Setting up Field Dependencies
In order to ensure a seamless and meaningful user experience, the Continia Expense App and the Continia Expense Portal allow for setting up constraints between different fields. These constraints, known as field dependencies, consist of conditions and expectations.
By defining specific conditions, corresponding expectations are enforced. For instance, if the dimension 'DEPARTMENT' is set to 'SALES' (the condition), the user will be prompted to specify a value for the 'PROJECT' dimension (the expectation.
Field dependencies apply across all document types: expense reports, expenses, mileages, and per diems.
There are two types of field dependencies:
- System field dependencies - Expense Management automatically calculates these based on the setup. For example, if you have set a dimension as mandatory for a specific expense type, this would generate a corresponding system field dependency that makes this dimension mandatory if that expense type is used.
- User-defined field dependencies - dependencies that can be freely configured to enforce rules and expectations when you create expense documents.
To set up field dependencies:
Select the icon, enter Field Type Dependencies, and then select the related link.
On the action bar, select New.
Fill out all the required fields:
Field Description Field type code Specify the expense type. You can select one from the list or select New to add a custom type. Condition Options are:
- Has a specific value: you can only use this option for the Field type codes of the data type Option or Code.
- Has any value
Value Specify the value if the condition is set to Has a specific value. For example, if the Field type code is set to Expense type, and the condition is set to Has a specific value, in the Value column, you can select Hardware. Reference field type code Specify the field type by selecting from a list. Expectation Options are:
- Must have value
- Must have a specific value: you can only use this option for Field type codes of the data type Code or Text.
- Must have no value
Expected value If the dependency entails a possible value outcome; it will be posted here. System Created Selected when the dependency was created automatically. Disabled Specifies whether the dependency is disabled. This happens automatically when a conflict is detected. Detected conflicts If the dependency is disabled, this field states the reason why.
On the action bar, select Consistency Check to enable this rule.
On the action bar, select Force Synchronization with Continia Online and the rule will be pushed to associated mobile devices.
The field dependency is only active if the field type and reference field type codes are Configured Fields.
System field dependencies are determined whenever you select Update System Dependencies. All resulting rules will be added to the Field Type Dependencies page. If any conflicts are detected in a field, a message will be displayed, and the conflicting rules will be disabled. When you select Update System Dependencies, a consistency check is performed automatically, which will reevaluate conditions.
The list of system field dependencies is calculated and updated periodically but can also be updated manually to reflect the latest setup changes in your company. When you update system field dependencies, they're created automatically on the Field Type Dependencies page but always have to be activated manually, giving you complete control.
To calculate and update system field dependencies, follow these steps:
- Choose the icon, enter Field Dependencies, and then choose the related link.
- On the action bar, select Update System Dependencies.
Expense Management determines the system field dependencies based on the following:
- Expense type with attendees required
- Default dimensions
If you upgrade from versions older than Expense Management 7.0 and you’re used to Expense Management calculating field dependencies automatically, note that this no longer takes place as conflicts may occur. All conflicts have to be resolved.
When adding a new field dependency, you’ll notice that the dependency is disabled, and next to it, there's the message “Run the Consistency Check action to enable this dependency.”
The consistency check helps you configure dependencies correctly, detect if rules have no use or are in conflict with one another, check for rule consistency and potential conflicts, and provide suggestions for solving any issues.
To run a consistency check:
- On the action bar, select Consistency Check and Update System Dependencies to start the consistency check automatically.