The Haunted Field

I am currently working on a huge application which exists for many years now, and has a long history with different developers and just a few manuals and/or documentations. But as often it is a critical business application which is in use across different countries 24/7. The more danger, the more less honor: Every fault is just a further nail in the coffin of the developer…

Today I had to develop an extension for this application, and this has driven me crazy, because it was a pain to identify to problem: After creating a document from a XPage the workflow stopped. When filling out the form in in the NotesClient the problem did not occur. But using the same form in a XPage (with computeWithForm) did not work.

After investigating I found out that the problem was caused by a required field which was not created. It was just not there, nothing, nada.

In the form it was defined as a computed field…

… but even with a simple XPage …

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xp:view xmlns:xp="http://www.ibm.com/xsp/core">

    <xp:this.data>
        <xp:dominoDocument var="document1" formName="Doc"
            computeWithForm="onsave">
        </xp:dominoDocument>
    </xp:this.data>

    <xp:button value="Save" id="buttonSubmit">
        <xp:eventHandler event="onclick" submit="true"
            refreshMode="complete" immediate="false" save="true" />
    </xp:button>
    <xp:br />
    <xp:messages id="errMessages" />

</xp:view>

… the field was not created:

[I have tried the computeWithForm parameter with every available option.]

Searching for a quick workaround I tried to use an oldschool LS agent, but even then the mystery was not solved. Instead, it grew:

%REM
    Agent ComputeWithForm
    Created Jul 17, 2013 by Sven Hasselbach/Hasselba/CH
%END REM
Option Public
Option Declare

Sub Initialize
    Dim session As New NotesSession
    Dim db As NotesDatabase
    Dim doc As NotesDocument

    Set db = session.Currentdatabase
    Set doc = New NotesDocument( db )
    doc.Form = "Doc"
    doc.Computewithform True, true
    doc.Save true, false
End Sub

This was the resulting error message:

When opening the form in the NotesClient and saving the document, everything works as expected:

What’s going on here? It was really interesting to find the reason. In the last years I always thought that computed fields have always values defined in the form. But this is not a requirement for author fields:

Adding a simple @UserName to the field, and the issue was solved.

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Ein Kommentar zu The Haunted Field

  1. ComputeWithForm has more surprises in stock for XPiNC. Is seems (I haven’t 100% verified that yet), that if a ComputeWithForm triggers an UI Action (like prompting something) then the XPiNC application looses the focus to some (haven’t determined how the „some“ is picked) classic tab and then a facescontext.getExternalContext.redirect will not fire.

    XPiNC and ComputeWithForm are very odd bed fellows indeed

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