SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2550347 - A Non-referenced Field (Custom Column) Cannot Be Converted to a Referenced Field in SuccessFactors Learning


When an attempt is tried to update a non-referenced field (custom column) to a referenced field the following validation error is generated

custom column update.jpg

"Image/data in this KBA is from SAP internal systems, sample data, or demo systems. Any resemblance to real data is purely coincidental."


SAP SuccessFactors Learning

Reproducing the Issue

  1. As LMS admin, create a Custom Column for an item and make it as non-referenced
  2. Create an item and make sure that the Custom Column that you created above is populated with a value
  3. Once the item has been created try to change the Custom Column from non-referenced to referenced. You will get a validation error:

"The custom column cannot be modified to referenced because certain records already have non-referenced values that would become invalid"


  • This is expected behavior.
  • You cannot change a non-referenced field to a referenced field if there are already records related to that custom column.


You may reach out to our Professional Services team (through your CSM) and they might help you with.

As a workaround, since you would be aware of the values needed for the Custom Column, you could create another custom column that is referenced and add the references to the custom column.

Another workaround is to null the custom column user fields for example - Manual update to null values on all users will need to be done or using the Connector updateOnNull then move from non-referenced to referenced and sync assignment profile so the changes that were made the assignment profile will see them [Assignment Profile Execute Updates] and then you should see the filter option once it is a referenced custom field.

See Also

2166619 - Activating User Custom Fields in Assignment Profile Attribute List in SuccessFactors Learning


The custom column cannot be modified to referenced, certain records already have non-referenced values, would become invalid, Custom column, Non referenced custom column, Referenced Custom column, Referenced field, Non referenced field , KBA , LOD-SF-LMS-ADM , System Admin, Global Variables, References , Problem


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