KBA-01766: Providing Codes for Empty Fields


On code sets (in the Code Maintenance tool), why do I need to include a ? code? I don’t want anything without a choice to be allowed.  Do I really have to have a value?
Why won’t the system let me delete the ? code?


We recommend that you include one code of ? or NA included with any code set that will show up in filters and templates.  We require a ? or NA code on the Subtype codeset.

  • Filters require an empty choice in order to “display all”
  • Templates require an empty choice to “match all”
  • Values that have never been set at all will all start out empty

Essential Code Sets

  • Document Subtype (especially Project Setup Subtype) must have a ? or N code.

Does the Description have to be blank?

No.  While the description can be blank it does not need to be blank.  Common alternatives include (Not Set) and (Pick One).  

What about the Code I want to be the Default?

Sure, you can make something else the default (top, choice), but this only applies if the drop down has actually been on the screen.  Internally the field will start out empty – and you need a way to designate that.

To make a choice be the default:

  1. Add a description to the ? code so that it is not blank, for example (Select One) or Nothing Selected.
  2. Add a space to the description of the code that you want to make the default.  Spaces come before letters in alphabetical order.

How do I force a selection?

Use the Required When option in the UI Configuration tool or a Workflow Script (or save extensions or JavaScript) to provide a default value and/or validation that a selection was made.  Still, none of these validations cover the reality that a document might have been created by workflows or copy commands and not yet presented on the screen and saved by the user.  These fields require the ? or NA code.

KBA-01766; Last updated: June 21, 2019 at 10:17 am