Senta allows you to use a range of functions to perform various actions with data. However they can be tricky to troubleshoot, so if you're struggling to get them working, try checking the items in the list below to see if you can identify the issue.

Where is the function?

Functions may work slightly differently depending on where they're used. For example, in form fields and date offsets, you don't need to use curly braces because Senta can recognise if a function is used there. On the other hand, they are needed in email and document templates to tell Senta that a function is being used.

Form fields

No { } needed

Expression filters

No { } needed

Templates (placeholders in emails, letter, and text messages)

{ } are needed

Date offsets

{ } are needed

Functions can use and calculate dates in complex ways

Are you using the correct function?

Sometimes there are functions that do similar things, but are not exactly the same. This may be the reason you are seeing an unexpected result or outcome. A good place to start is our functions guide, which lists different kinds of functions and examples for how to use them.

For example, are you using a DATE function, and if so, what do you want it to do? You can look through the various Date functions in the guide to ensure you're using the correct one. If you know what the correct result for the function you're trying to use is, you can use the expression tester to test functions and check you're using the right one.

Are you using the correct syntax and grammar?

For example, where a function needs to be enclosed, it will always be in curly braces { }. You must also use "plain" quotation marks where needed in the syntax - not "open and close" quotation marks:

Are there extra or missing spaces in your function?

Have you included things like = (equals sign) and , (comma) in the correct places?


{IF (client.clienttype = "Individual")}


{IF (client.clienttype "Individual")}

Is the function properly opened and closed in the correct places?

Functions make use of something called statements, and these can "nest". Sometimes it is easy to forget to close a statement. An example is the IF/ELSE function, which tells Senta what text to put in depending on whether the conditions are met or not. The format is as follows, with the yellow highlights indicating the statements' opening and closing syntax:

{IF (client.clienttype = "Individual")} 

Your self assessment tax return is due...


Your corporation tax return is due...

{ENDIF} <- closing statement

An example of the above statement formatted incorrectly would be:

{IF (client.clienttype = "Individual")} 

Your self assessment tax return is due...


Your corporation tax return is due...

In the above example, the closing statement {ENDIF} is missing.

Are you using the correct placeholder?

An example correct placeholder is {client.state}. If you are using placeholders in your function... 

Are they formatted correctly? 

{client...state} contains too many periods

[client.state] uses the wrong type of brackets

Does the field reference exist in your Senta workspace? Is the field reference the right one, and is it spelled correctly? 

{client.stae} has a typo in the field reference

Is the prefix correct?

{cleint.state} has a typo in the prefix

{vat.state} includes a non-existent prefix

Is there data for the field reference at the source (for example, if using 'client.type' does the client have anything filled in)?

If {client.state} has not been selected for a client, the placeholder won't work:

Relevant guides


Introduction to placeholders

Placeholders/field references in-depth guide

How does the expression tester work?