Is there a way an easy way to notify someone of a blank field?

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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We have several people that track information about clients, however instead of creating an all inclusive report about all the information. We are wondering if there is a simplistic way to track which fields are unanswered.
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Courtney

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Posted 3 years ago

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Hi Courtney,

Here are some suggestions,

If you want to notify the user entering the information;



  • You can make the field required at the field level, which will prevent the user from saving or creating a record if the field/ fields are left blank. 
  • Or, you can make it a conditional required form rule, that will only require or un-require the filed if a condition is either met or not met, depending on how you chose to setup the rule. 
  • Less restrictive, you can setup a form rule that displays a message when the record is saved reminding the user that a filed is left blank and should have contain a value. 
If you want to notify someone other then the user entering or updating a record;

  • If you just want see if a field is left blank after a record is created or updated you can set up an email notification that will send an email when the record is created or updated and the field is left blank.
  • Likewise you can create a report that identifies records where the filed or fields in question are left blank and set it up as a report subscription that is emailed to the respective stakeholders on a daily or weekly basis.
Hopes this helps.

Best,

Leo Garza
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Courtney

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Hi Leo,

Thanks for the answer. I'm specifically looking for after a record has been entered. I had already thought about creating a report, however, there are A LOT of fields and I don't want to include every possible field. This would mean having to search for blanks and I was hoping to be able to narrow down just the blank fields
What do on long forms where I need to be kind to users is to have a giant IF statement which lists the missing fields.  I put this field at the top of the form.  As users enter info, the missing info summary gets smaller and smaller.  If there is workflow involved, then I prevent the form from being Submittedd for Approval or whatever the next step in the work flow is until all the fields are filled in.  That way the user is granted the convenience of working away at the form to gather the info, saving as they go, over a number of hours or even days until they have the form completed.
Hi Courtney,

Try setting up a notification to identify when a record is modified or added, then under "Additional criteria" select  "any", then <some filed> then leave the last box blank.

This should fire off a notification when a record is created or updated and any field in the record is equal to blank.

You can also setup a report in the above manor and schedule it as a notification for automated delivery or you can just look up the report on an as needed basis.

Let me know if you choose to try this and how it works out for you.

Best,
Leo Garza
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
How does the IF statement work?
here in an example of a text formula field which lists the missing fields

List("\n",

If(Trim([Invoice # (with the problem)])="","Missing Invoice #"),

If(Nz([Product Selection])=0,"Missing Product"),

If(Trim([Item #])="", "Missing Item #"),

If(Nz([Defect #])=0,"Missing Defect"))
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
just to clarify, you create a field which contains the text formula above and this is at the top of the page? It shows each subsequent field that is then left unanswered aka blank?
yes, exactly.

The list function will list the next text elements separated by a delimiter.  In this case I have used the delimited of   \n which causes a new line, as I did want them to be comma separated.  I wanted them to be listed "vertically" for readability.

Many of the IF's will calculate to null as the user gets them completed.  Those ones are where the data is OK.  The List function will just not include the null ones in the List as there is nothing to List.
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
what do trim and NZ mean in the example formula?
Trim gets rid of any spaces before or after the text.  It ensures that if the user happens to enter say just a space as a response, that I will count that as a missing field.  Technically they did enter something, but you would need your superman X-Ray vision to see spaces.

The Nz() is probably not necessary.  It turns a null value in a numeric field into a zero.  typically all numeric fields need to know how to treat a blank.  That Nz( ) function will turn a null into a zero.
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
In trying out the formula I entered the following, but it seems I am making an error. Any guidance?

List("\n",If(Trim([Auto Ins]),  ="","Missing Auto Insu"),If(trim([HS Signed by Marsha])=0,"Missing HS Marsha"))
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
I think i had an extra comma, but now i have the error of missing arguments. HS signed by Marsha is a date field, does trim work for date fields
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Courtney

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Sorry for the repeated questions. I believe I have figured out how to use the formula Thank you! It is doing exactly what I had hopped, my only other question involves different types of fields. For example, I noticed trim works for text only fields, is there a function or formula like trim that would work for 1) check boxes 2) Dates, 3) multiple choice fields?
to check a date field being null you use

IsNull(my date field])

To check a checkbox, well a checkbox is either true or false.  an empty checkbox means false.

so you can use

[My checkbox field] = false

or to check for true you use

[My checkbox field] = true


A multiple choice field is just a text field with limited data entry choices, so you can use the same trim for that, but since there is no way to have a user select a drop down choice with just spaces in it, then its not really necessary.
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
I can't seem to get the isNull to work within the formula given prior. I am receiving errors about left parenthesizes. Any help?
Hi Courtney,
looks like you may be missing the left square bracket. try this; IsNull([my date field])
Best,
Leo
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
Thanks Leo. I did that but now receive this error "The types of the arguments or the number of arguments supplied do not meet the requirements of the function List". I'm assuming it is because I want to add it to a list, any suggestions?

