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From the Maximo Support Desk - The Functionality of the Question Mark Icon When It Appears With a Value in a Field

Technical Blog Post


From the Maximo Support Desk - The Functionality of the Question Mark Icon When It Appears With a Value in a Field


Here's a good question that I fielded from a Maximo User recently... "...I have a question about the question mark"


Good Question... You may have noticed that, on occasion, a question mark icon appears in the field where you've entered a value in some Maximo applications.

The shortest answer is... This is not necessarily an error message; this is a conditional GUI response to the value that has been entered in a field.  If a value is entered, and is then persistently displayed along with a question mark, then this is a valid value, but there is a warning, or additional information that is related to the entered value.

The longest answer is...  if a value is entered, and a red X appears instead of displaying the value, then this is an error message, and the value is an invalid entry.  In both cases, a further explanation of either the warning or the error message will be visible if the User clicks on either the question mark or the red X.

In the example below, it is likely that the type-ahead feature entered the completed value of "u28190" as soon as the User entered the first few characters.  Additionally, it is likely that there are several available records with a similar string of characters, such as would be displayed in a Select Value/lookup.  In this case, the question mark would present a lookup-type list which the User could then select a more appropriate value if desired.  If the User is satisfied with this value, the question mark can be ignored, and the value will subsequently be saved.  image

The question mark icon in a field can also indicate that a business rule has been executed, or a data entry has been made as the result of a business rule being executed.  An illustration of this can be seen in the following scenario...


-A receipt tolerance for an item is set at 10%
-A PO for this item is approved for a quantity of 1
-The User attempts to receive qty of 100, which exceeds the receipt tolerance
-In the Receiving application - System Message appears:

"BMXAA7883W - A quantity of 100.0 is received against purchase
 order line 1, exceeding the ordered quantity and receipt tolerance of
 1.1 by 98.9.
 Click "OK" to receive 1.1"

-If the User clicks OK, the quantity will be updated from 100 to 1.1, as indicated in the System Message
-If the User clicks Cancel, the System Message will loop until a different action is taken
-If the User click OK, the quantity will be populated with 1.1; if the User then updates the quantity to 100 and attempts to save the record, a different System Message will appear:

"BMXAA8123E - Errors exist in the application that prevent this action
from being performed. Correct the errors and try again"

-When the User clicks OK, the "corrected" value of 1.1 is populated and the question mark icon appears in the Quantity field
-If the User ignores the question mark icon, the value remains and the record is subsequently saved
-If the User clicks on the question mark,

"You entered: 100
 A quantity of 100 is received against purchase order line 1,
        exceeding the ordered quantity and receipt tolerance of 1.1 by
        98.9. Click "OK" to receive 1.1 (BMXAA7883)"

Summary:  The question mark icon may also serve to inform the User of what corrective action must be taken to correctly update a data value.  In the scenario described above, and if the User clicked Cancel instead of updating the value, the error message will be presented again. Subsequently, the User must either re-enter the acceptable quantity of 1 in the Quantity field, or click OK (instead of Cancel) at the System (error) Message.

The result of clicking OK in the error message is that the Quantity field will get populated with a value that is the exact Receipt Tolerance percentage - so in this case, the Quantity will be populated with 1.1.  In summary, it will populate the correct value, or ensure that the record cannot be saved with an invalid value.


If you need to distribute this information to your Users in a "knowledge base document" type of format, you can refer them to this link:

The Functionality of the Question Mark Icon When It Appears With a Value in a Field


Tom Richardson is an IBM Maximo Support Engineer and frequent contributor to the Asset Management Blog community.  For a complete index of links to his articles, visit

Index of articles by Tom Richardson, Support Engineer


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