I store a custom change record in XML within a multi-line text column in the list items. I use that to keep track of updates users make to other columns and trigger broadcast notifications if necessary. I don't show the column in any views for the user, but updates I make to the column show up in the version history record visible to the user.
How do I update my column "silently" and hide it from the version history of the item?
I'm not sure what the implications of making it a hidden column are: whether that would remove it from the version history and whether I could still write to it using my workflows. I set it to hidden and all the previous updates I'd made to the column were still visible in the version history.
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I could not find anything suiting your needs directly. I tried using the "delete previous versions" action but you can´t limit that to delete only the last version history entry of the item.
You could however outsource your field to another list and read data from there:
List A: add Lookup field to List B, remove multi-line-xml-text-field
List B: Lookup to list A; multiple lines of text
List A creates an item in List B via workflow and connects the two items.
You can now update List B from a workflow in List A using "where ListA:ID == CurrentItem:ID". You can also always read the value the same way. Version History in List A should now only show the connection to list B once and never after that.
This may be worth if you update the xml field often and would therefore make the version history of List A really big and inconvenient for the user.
Thanks for your suggestion and it would have been perfect.. However lookup won't lookup Multi-line text fields and my XML code requires more than just 255 characters allowed by the single line of text. Even if I broke it up into pieces it wouldn't work in single lines of text because some of the fields that the change record encompasses are multi-line text so themselves will be over 255 chars.
I don't suppose there's an other option you know of is there?
it is true that you can´t add the multi-line column using the "show additional columns" in sharepoint list settings.
You can however use a query list in workflow to receive the value and work with it. Only downside would be that you cannot see the value easily in a list view.
I always display the ID with a lookup column so I can reference the ID field (Where ID equals LookupColumn:ID) in query list actions.
Same goes for update item methods, which you can use to update the column.
You're absolutely right. I just got hung up on being able to see it in a list, but what I actually need it for is only really within the workflow.
Thanks again for helping me out!