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Currently, as told by the Nintex engineering team, whenever a data source is updated - for example, if a column is added to a SharePoint list that we have a data source connected with - then it is expected behavior for the update to not push to the external data variables that are built on that data source. It was suggested to us by the engineering team that we create all new external variables if we make any changes to a data source. However, we were able to find a workaround where if you go into any external data variables that already exists, edit any conditions, then save that variable, then the update to the data source comes through. Removing the need for an absurd amount of unnecessary work.
There is no reason for this to be designed in this way. If we are making an update to the data source, then we are wanting to see that change on any external data variables we have setup on top of that data source.
The suggestion by the engineering team is ludicrous from an end-user point of view; if we had to create a new external data variable every time we made even a slight change to a data source, then we would also have to update any form variable, form rule, workflow variable, etc., that had the old external data variables as part of the build, all manually.
Our want is to have the "expected behavior" of this design be updated to see data source updates automatically push through to any external data variables that may be built on top of these data sources.