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A select tool only saves to its configuration changes that you make. For example, if my select tool looks like this:
the xml configuration looks like this:
I've made no changes, so everything will flow through as unknown. If field1....field5 suddenly changed to type int32 upstream, the select tool will just let them flow through as int32 since the unknown line isn't specifying the data type. If you wanted your select tool to always be string of size 1, then you can change your select tool to forced:
Now the xml has a lot of data to ensure that it will always be type string:
Now if int32 data came through in field1...field5, the select tool will change it to a string.