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Clear fields via automation

  • 1.  Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-13-2020 17:14
    Edited by Andrew Fry 01-13-2020 17:16
    I am setting up an automation so that when certain fields in a record are modified, other fields in the same record are cleared.

    However, when I go to input which fields are to be modified and save the automation, it doesn't save two of the fields that need to be changed.

    I save it as this:


    But when I go back and check it, it has changed to this:


    I need to have the Assignment Approved checkbox be unchecked via the automation. That is working.

    I also need the Assignment Approved On to be cleared out, it is a date/time field, and the Assignment Approved by to be cleared out, it is a text field.

    I have a button populating those two fields when clicked.

    Is there a way to clear a field using an automation? What am I missing?

    P.S. I have thought about using Dynamic Form Rules, but I have other automations that play a role in this process and the Dynamic Form Rules doesn't change things after-the-fact.


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    Andrew
    andrew.fry25@gmail.com
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  • 2.  RE: Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-13-2020 17:29
    I'm not sure if that is a bug or a feature/limitation, but that one also just bit me.  So I created a formula text field with no formula called Blank field used in Automations and updated the Automation to put the value of that field into the field ot be cleared.

    If you feel inspired you could put in a support ticket claiming it's a bug and see what they come back with and let us know.

    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-13-2020 17:38
    Mark, that is a really creative way to achieve the results needed. Thanks for sharing.

    I think I will have to create two formula fields, one a date/time and the other a text, so that the corresponding field type is related to the field type of the fields I need to clear.

    I will submit a ticket for it and post back here to see if we can get some movement with it.

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    Andrew
    andrew.fry25@gmail.com
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  • 4.  RE: Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-13-2020 18:07
    So I am currently working with customer support to get this fixed. They were very quick to respond!!

    by using <blank> in my automation it cleared the date/time field, as was expected.

    However, for the text field, it simply puts the text: <blank>, in the field.

    So I am 50% there, but have to figure out how to get the text field automation to work correctly.

    FYI, I tried you suggestion Mark, and it work perfectly. Greate band-aid for something that shouldn't need a band-aid ....

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    Andrew
    andrew.fry25@gmail.com
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  • 5.  RE: Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-13-2020 18:09
    .. are you saying that the formula for the blank text field was just to leave the formula box empty and yet it put words in the field as a result of the Automation using that field as a source?

    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-13-2020 18:14
    Edited by Andrew Fry 01-13-2020 18:16
    Sorry, let me clarify:

    I tested your suggestion. It worked flawlessly for both the date/time field and the text field. Both were empty after the automation ran. No issues there.

    ----------------------------

    QB Customer Care suggested that I have the source be "Type a Value" and the value be: <blank>, for both the date/time field and the text field.

    Their exact words were: 

    "When you leave the fields blank Quick Base thinks it does not have to write anything but when you put <blank> Quick Base will know that it has to write in a blank space. It is a little confusing but it should work ..... "

    So I tested it and it worked for the date/time field. Once the automation ran, the date/time field was empty.

    But it did not give the expected results for the text field. The text field was not empty after the automation ran. It contained the text: <blank>.

    Hopefully that makes sense.

    ----------------------

    I am trying to see if I can have things run via the automation the way that it really should work instead of using helper fields. But if they can not do it, then at least I know that using the helper fields (your suggestion) works.

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    Andrew
    andrew.fry25@gmail.com
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  • 7.  RE: Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-13-2020 18:25
    SOLVED!!!!

    So the QB Customer Care shared one other tidbit:

    "For a text field, you can use one single space to make it blank. It should also work instead of <blank> for all other field types as well, so it may be best just to stick with one single space for consistency's sake... Another Quick Base mystery solved!! ...."

    I inquired if using a space would simply make the field a blank text space value. This was their response:

    "The character count I just did on the field afterward suggests that it is nulling out the field rather than writing in a blank space so it should not be a blank text space value."

    So I gave it a try, and yup, it works! Using a space to clear/empty out a field works for all field types, and does not place a "space" character in the field. It truly is empty.

    So now we know how to clear a field via automation.

    Thanks again Mark for your assistance and providing me with a creative workaround.


    ------------------------------
    Andrew
    andrew.fry25@gmail.com
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  • 8.  RE: Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-14-2020 00:48
    Thx for posting where we all landed on this.

    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Clear fields via automation

    Posted 01-14-2020 09:55
    That's interesting. I was going to suggest using _blank_ for the text field as that is what you can do in reports. I was not aware you could do <blank> as well.