If you need to create data to accomplish a task in workflow, but don’t need it to be a long-term field value, consider creating a Custom Parameter. Note that custom parameters are not searchable, and only exist in the context of an active Workflow.
A Custom Parameter can be anything that you’d like, be it a true/false value, a text string, date, or number. In other words, you don’t need to define it anywhere like you would with a Field or List. DocStar will automatically determine what kind of Field Type it is based on usage.
Fields typically appear in the Task Editor with a $Field. prefix, so for best practices, its required to name your Custom Parameters with a different prefix, which you may determine such as a lowercase z prefix, i.e. as zCustomParameter. That way, it can be visually distinguished from a field easily.
Some good use cases for parameters include, but are not limited to:
- Output for the CompareVerify task to determine an automatic branch condition. When setting branch conditions, you can use
- zParameterName for “true”
- !zParameterName for “not true”
- Creating a folder path with dynamic data using the Advanced Format task, by taking multiple fields, formatting them, then setting the output to a parameter such as zFolderPath, and using that parameter as the input for an Add To Folder task.
- Creating additional context for adding a value to a document’s history with the Advanced Format task. Using the Add to History task will pass a literal field value into the document’s history. In other words, if you specify $CurrentUser as the output for the Add to History task, the history will show that literal value without any additional context, i.e. “email@example.com“.
- To make this history entry more user-friendly, use the Advanced Format task to create a prefix (“This document was filed by“) and combine it with $CurrentUser. Set the output to zHistoryUser, and use that custom parameter in the Add to History task. This will create a history entry of “This document was filed by firstname.lastname@example.org.”