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Large String + HTML Presentation Problem

Dave Evans (1362032) | asked Jan 21 '14, 11:43 a.m.
edited Jan 23 '14, 4:15 p.m.


We have a major issue after upgrading from CLM 4.0.1 to CLM 4.0.5 with the HTML presentation in the Web Client. We have an attribute called “Minutes” (for meeting minutes) which was created in CLM 3.x as a Large String attribute. In our 4.0.1 setup, the presentation was HTML and it functioned as desired. In 4.0.5, we now get a warning that the HTML presentation does not support large string attributes. It appears as a single-line string if we choose HTML. If we change the presentation type to Text to get the multi-line appearance, then html codes are displayed in existing work items. No presentation kind shows it properly, from what we can see  there appears to be no simple fix for this. What is the recommended path forward to fixing this issue? We are comfortable with creating new attributes and performing a massive CSV import. We also know how to deploy extensions, but are not yet expert at writing them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Susan Hanson commented Jan 21 '14, 6:25 p.m.

Is this a regression (bug) or is this a change? If an actual change, is there somewhere documented that this was planned to be changed and what actions we as administrators need to do to resolve these changes?


Dave Evans commented Jan 23 '14, 11:30 a.m. | edited Jan 23 '14, 11:30 a.m.

Don, those work items don't appear to be related to my problem. My problem is with the HTML Presentation, not the Text presentation. If we use the text presentation, we get wrapping, but the HTML codes which have previously been stored in the Large String attribute appear if we use the Text presentation (duh). The issue is that we used to be able to use the HTML presentation with a Large String attribute, but it appears that the HTML presentation's support for Large String attributes has been deprecated. We probably need a script from IBM to update our existing Large String attribute to be a Large HTML attribute.

Dave Evans commented Jan 23 '14, 1:43 p.m.

Let me clarify my question: Say I have an attribute which is of type "Large String" and I want to change it to be of type "Large HTML". Say I also have five more of these attributes... and there are exactly 47,343 instances of this in my repository across 11 different PAs. What would the best way to go about changing these attributes to be HTML type so that we can use the HTML presentation for them, rather than the text presentation?

Dave Evans commented Feb 10 '14, 2:26 p.m. | edited Feb 10 '14, 2:27 p.m.

Lily, thanks for the helpful tip, unfortunately we are running into additional problems with the workarounds. I tried two methods of fixing our problem:

Method 1:

1) Create a new attribute of type "Large HTML"

2) Export old data and import into the new attribute

3) Remove old attribute

The problem with this method is that we are not able to replicate the formatting of the text. If we use CSV Export, HTML codes are stripped. If we use RRDI, we can get export the HTML codes, but then the CSV Importer appears to automatically escape all of the HTML codes so that we get them in our display.

Method 2:

1) Remove old attribute definition

2) Create new PA with new attribute definition

3) Inherit process from PA with new attribute definition to "trick" the attribute to change type

4) Remove PA Inheritance

The problem with this method is that I can't get it to work at all, and even if I could get it to work, we still have the same issue with the CSV Import/Export tools as I described in Method 1. When we have used a Large String attribute with an HTML Presentation in the past, we were able to use CSV import to set HTML formatting codes. It appears that the CSV Import tool does not do this, at least we can't get it to handle HTML codes in an acceptable way.

Lily Wang commented Feb 11 '14, 10:41 p.m.

According to, HTML type attribute is used to support Rich Text Format, not accept HTML markups. So after you import from csv file, the html tags are displayed.

For the workaround mentioned in, you do not need to use csv export/import.
If your PA is not inheritance of a master PA, the procedure will be:
1. create a template from your existing project area
2. instantiate that template to create a new master project area PPA1
3. clear out the processs of your existing project area (by editing the process source directly)
4. make your existing project area share the process of the new master project area PPA1.
5. create a new template, which has the same attribute id as the Large String attribute in your old template, but the type is Large HTML.
6. create a new master project area use the new template PPA2
7. Change your existing project area to inherit from PPA2. Then you can see the attribute type changed to large html.

Dave Evans commented Feb 12 '14, 12:51 p.m.

I think there were some mistakes in your steps above (am I really supposed to create two new PPAs?), but I could not get the idea to work following these steps:
1) Create a new Process Template from existing PPA1.
2) Modify the new template XML so that the affected attributes types are changed from ‘string’ to ‘html’.
3) Create new Project PPA2 using the new Process Template as modified by step 2.
4) Set child PAs to inherit from PPA2 instead of PPA1.
Note that the new PPA2 does have html attributes. The Editor Presentation warning does not appear. However, all child PAs maintain their string attribute type, even for new work items using the existing attribute. I am assuming this means that attribute facts such as the type are stored in the repository and are not modifiable just because you attempt to tell it via XML trickery that the attribute type is different. If I click “Customize this configuration data” under Editor Presentations in the existing child PA which is now inheriting from PPA2, the warning appears about HTML presentations not supporting string attributes even though PPA2 does not contain that warning.

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Lily Wang (4.9k714) | answered Jan 24 '14, 5:49 a.m.
Hi Dave,
Since RTC 4.0.3, you can not use HTML presentation for Large String attribute type.
To change the attribute type from Large String to Large HTML, you can try: the workaround provided in
Or you can create a new attribute with type Large HTML, then export the value of Large String attribute of all work item to a csv file and re-import them to new Large HTML attribute.

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