Often when entering information, you want to restrict the entry to a limited number of possibilities, or to ensure that it meets some particular criteria. The Custom Validations in MoneyWorks allow you to do this, either by specifying a list of acceptable values, or a formula that checks the validity of the entry.1
A validation list is basically a list of acceptable entries that can be made in a particular field. Thus if we want to tag transactions or customers by country, we first need to make a list of valid countries (the Validation List), and then associate this with whatever data entry field(s) we want the country to be entered in. When the user starts typing into the field, a drop-down list of valid matches is displayed. When the field is exited, its contents are checked against the item values in the validation list, and if no match is found a choices list is displayed.
A validation expression is a formula that is evaluated when the field is exited. If it evaluates to true, the entry is allowed. Otherwise a message is displayed and the field cannot be exited. An example would be where the text in the field must be exactly 4 characters long.
A new record cannot be saved until all the fields with custom validations have a valid entry. Note that:
- Custom Validations are applicable only when entering information through the relevant entry screen. They do not apply for importing, replacing or other forms of data creation that bypass the user interface.
- A Custom Validation applied to a field in a transaction entry window will only apply to that type of entry (e.g. Payment, Debtor Invoice). This allows you to have different validations for different types of transaction.
- Custom Validations are stored by User, allowing you to have different validation lists for different users.
Note: Take care where assigning a custom validation to the transaction Salesperson field when you are also using the product Append Salesperson option. The validation list should only consist of a subset of the valid departments (otherwise it will be impossible to make a valid entry).