What Validations Do
The validations feature verifies the accuracy and integrity of a project or document. It does this by analyzing the latest shared revision of a given document, and in some cases, sharing changes to automatically fix issues.
A new revision is created and the validations repairs are isolated to their own revision rather than being mixed with the user's draft changes. This makes it possible to see the validations revisions in the history panel, and to blackline just those validations changes. If you are an admin, you also have the ability to validate a project from the admin panel.
The Validations process is made up of four phases:
- Checking: The checking phase of validations is where every detail of a project or document is analyzed to find any inconsistencies, warnings or errors in the data model.
- Repairing: In this phase, the issues identified by the Checking Phase are double checked, and if a solution is available, the section will be locked, and the solution will be applied.
- Recalculating: After repairs have been applied, it is important to ensure that the recalculated values are correct and flow through to all other documents and links. For every formula that was recalculated, Wdesk follows all of its destination links, and any other formula it contributes to, and updates them.
- Sharing: At this point, the changes created by the repairing and recalculating steps are shared out to all users as a new revision in the history of the document(s). If no repairs or document optimizations were applied, a revision is not created.
If validation is run on a document, any other document that provides source links for it will also be validated. This is to ensure that all values contributing to your document are up to date and correct. Frozen documents or documents in the trash are ignored, and will not be updated by validation.
The Validate Document option validates all sections that are not currently in draft. It will only apply changes/share to the active document, plus any document that is linked to the active document that has linked elements affected by the validate. This does not apply to documents that are frozen.
Validation helps to identify and automatically correct errors in your document including, but not limited to, the following issues:
- Comments: Invalid text selections for comments.
- Links: Broken text links, broken linked cells.
- Formulas: Formula warnings and references to improperly formatted cells.
- Images: Missing or broken images.
To get a summary of the validations Issues in your document, without automatically fixing/updating your document, you can run validations in checks-only mode, by unchecking Apply repairs and share changes (Recommended).
Document Validations can be run on a specific document and includes all the same checks and repairs as Project Validations. Use document validations if your document is not part of a project, or you want to validate it in isolation from other documents that are not linked.
Document Validations will pull in documents that have contributing links in the validation job. For example, if you validate a document with source links in a different document, the document containing that source link will be fetched and validated.
Project Validations operates in much the same way Document Validations does and can be accessed either from the Validate menu under the File tab or from the Project panel.
In filing projects, project validation recognizes the difference between an internal hyperlink (link to a section or supporting document) and an external hyperlink (link to a website). If you create a hyperlink that references a document that is internal to your project, it will not be flagged as an external hyperlink.
As with the previous forms of validation, section validations can be used to validate a portion of your document. This validation will check the active section of your document for issues and report them as with the other types of validation.
To initiate a document validation, navigate to the File tab, click Validate, and select the desired validation type.
Choose if you'd like to automatically apply repairs and share changes and if you'd like truncated cells to appear in the error report, then Run Validation to begin.
When the validation is complete, a dialog will appear displaying the number issues found, the number needing attention, the number fixed, and if any optimizations have been applied.
Validation will resolve as many issues as possible, without user intervention.
NOTE: Validation may take several minutes if the document you are validating is linked to other documents, or if your document makes extensive use of formulas.
Dependent documents are documents that use source data (linked elements) from one or more contributing documents. It is necessary to validate all source documents of any document being validated, to ensure accuracy from top to bottom.
Documents are "pulled into" a job (applies to Validation, Copy, and Export) when they contain a source link that has a destination link contained in another document that is already part of the job. These documents are Contributing Documents. A source link in them contributes or links to another document.
From the Notifications panel, you have the option to Filter on each column for specific selections. The Green Circle represents an item that was corrected. The Yellow Triangle represents issues that will need to be manually fixed.
If you would like to save your validations results, select the Copy Results to Clipboard button and then paste into a document editor such as Microsoft Word or Notepad.
Validations can be run at any point in the document lifecycle and must be run prior to filing.
An account admin can view past and in-progress validations from the Content tab of account administration. Under the Validation sub-tab, admins can see details on validations including start and end date, current status, number of issues found, and more.
To see a table of common validations error messages, read this article.