Thursday, March 22, 2012

Forecaster Line Sets With a Period

Back in the days of Forecaster 6.7, I used to really emphasize the need to avoid special characters when naming or entering just about anything.  There were such a myriad of issues caused by special characters, that even (.) periods were to be avoided.  Admittedly, I have loosened up a bit with Forecaster 7.0 but still try to remind users that special characters aren't a great idea in name/ID fields.  And so it was that this week, a special character (in this case, a period), once again was the cause of a lot of confusion in Forecaster.

So here is the scenario...

1.  Set up a line set, and end the name with a (.).  For example-- HR.
2.  Specify the line set as an override on the input set.
3.  Enter data in to the budget for the department.

All appears fine if you review the data in the input set (Data>>Input).  However, if you open the line set (Build>>Lines), it will appear blank.  All in all, this does not seem to cause an issue, unless....
you modify the line set.  So, in this case, our line set was blank but we needed to add a new account to it.  So we added a new account to the line set and saved it.

When we returned to Data>>Input, our input set (with the exception of the one new account we added) was now completely blank (account numbers and all).  And if we were to look at the line set in the database, it was also blank (with the exception of the one new account we added).

We were able to track it back to the fact that the line set ended with a period.  It doesn't appear to impact line sets that have a period in the middle of the name only.  And, if you happen to catch it BEFORE you make changes to the line set and save it, you can actually recover the line set by right-clicking and renaming it without the ending period.  However, if you make a change to the blank line set and save, you will have to recreate the line set.

While at Convergence, I was able to talk with Darian Hanson from support about this and hopefully it will end up as one of those odd little quality reports out there.  And, for now at least, it reminds me to be vigilant when it comes to special characters, even periods :)

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.

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