# Summary and message fields

The summary and message fields are free-form text fields. The summary field allows up to 255 characters. The message field allows up to 4096 characters. These fields usually contain similar data.

The system handles these fields differently, depending on whether one or both are present on an incoming event:

• If only summary is present, then the system copies its contents into message and truncates summary contents to 128 characters.
• If only message is present, then the system copies its contents into summary and truncates summary contents to 128 characters.
• If summary and message are both present, then the system truncates summary contents to 128 characters.

As a result, data loss is possible only if the message or summary content exceeds 65535 characters, or if both fields are present and the summary content exceeds 128 characters.

To ensure that enough detail can be contained within the 128-character summary field limit, avoid reproducing information in the summary that exists on other fields (such as device, component, or severity).