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Rules are not acting on updated records
Answer ID 2111   |   Last Review Date 12/30/2018

When we add or update certain records, the rules do not act on the record.  Why aren't the rules taking effect?


Business Rules
Oracle B2C Service


If you suspect that rules are not acting on records when they are created or updated, review the possible causes listed below.

Check the Rule State for the Record

For records that have been imported into your site, the most common cause for rules not acting on a record is that the record was imported with a null rule state. This can happen when contact records are added using the Data Import Wizard or when records are imported or created from an integration.

If a record has a null rule state, the record is not compared to any rules when it is updated.  When the record is updated and saved, the record remains with a null rule state and is not acted on.

For example, if you import a group of contact records without setting a rule state in the .csv file, the records are created with a null state.

To determine the rule state for a record: Open the record and review the information in the Information pop-up.

  • From the open record, click the Info button in the toolbar. Note that the fields listed on the Info button can be customized in the workspace.  If the rule state is not listed, review the configuration of the workspace you are using. 

To resolve this issue: Activate the rule base. When the rule base is activated, you will get a message indicating that there are X number of records with a null rule state. At that point, set which rule state those records should be set to and continue activating your rules.  The records will be set to the rule state but will not be compared to the rules for that rule state since the records were not actually edited or updated to trigger the rules.

Then, evaluate the process for importing or creating those types of records.  Determine which rule state should be set when the records are imported or created and make that part of the import / creation process. That way, the records have the correct rule state so that when they are updated, the rules will act on the records as you expect.

Check the Rule Log

Use the Rule Log to see which rules (if any) did act on the record when it was last saved.  For more information on the Rule Log, refer to Answer ID 1873: Using the Rule Log to Troubleshoot Rules.

Note: When you run the rule log, you can right click on the Rule Log tab and select Open in New Window. This allows you to see the rule log output side-by-side while reviewing the active ruleset.

Next, view the active ruleset. Select Configuration > Site Configuration > Rules. Viewing the active ruleset allows you to determine which rule or rules you expected to act on the record when it was saved.  Compare the results of the rule log to determine which rules were actually hit and why the rule you expected to match did not.

Some common reasons that rules act differently than expected are:

  • The record unexpectedly matched a rule that is higher in the list.
  • The record did not match the criteria set in the rule that you expected it to match.
  • The rulebase was edited to add new rules, but they did not actually get activated after they were edited.
  • The record has a rule state different from what you expect.  That is, the record never transitioned to the rule state you expected.

For more information as to why a rule does not seem to be working properly, refer to Answer ID 723: Our new rule is not working correctly.