Thursday, December 22, 2011

Management Reporter Size Limitation

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working with a client on a series of odd Management Reporter issues.  The first issue they reported happened when they were working with trees.  The user would add a branch to a tree in MR, and then enter a series of dimension codes for that branch.  Randomly, it seemed, the dimensions code would not save on some branches of the tree.  Odd.  The tree branch/unit would be there, but the dimension field would be blank.

So, we spent some time one afternoon trying to figure out some sort of common thread with the disappearing dimensions.  It seemed like different combinations of dimensions would cause the issue.  After talking with Microsoft, it was determined that the issue is a 512 character limitation on the dimension field in the tree.  So, when you add multiple dimensions to a tree branch/unit, it may add up to 512 pretty quickly since MR includes the dimension name for each dimension you include.

I know that this may be working as designed, but this seems like something that many users would encounter over time-- particularly those with large/long account strings.

As a workaround, I suggested that the client used dimension sets on the branches of the tree instead.  And this worked great, except that there also appears to be a size limitation on the dimension set as well.  So if the user tries to add too many dimension combinations (apparently also variable based on the dimension name and other characters included in the string) it also causes a series of errors.  In this client's case, they would get one of the following errors:

  • Object is currently in use elsewhere
  • Column ‘ParentAccountSetID, LinkIndex’ is constrained to be unique.  Value ‘8e1f4448-f5c1-461a-b898-f7c7cc572bf2,23’ is already present
In both cases, it would force Management Reporter to close and the building block would then be checked out to the user.  The second error message above is possibly a quality report (per Microsoft) and is being analyzed, it does appear to be caused by some sort of limitation on the size of dimension set.

I know that both of these issues may seem to minor for a lot of clients.  But as I have recently been working on MR reports for a Dynamics AX client with a large account string and long chart of accounts, I do worry that we might start to hit up against these sort of issues more frequently.  The workarounds that seem to be available for now include:
  • Keeping dimension sets small
  • Using dimension sets instead of including large lists of dimensions on a tree
  • Using ranges and/or wildcards wherever possible to decrease the number of characters used
  • Use shorter names for your segments, so that they take up less space when repeated in a dimension list
Will keep you posted as I hear back on the status of both of these items.  And, yes, I still love Management Reporter :)

Christina Phillips is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Dynamics GP Certified Professional. She is a supervising consultant with BKD Technologies, providing training, support, and project management services to new and existing Microsoft Dynamics customers. This blog represents her views only, not those of her employer.


Joseph Koscielski said...

Christina - did you ever find a resolution to this? Thanks!

Christina Phillips said...

Sadly, I have not.