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Cascading drop-downs allow using an Excel sheet to provide values for the drop-downs in WebCenter Attribute Categories and Task Specifications.  

This knowledge base article gives an overview of known problems and frequently asked questions. 

Symptoms and solution table


Non-numbers are no longer appearing in the drop-down.

Numbers are displayed with a '.0' after the number.

See Troubleshooting Cascading drop-downs in the WebCenter configuration manual
Error: "java.sql.SQLException: [Microsoft][ODBC Excel Driver] Cannot open database '(unknown)'. It may not be a database that your application recognizes, or the file may be corrupt."See Troubleshooting Cascading drop-downs in the WebCenter configuration manual
List xxx is no longer configured.See Troubleshooting Cascading drop-downs in the WebCenter configuration manual

An empty entry appears at the top of a drop-down.

When selecting such an empty entry, all the other drop-downs of the same cascading drop-down, select an empty entry.

Your excel sheet contains empty rows. Please verify the excel sheet and delete all empty rows.

In many cases, the empty rows are simply at the bottom of the excel sheet. Select all rows under the last row and delete them. Excel remembers until where the cells have been edited. In many cases, users have accessed rows but not filled out data (or took out data).

Some combination cannot be made with the Cascading drop-downs. Other combinations work fine.

Your excel sheet contains the same values with different casing. When there is an uppercase version and a lowercase version of the same value, only one of those will be used in the cascading drop-downs. For the other value, combinations cannot be made.

We recommend storing the possible values in a separate sheet and restricting the values in the main sheet to the values in the separate sheet.

Drop-downs do not work in Task Search.

Cascading drop-downs does not work in Task Search. This is a known limitation.

In WebCenter 16.0 and later this limitation is no longer there.

Drop-downs do not work in Project Search or Document Search.The attribute category is not selected for the Project or Document Search. Go to the search definition, click Attributes and verify that an attribute category is selected where the cascading drop-down is defined. If not, change the attribute category.

What is the effect of changing the excel sheet data? Will I lose information for existing documents/projects/tasks?


Cascading drop-downs don't work with .xlsx files

.xlsx files are the files written by more recent versions of Microsoft Excel. The Microsoft driver used in WebCenter 12.1.1 and older versions does not work on .xlsx files. You will get a message that the list could not be loaded. Load your .xlsx file into Excel and save it as .xls. This will only work if your sheet has less than 65536 rows. If you have more rows, cascading drop-downs will be very slow anyway.

This is solved in WebCenter 14. However you need to update the driver (see other knowledge base articles).

How can I use the same Excel sheet (even the same work sheet) multiple times in the same attribute category?In lists.xml on webinstance\custom\excel, add another <list> element pointing to the same Excel sheet. This may or may not be a full copy, depending on whether you need the exact same behavior or not. Make sure the newly created list has a different name.
Cannot read XLS file

The file is open in Microsoft Excel on the web server. Maybe you were editing the file before trying. It is also possible that somebody else has opened the file.

It is also possible that the file has invalid column headers. The column headers cannot have special characters like , (comma) or ' (apostrophe). For example a column named Product's will fail to read (because of the '). Replace it with Products (which is also correct English).

Article information
Applies to

WebCenter all versions

Last revised21-Oct-13
CW Number-