Using Calculated Custom Data


Custom forms enable you to capture your organization’s unique information by adding fields that are not available by default.

You can create various types of custom fields and associate them with a custom form.
For more information about creating custom forms for your organization and understanding the type of fields you can associate with them, see "Creating Custom Forms."

Understanding Calculated Custom Data

One of the types of fields you can add to a custom form is a calculated field. 

By building Calculated Custom Fields you can create new fields in Workfront by referencing other existing fields and by using calculated data expressions to connect them. Workfront can only use data already stored in the system in calculated fields. We recommend to identify the needed fields to ensure the data necessary for the calculation is present in Workfront before creating a new calculated field. 

For example, Profit is a calculated difference between Revenue and Costs. Because Profit is not a built-in field, if an organization wanted to look at Profit they would need to create it as a calculated custom field with a mathematical expression that subtracts Costs from Revenue, which are native Workfront fields. 

IMPORTANT Calculated Custom Fields can become outdated over time. To ensure that you always view the up-to-date calculation in these fields, do one of the following:

  • Save the objects where the Custom Forms with Calculated Custom Fields are attached when you are editing them.
  • Select the Recalculate Custom Expressions option when editing objects in bulk. 
  • Select the Update previous calculations option when editing a Calculated Custom Field on a Custom Form. 

Creating Calculated Custom Fields 

  1. In the Setup area, click Custom Forms.
  2. Select an existing custom form where you want to create calculated custom data, then click Edit.
    Or you can create a new custom form, as described in "Creating Custom Forms."
  3. Click Calculated.
  4. In the New Custom Form or the Edit Custom Form, you can specify the information for the following fields:
    Label: This is the field name. The name of the custom field can be referenced in reports.
    Instructions: You can store the calculation in this field, as a reference. If you plan to use this calculated custom field on multiple forms, the instructions help as a reminder about what the calculation is. For more information about using the same calculated custom field on a new form, see "Using an Existing Calculated Custom Field on a New Form."
    Format: The format in which the results of the field are stored and displayed. The format options available are:
    - Text
    - Currency
    - Number
    - Date
    - Date/ Time
    If your field must be used in mathematical calculations, always use a Number or a Currency format. When you select Number or Currency, the system automatically truncates numbers that start with 0.
    IMPORTANT Consider the correct format for the new field, before you choose the format. The format field cannot be edited after the custom form is saved.
    Calculation: Define the calculation using the Expressions and Fields areas by double-clicking values to add them to the Calculation box .
    For more information about the calculated data expressions available, see "Understanding Calculated Data Expressions."
    Consider the following when building a Calculated Field in a Custom Form:
    • The calculation must start with the expression, and must be followed by round parentheses that contain the fields referenced in the calculation.
    • The field names must appear in the calculation exactly how they appear in the Workfront system. The names of the fields are case-sensitive.
      For example, Profit can be calculated by displaying the difference between Actual Revenue and Actual Cost in a project custom form.  
    • You can use Workfront native fields in calculations, as well as custom fields.
    • You can refer to objects that are related to other objects in a calculation. 
      For more information about how objects connect to one another, see the "
      Understanding the Interdependency and Hierarchy of Objects" section in the "Understanding Objects" article.
    • When you reference a related object in a calculated custom field, the object names and attributes are separated by periods. The names of the objects and fields appear as they display in the interface.
      For example, you can display the name of the Portfolio Owner in a calculated custom field for a task form.
      This indicates that from the object of the custom form (Task), you can access the next related object (Project), from there, you can access the following related object from project (Portfolio), then the portfolio owner (Owner).
    • When you reference another custom field in a calculated custom field, the field name is preceded by "DE:" and surrounded by curly brackets. The name of the field appears as it displays in the interface. 
      For example, a calculated field that shows the Month of a calculated date field named "Assignment Timestamp" has the following calculation: 
    • If the data in the calculation is entered incorrectly, a warning is displayed to alert you that there is a mistake in your calculation. You cannot save the form unless you edit your calculation to reflect valid fields and a valid calculated expression. Add Logic: This field is available only when a checkbox, radio button, or a drop-down field precedes the calculated field. For more information about display logic in custom forms, see "Display Rules on Custom Forms." Update previous calculations: Select this field if you are editing an existing calculated custom field, to reflect the new calculation. 
  5. Click Done when all changes are complete on the custom field.  
  6. (Optional) Click Apply to apply your changes to the form so far, and if you want to continue adding custom fields to the form. 
  7. Click Save + Close when all changes are complete on the custom form.  

Verifying a Calculated Custom Field

To verify that your calculated custom field works, you must associate the form with an object in Workfront.

To attach a form to an object in Workfront:

  1. Choose the object for which the custom form is designated. For more information about object-specific custom forms, see "Creating a Custom Form."
    The steps to associate a custom form with an object in Workfront are identical, regardless of which object you select. 
  2. Navigate to the Details tab of the object.
  3. Select the Custom Forms sub-tab.
  4. Select the custom form that contains the calculated custom field from the drop-down menu.
  5. Review the result in the calculated custom field and ensure that the result of the calculation is correct. 

Using an Existing Calculated Custom Field on a New Form

You can use the same calculated custom field on custom forms that belong to different objects. For example, you can use the Profit calculated field that you created for the project custom form on a task custom form. 

When using an existing calculated custom field, the calculation does not transfer to the new form. You must add the calculation again, on the same field, on the new custom form. This is when using the calculation stored in the Instructions field of the custom form helps. For more information about how to enter a calculation on a calculated custom field and how to use the Instructions field, see "Creating Calculated Custom Fields."

You can also have a different calculation for the same field, on the new form. Keeping the same name for the calculated custom field ensures cohesiveness and consistency in your naming convention. 


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This article last updated on 2019-02-06 21:56:48 UTC