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UpdateListItems fails silently when updating multi-value columns

Feb 16, 2011 at 7:46 PM

And by silently, I mean that it reports success even while failing.   If you attempt to update a multi-valued field (such as a person field or a lookup column) with an improperly formatted string, the Status parameter will report success, even though no updates will occur.

I don't know if this is an issue with SPServices or the web services themselves, so that's why I didn't post this in the issue tracker.  However, since this behavior is surprising to say the least, I think a note of it should probably go into the documentation.

Feb 16, 2011 at 8:38 PM


The Status isn't always enough to go on when it comes to error handling. You should take a look at the XML which is returned to you in the error cases and decide how you'd like to handle whatever it tells you. That's the Web Service, not SPServices, assuming that the SOAP request that SPServices is sending to the server is valid.


Feb 16, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Okay, that's good to know.  I think that it would be good to note this facet of the web services' behavior in the documentation, maybe with an example of how to handle errors.  That way we know what to expect.

Feb 16, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Yeah, that would be great, I agree. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn't provided anything to go on. I find out along with you guys when something fails. :-(

My hope is that I'll be able to find a contact at Microsoft at some point to be able to advance the docs, but so far all of my offers have fallen on deaf ears.