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Include an error when attempting to use Null fields in a math formula

When adding multiple integer fields together in a formula tool, if one of the integer values is Null, the output for that record will be 0. For example, if the formula is [Field_A] + [Field_B] + [Field_C], if the values for one record are 5 + Null + 8, the output will be 0. All in all, this makes sense, as a Null isn't defined as a number in any way - it's like trying to evaluate 5 + potato. However, there is no error or warning indicating that this is taking place when the workflow is run, it just passes silently.

 

Is there any way to have this behavior reported as a warning or conversion error when it happens? Again, the behavior itself makes sense, but it would be great to get a little heads up when it's happening. 

4 Comments
16 - Nebula
16 - Nebula

This would be helpful, I agree @Chrispy.    This is kinda like the behaviour that really frustrates folk when they first start working with SQL, where NULL fails all comparisons.   So Null>1 is false; null<1 is false; even null=null is false, as is Null<>null.  So this is very confusing for folks who have never seen it, and takes a while to debug the first time.

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: Under Review

Thanks so much for this feedback to help make Formula better. We'll consider this with other potential improvements to the Formula tool. 

7 - Meteor

That's fantastic - thank you Rachel!

Moderator
Moderator
Status changed to: Revisit

Thank you for your idea! Our product team has reviewed this idea and cannot place it on the road map at this time. However they would still like to keep it in mind for future road map decisions. We'll update the status of this idea once we are able to term where or if we can place it on the road map.