC.
Kirill Bondar  Staff  9/22/2011 7:14:07 AM
Set status to In Development: DocX still needs to be processed, otherwise Implemented
Kirill Bondar  Staff  10/10/2011 9:57:01 AM
We are now tracking column usage in DOCX documents.

When you upload the template we parse it on the fly and store field information we need for tracking in the database. As parsing process is too complex to perform it on a database level, existing documents are not tracked automatically. To start tracking, please make **any change** in the app.

Once tracking info is cached, we'll update all relevant master placeholders when the column in table is renamed.

With details the situation is a bit more complicated. Detail column is identified via relationship info plus column name. While column names are unique, relationship info is not. Before we enable updating detail columns' placeholders we have to make sure that we won't update what we should not.
Kirill Bondar  Staff  11/14/2011 8:02:44 AM
Now with full support for detail columns' renamings.

The task was a bit challenging and to unify master and detail column processing we have to change some internal structures used to track column dependencies. As the result, dependency caches already stored in the database were reset. Save your app once to update the cache.
Nathan Phillips (CW) 11/14/2011 3:01:09 PM
Thanks for the update! If I want to update the cache in my apps, how do I do that? In the Labs section?
Kirill Bondar  Staff  11/14/2011 3:52:15 PM
The document should be in DOCX format - binary .DOCs are not tracked at all.

All you need is to make any change in the app (say, application name) - this will trigger scanning all the documents in your application and storing placeholder info in the database if it is not already there. Once the info is in DB, columns' usage section will report documents the column is used in. Also, column's name change will trigger the update of placeholder in all relevant documents.
Nathan Phillips (CW) 11/14/2011 4:02:54 PM
Nice! I'll do that. Thanks!
Philipp Matuschka 1/11/2012 8:48:41 AM
Haven't tried it yet but sounds excellent. Thank you very much
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