Automatically Populate a Value Into a Field During Data Entry
Populating a field is a way of automatically inserting specific data into a field based on some condition. The data can be a static value/text or a value/text from another field.
The populate action will occur either when the form is opened up or based on the defined trigger event during data entry on the form. That event is in the "condition" portion of the conditional action.
Any field defined in the condition will be a "trigger" field. When a value in a trigger field changes, the event is checked by the system to populate the target field. Because of this, and similar to Hide and Disable conditional actions, events/conditions must be triggered during data entry by something a user is doing on the form. Populates are not run during form save or during version migrations.
If a field can potentially be populated differently for different scenarios, multiple populates can be written. In this example, we want to populate the current date into a date field if the user selects 'Yes' in some other field. If they select No, we want to clear any value that might exist:
To clear a field from a populate, simply leave the bottom target value empty:
Important points to consider:
- A field type can only populate similar data. For example, if populating a date field, the source data needs to either be a date or come from another date field. In other words, a date field cannot be used to populate a text field.
- Avoid nesting populate functions. In other words, If field A is getting auto-populated, do not populate field B based on Field A. Instead, populate the B using the same condition that caused field A to populate. In this way its not a nested action. If it needs nested, there must be some trigger used during data entry.
- Formulas should not be used to populate a field. If a formula is needed, use a computation CA.
Clear a field's data from a populate condition
You can use the Populate Value conditional action to clear a field. It processes the condition exactly the same way. However, if you want to clear the target field, do not enter anything into the formula editor. By leaving this blank, when the event is triggered by the user, the system will clear the field if the condition is true.
A simpler way to clear a value if it makes sense for the scenario is to make it hidden with a Hide type conditional action.
Populate upon form open
Populating can also be accomplished based on the form simply opening up, assuming the condition is true and there is a "Manual" property set on the Conditional action.
To create a Manual populate, simply enter the text "Manual" as the first part of the conditional action name:
When doing this Similar to a computed field. The following icon will appear next to the field and the condition will get checked automatically when a record is opened by a user.