Columns from lookup table missing from filer

Hi there,

We uploaded a lookup table with column ‘group_type’ and whenever we download it from Data->View All->Lookup Tables->Manage Tables, the column appears.

However, when we try to filter based on this column in the Form Builder, the column does not appear. If we simply enter group_type manually into the filter logic, we get an error message that the reference does not exist.

Should we expect a long delay between updating lookup tables and their columns appearing in the Form Builder? Or is there another reason?

Best wishes,



I just had a similar issue yesterday and i just cleared the user data from the app settings and they started showing up


Ah thanks, that solved the problem, I think, basically I forgot to sync the emulator before testing it.

It might be worth putting up a notice on the CommCare user guide that the automatic lookup of columns from a lookup table in Form Builder is broken, because otherwise it causes a lot of confusion for users?

Glad i could help!

you may be right, however i don’t think it’s high on their agenda to make the emulator 100% like the Android App. it would be nice, but doubtful they’ll do it as they would probably expect their users to perform thorough testing before releases.

However, that being said, i haven’t actually had the chance to see if this behavior is also present for the android apps


Thanks for raising the issue with the automatic lookup of columns, can you clarify the page that you are referring to? I’d be happy to fix it.

It sounds like the challenge here was that the user data needed to be synced from the Live Preview home screen to update the changes in-app.

I can confirm that this does replicate the experience on Android (lookup table data is sent down to users when they sync, not during app updates), but that the Android device does also generally trigger an auto-sync after an app update to address issues like this. That’s something we don’t require in Live Preview for performance reasons (since live preview users are performing app updates much more frequently than real phone users!) but it would be a good idea for us long term to improve the experience by potentially requiring new syncs for live preview when lookup tables are uploaded or other potentially ‘breaking’ changes occur. I can add that to our long term backlog for review by the product team.


Thanks for the quick reply, Clayton.

I’m referring to this page:

It might be helpful to users at this stage to say something under the sentence:

"The left option will show an autocomplete widget to help you pick a lookup table attribute and the right option will allow you to drag a question from the question tree. "

That the autocomplete widget is not currently perfectly synchronized, so columns in the lookup table do not appear in autocomplete, even if they are in the lookup table, and that users who manually enter the name of the column should just ignore the error message they get from FormBuilder and proceed with their app.