One of our beloved clients recently reached out with a puzzling mystery:
“Help! - Our ticket fields are no longer behaving properly, some fields appear, others not . . . This issue is preventing an entire department from effectively processing tickets.
After some troubleshooting, we were able to confirm that everything was behaving normally on our platform, but there continued to be a mystery: there were no logs of a change to the conditional fields, nor any recollection by their team, in what caused things to go amiss.
After some testing, we found the culprit — conditional fields is very sensitive beast, and you must be very careful with any modificaitons you make to your ticket fields and forms.
The short story is thus: every time the page loads, the conditional fields logic looks for the fields you’ve specified, and acts accordingly to either:
- expose fields
- hide fields
- require fields for submission
If the conditional fields logic doesn’t find an option in a field that you’ve told it to look for, it essentially becomes paralyzed, and cannot fully verify that the conditions have been met. Once this occurs, there is another sinister twist that you must beware of — if you remove a ticket field entirely, or a field option that the rule needs, the next time you open up the app, it’ll remove any rules that you had in relation to that ticket field (since it cannot find that field, it doesn’t know whether to execute the other items in that option, as they’re all dependent).
This . . . can cause a big surprise if you are not careful! I removed Fake Item 4 in my test below:
And then it subsequently (and immediately) removed the Conditional Field rules that it was related to:
Similar to the logic mentioned above, it is just as important to be conscious of changes to the ticket form. If a ticket field which is selected for a rule in the Fields to show column is removed, that will completely wipe out the rule(s) where that field was selected. The app is not conditioned to handle only removing that particular field from the rule.
This includes removing the field from the form in the ticket form interface, deactivating a field, or deleting a ticket field completely. Know that if a field was just deactivated and the rules were not saved, you may be able to just activate that ticket field to get your rules back.
Fortunately the steps to fix this are quick and easy:
- Plan your changes carefully — before removing any ticket field option, or ticket field, visit your conditional fields app settings
- Remove this field option (or field) from all rules in the Conditional Fields App
- Submit your changes
- Make your ticket field modification
- Re-visit your Conditional Fields App, and re-publish the code to your Help Center (if you have customer-facing conditional fields)
- Celebrate! - you just dodged a really sneaky, and un-fun situation! 🍺