How does the setting "Allow Other Values" for Cascading Dropdowns (List Attributes) work?
How can I allow users to pick other values than allowed by an Excel sheet?
How can I avoid that users pick other values than those allowed by an Excel sheet?
The following applies only to Cascading Dropdowns based on database Lists. If you are using an Excel sheet on the Web Server (old style), you cannot choose whether users can use other values than defined in the Excel sheet, they are always limited. Also see: Cascading Dropdowns.
Single Value Attributes
When the user types text in the input field, this is used to filter values in the list. However when blurring the field (tab, click outside) without selecting a value from the dropdown, the system checks the typed value. In case this value is a value listed in the dropdown, it is just accepted (checking is case-insensitive but the value jumps to the exact case as in the list). If the value is not in the dropdown, the behavior depends on the setting Allow Other Values:
Disabled: The value is rejected and the field returns to the old value (potentially blank).
Enabled: A confirmation dialog is shown. If the user clicks OK, the typed value is accepted, else the field returns to the old value.
The other Attributes in the same cascade (linked to the same List) are not filtered to the new value until you first save the Attributes (to avoid all other fields show an empty list since you chose a value which is not in the List).
However, after saving the Attributes, the system no longer knows that another value was chosen and will apply the normal cascading logic (same as if the value was valid but made invalid by changes in the list). This is a conceptual limitation which is unlikely to get solved in the foreseeable time. We expect users to fill out cascading dropdowns in one session or to restart the cascade (on any of the cascading Attribute fields, open the dialog, click Advanced > Reset All Related Values)
The check box Allow Other Values is not enabled by default. For single-value Attributes, this creates a situation different from WebCenter 14 where other values were accepted (in the background), however the rest of the cascade no longer worked (we have got several complaints about this so decided to change the default behavior).
If the setting Allow Other Values is disabled, there is no way to select values which are not in the List (there is no typing box other than the filter).
In case the Allow Other Values check box is checked, an additional link ‘Other Value’ is shown at the top of the multi-value pop-up. When clicking the link, an additional row is added at the top of the values. The row contains a check box (default checked) and an input field.
The link ‘Other Value’ can be clicked multiple times to add multiple values. When blurring the dialog, the new values with a check box will be accepted. When opening the selection dialog again, the added values will appear at the bottom of the list (just like values which were selected in a previous session but removed from the list).
As for single value Attributes, the cascade is temporarily adapted to disregard the filtering by Attributes with ‘other’ values. This is only maintained until saving after which the system falls back on the normal behavior.
Changing the Setting
Follow these steps to change the setting for your List:
Open your Attribute Category configuration.
With an Attribute linked to the List selected, click Configure List.
In case there is no link "Configure List", you either have a Web Server based List or you are using a lower version than WebCenter 14.1.
A dialog opens as shown below. The check box Allow Other Values determines the behavior of the Cascading Dropdowns.