Can Max formula handle fields with blank values?

I have three number fields field a, field b, field c with default value as blank(default custom field setting)

Max(field a, field b, field c) is causing an internal salesforce error if I fill out field a and field c and try to save the record without field b. Strangely I can save the record by just filling out one of the three fields.

Is this because of blank field b and max cannot handle max(blank,value,value), if so has this been documented somewhere?

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Update: sorry that I did not clarify, I am using the fields as part of a formula in a workflow rule, so treating it a blank/ zero is not an option

  • 1
    Did you raise a ticket with support yet? Did you check the option to treat null values as zero?
    – Adrian Larson
    Jun 21, 2016 at 23:20
  • Did you use "treat blanks as blanks"? I'd expect it to error; try using "treat blanks as zeroes" instead.
    – sfdcfox
    Jun 21, 2016 at 23:33
  • I am using the max value in a field update
    – Rao
    Jun 21, 2016 at 23:58
  • 1
    @AdrianLarson Yep raised the ticket
    – Rao
    Jun 22, 2016 at 4:18

2 Answers 2


Use BLANKVALUE function for each field: MAX( BLANKVALUE(Field1__c, 0), BLANKVALUE(Field2__c, 0), BLANKVALUE(Field3__c, 0) )

  • Thats exactly what i am doing now but my question is along the lines of if salesforce handles it internally , if not is there a doc that connwcts the blankvalue and max function
    – Rao
    Jun 21, 2016 at 23:59
  • I doubt the error is related to the MAX function itself - does it work well when you have values on all 3 fields used in the calculation?
    – o-lexi
    Jun 22, 2016 at 0:04
  • yes the goes away and the record saves fine if I go ahead and fill out all three fields the error goes away. I do have recalculate workflow on other workflows as soon as this field update is complete. I do not think the workflow updates are messing up anything
    – Rao
    Jun 22, 2016 at 4:17

Using blank values or if null is only useful if using positive numbers, If I assume null to be 0 and all my other values are negative I'll end up with 0 when it should have been the largest negative value. This is clearly a bug that needs to be fixed on the salesforce side. @Rao what happened with your ticket?

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