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Appending and Prepending Field Values in XPages via SSJS

Appending and 
Prepending Field Values in XPages via SSJS Sometimes you just gotta add a new value to a field... and sometimes you need to control the order in which the new value is added to said field. In this simple article, you will see how amazingly simple it is to add a new value to a field in an NotesXspDocument!

The trick of this is to think of a multi-value NotesItem as an array of values. Or more accurately, an Array.

The SSJS getItemValue returns an array of values... just like the LotusScript getItemValue. But the beauty of SSJS is that you can use the JavaScript Array object to easily append or prepend new values.

var newArr = new Array(thisdoc.getItemValue("foo"));

This SSJS will create a new Array object variable named newArr that will either contain all of the current values from the foo NotesItem on the NotesXspDocument.

Now that we have our newArr, we'll use the push and unshift JavaScript Array methods to append and prepend a new value!


- or -


Again, push will append where unshift will prepend blah to the newArr JavaScript Array object.

Let's take this a step further and create a simple SSJS function:

  1. function addToList(thisdoc:NotesXspDocument, fieldname:string, newVal:string, atype:string) {
  2.     var newArr = new Array(thisdoc.getItemValue(fieldname));
  3.     switch (atype) {
  5.     case 'append':
  6.         newArr.push(newVal);
  7.         break
  8.     case 'prepend':
  9.         newArr.unshift(newVal);
  10.         break  
  11.     }
  12.     thisdoc.replaceItemValue(fieldname, newArr);
  13.     return true;
  14. }

Now, we can add a new value to a NotesXspDocument NotesItem simply by using the following SSJS function:

addToList(document, "foo", "blah", "append")

Simple yet effective, hopefully this gives you some inspiration on the capabilities of NotesData manipulation with SSJS once you realize just how functional SSJS [and JavaScript objects] can be!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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