This is my current formula:
List("\n",If(Trim([Signed Contract])="No","Contract"),If(Trim([Signed Contract])="","Contract"),If(Trim([NPI#])="","NPI#"),If(Trim([NPI#])="No","NPI#"),If(Trim([Colorado Drivers License])="No","Colo DL"), If(Trim([Colorado Drivers License])="","Colo DL"),If(Trim([FCRA Form Received])="No","FCRA"),If(Trim([Quick CBI Result])="","Quick CBI"),If(Trim([Quick Federal Result])="","Quick Federal"),If(Trim([Initial W-9])="No","W-9"), If(Trim([Initial W-9])="","W-9"),If(Trim([Biz W-9])="No","Biz W-9"), If(Trim([Biz W-9])="","Biz W-9"),If(Trim([Deduction Form])="No","Deduction Form"))

Most fields are text, the remaining fields are date fields.  
[auto insurance expiration]
[Physical completion date]
[Prof Liability expiration]
Courtney,

1. I strongly suggest that you add carriage returns so that the IF st attempts line up vertically.  It's much easier to debug that way.

2. The Trim function and equals "" is just to check if a text or email field is blank.  If you are checking other fields types, you would use IsNull( ) to check for empty values
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Courtney

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Thank you. I have no idea what a carriage return is. When I add IsNull([Physical completion date]) to the end of the previous formula so that it reads

.........If(Trim([Deduction Form])="No","Deduction Form"),IsNull([Physical completion date]))

I receive this error:
The types of the arguments or the number of arguments supplied do not meet the requirements of the function List. The function is defined to be List (Text d, Text t1, Text t2, ...).
By a carriage return, i just mean to start a new line so that the text is easy to read.

if you would like help in debugging your formula, please post the complete formula after you add some new lines  (ie hit the ENTER key) so that it lines up vertically for easier readability.
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
My formula works 100% until I try to add the IsNull[date field] (last row in the formula below) then I receive the following error:
Formula error -- Bad or missing arguments in function call

List("\n",
If(Trim([Signed Contract])="No","Contract"),
If(Trim([Signed Contract])="","Contract"),
If(Trim([NPI#])="","NPI#"),
If(Trim([NPI#])="No","NPI#"),
If(Trim([Colorado Drivers License])="No","Colo DL"),
If(Trim([Colorado Drivers License])="","Colo DL"),
If(Trim([FCRA Form Received])="No","FCRA"),
If(Trim([FCRA Form Received])="","FCRA"),
If(Trim([Quick CBI Result])="","Quick CBI"),
If(Trim([Quick Federal Result])="","Quick Federal"),
If(Trim([Initial W-9])="No","W-9"),
If(Trim([Initial W-9])="","W-9"),
If(Trim([Biz W-9])="No","Biz W-9"),
If(Trim([Biz W-9])="","Biz W-9"),
If(Trim([Deduction Form])="No","Deduction Form"),
If(Trim([Deduction Form])="","Deduction Form"),
If(Trim([Resume])="No","Resume"),
If(Trim([Resume])="","Resume"),
If(Trim([Interview Q&A])="No","Interview Q&A"),
If(Trim([Interview Q&A])="","Interview Q&A"),
If(Trim([DIC Form])="No","DIC Form"),
If(Trim([DIC Form])="","DIC Form"),
If(Trim([Reference 1 Name])="No","Reference 1"),
If(Trim([Reference 1 Name])="","Reference 1"),
If(Trim([Reference 2 Name])="No","Reference 2"),
If(Trim([Reference 2 Name])="","Reference 2"),
If(Trim([Reference 3 Name])="No","Reference 3"),
If(Trim([Reference 3 Name])="","Reference 3"),
If(Trim([Background Inquiry Form/Central Registry Form])="No","Central Registry"),
If(Trim([Background Inquiry Form/Central Registry Form])="","Central Registry"),
If(Trim([Fingerprint Card])="No","Finger Prints"),
 If(Trim([Fingerprint Card])="","Finger Prints"),
If(Trim([DS Result])="","Drug Screen"),
If(Trim([Orientation Forms Complete?])="No","Orientation Forms"),
If(Trim([Orientation Forms Complete?])="","Orientation Forms"),
If(Trim([Transcripts Received])="No","Transcripts"),
If(Trim([Transcripts Received])="","Transcripts"),
If(Trim([Dora Listing])="No","Dora"),
If(Trim([Dora Listing])="","Dora"),
IsNull([Physical completion date]))
:) you are just going a bit cross-eyed.

You need the IF in front of that last one just like the the others

IF(IsNull([Physical completion date])))
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
I copied that into the formula and received the following error:

Formula error -- Bad or missing arguments in function call

The types of the arguments or the number of arguments supplied do not meet the requirements of the function If.

The function is defined to be If (Boolean condition1, result1, ..., else-result).
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
I forgot to add the " "
IF(IsNull([Physical completion date]),"Physical Date"))
Thank you for all the help. I have one more formula I am struggling with and the fields are all check boxes.
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Courtney

  • 32 Points
List("\n",
If([Family Photo])=false,"Family Photo"),
if([Map Quest])=false,"Map Quest"),
If([Marriage License])=false,"Marriage License"),
If([Financials])=false,"Financials"),
If([Home Insurance])=false,"Home Insurance"))


Formula syntax error There are extra characters beyond the end of the formula.