Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exceeding maximum eConnect char field lengths

So today a developer at a customer posed a seemingly simple question: What is the max length of a SOP Order number? 17, correct?

It turns out that the answer is: It depends.

If you manually enter an order into GP, yes, you are limited to 17 characters. But the eConnect documentation says that the field length is 21. And if you check the database tables, the SOPNUMBE field is a char(21). What gives?

So two clarifying questions came up:

1) If you are importing transactions using eConnect, what is the max length for a SOP Order number?

2) And, what happens if you send eConnect a document number that is greater than the max field length?

It turns out that you can send a 21 character SOP Number to eConnect. The number will be faithfully stored in the SOP tables. If you attempt to lookup that SOP Order in GP, all 21 characters will display in the lookup window, but only 18 characters will show in the Sales Transaction Entry window. Not 17, not 21, but 18 characters.

And, more interestingly, at least to me, is that you can send a SOP document number of any length to eConnect. 30 characters, 50 chars, you name it. You will not receive an error, or any indication of a problem. It appears that eConnect silently truncates all char values at the max field length. This appears to apply to any char field, as I tested a 30 char batch number, which was truncated to 15. Maybe this is common knowledge, but since I've never knowingly exceeded a char field length, I really didn't know how eConnect would behave.

So the lesson is to make sure to check char field lengths before sending data to eConnect, since you could potentially have some eventual problems if you did accidentally send long char values.

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