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Thread: scrambled field data in table

  1. #1
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    Default scrambled field data in table

    This morning, I have noticed that the default browse as well as any custom browse is showing the job name (35 character field) in the job number field (6 charater field). The job name data is correct, but the job number is gone from 98% of the records and is replaced with the Job name. When I go to the edit mode for the table, the definition for the two fields is okay. This is occurring on the forms as well.

    The shadow database does not appear to be affected yet. When I go to enter a new item, the job name shows up in the field.

    Any ideas on what has happened?

    Larry

  2. #2
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    Default RE: scrambled field data in table

    Larry, the symptoms you describe might be caused by incomplete attempts to change the table structure. Is this a table you've using your copy and paste approach to restructuring? Suggest you reboot the computer, restart Alpha Five, and inspect the tables with the default browse and form.

    -- tom

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    Default RE: scrambled field data in table

    Tom, I have rebooted the computer several times and still no difference. The cut and paste was for adding info to a field and not for structure changes.

    I have not done any structure changes to this table.

    Larry

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    Default RE: scrambled field data in table

    Larry:

    Here are 2 other reasons why did could have happened from what I know of another database engine.

    [1] The table may be encrypted and got corrupted
    [2] The records did not write to the hard drive from cache and there may have been some network crash

    In any event, seems like you will have to replace the records from a latest backup

    HTH
    Mickey

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    Default RE: scrambled field data in table

    Well it happened again. This time I got an error message when I tried to add a new record.

    "cannot create lookup
    lookup definition incomplete or invalid
    could not load that saved layout"

    I went into the lookup and could not see anything that was missing or out of place.

    When I went to look at my database, The 6 charater job number field now had the job name in it. I found that if I remnoved the first posting item from the lookup ,which was posting the job name, this cleared up the data problem. I have since added the job name posting to the bottom of the 2 other posting items and it seems to be working.

    Larry

  6. #6
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    Default RE: scrambled field data in table

    Are you perhaps using a custom form to display lookup table records?

    -- tom

  7. #7
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    Default RE: scrambled field data in table

    Tom, I don't quite understand what you are asking.
    I have a custom form that has a drop down list that I select the job number from and this posts the job number and name to the new record. This has worked for the past couple of years and I do not belive that I have edited the table for some time. What I find very puzzling is how a 6 character field can end up with 35 or more characters.

    Larry

  8. #8
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    Default RE: scrambled field data in table

    Larry,

    It seems you've found a solution, of sorts.

    A search for related threads in this forum and over in the A5V5 forum turned up a small number of hits, including one from several years ago in which the spelling of the lookup tablename seemed to be the culprit.

    If you have problems again I'd try:

    a) using the "default" browse to display the lookup table's choices; and
    b) if your lookup tablename includes blank spaces or underscore characters I'd rename it to remove them.

    If either suggestion solves the problem I'd recommend further that you report it to Alpha, sending them a working copy of your database so they can get it fixed.

    -- tom

  9. #9
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    Default RE: scrambled field data in table

    Hi Tom
    A) I am using the default browse for the lookups. I did not know theat you could use a browse other than the default.

    B) Just about all of my tables have one or two spaces in the name. I was not aware that there could be issues with spaces. I check the Alphasports database and I noiced that their table names have spaces, underscores and dashes in them.

    Larry

  10. #10
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    Strange but true, it happened again to a different table. The Company name (40 characters) is now in the company id (8 characters) spot. Many other items were scrambled in this database about a week ago. I fixed all the items that I could find (phone # masks, transformations etc.) and now I see this field is mixed up. Some of the items for this table are from a table lookup.
    Anyone else experiencing this?

  11. #11
    "Certified" Alphaholic Lance Gurd's Avatar
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    Default

    Hopefully, we won't experience this. But the only way we can all look at the problem if is you zip it up and send it.

    The issue of 35 characters in a field only 6 big (or 40 into 8) is probably part of the problem. And very strange that it should happen twice.

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    Strange but true, it happened again to a different table.
    Larry, I'm sorry to hear it. Don't have specific suggestions for you but here are a couple of more things to consider:

    a) you use copy / paste to enter field values into new records, if I'm remembering this correctly. This is something I never do. I wonder if the problem goes away if you stop? An alternative would be to script the entry of the new record so that an entire record is copied & pasted. You could then edit the newly entered record by hand.

    b) does the corruption of your table occur after any batch operation? an update? import? or append?

    c) you mention (in your first post in this thread) that the "shadow database" is still ok. This is puzzling to me. There should be no data in the shadow copy of any of the tables in your database. I'm curious how you have arranged your tables. Assuming the data is on a machine you've designated as the file server for your network, you should see the same data in any given table whether you open that table directly (over the network), or whether you open the shadow copy of that table on your local workstation.

    -- tom

  13. #13
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    I noticed that if I removed the lookup, the data in the 8 character Company ID field appears to be okay. I entered the Lookup info into the field rules and the problem came back.
    The 40 character Company Name field was a display only and in my last programming of the entries for the lookup, it was the last field on the lookup table. I moved this up to the first entry and it seemed to be okay for the rest of the day.

  14. #14
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    Tom, you have a good memory regarding my copy/paste habit. In this table I do not use copy and paste. The copy and paste has not created a problem for the tables where I use it.

    B) no, I don't use any of these features

    C) I did check the data from a network machine and it was fine. As mentioned in a previous post today, it does not appear that the field data is corrupt, only the fact that the wrong field is being displayed in the server machine. When the lookup was removed, the field data appeared normal again. My understanding of the shadow is that it only contains reports and forms and such but the data is actually on the server and that is the way that our system is setup.
    Prior to the problem, I had been correcting the scrambled field info such as the masks and transformations so perhaps I needed to compact more often, although the number of field changes made was only about 6. One thing that I have not been doing is packing the tables. Whether or not this has any effect I don't know, but they are all packed now.

  15. #15
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    Perhaps you're defining the lookup incorrectly?
    Perhaps you're doing something unusual like using the table lookup field rule to lookup records in the current table?

    It's probably time for you to post a working model that illustrates the problem, and tell us how to see it occur.

    -- tom

  16. #16
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    Tom, I have copied over the tables that have been a recent problem and added some test info to them. The problem started a couple of weeks ago when I noticed that some of the transformations and masks were scrambled. After correcting the scrambled data, the next time that I went into the browse or form mode, the company name data was in the company ID field.

    The browses/forms in the test database are working okay and I do not know how to replicate the problem.

    One other abnormality that I have noticed in one of the last rev's is that when I go to specify the lookup parameters in the drop down box, the linking field always goes blank after entering an item. If I revisit the field, the selection will reappear.

    I am not sure if you will receive all of the required files as I could only zip up tables and am not sure what happens to the basic ? stuff .alb, .alm files.

  17. #17
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    Larry, I took a look. Will not be able to help you until you can replicate the problem.

    In field rules for the People table it's odd that your table lookup field rule for the Company_Id field fills both the Company_id and Person_id fields in the People table with the same Company_id field value selected by the user. It's hard for me to imagine an app where you'd want a person's id to be the same as his or her company id. Otherwise I didn't see anything particularly unsual.

    -- tom

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    Default Question for Larry:

    Larry:
    You stated that the problem started a couple of weeks ago.


    Did you by chance insert some new fields into the table.
    Did you insert the between existing fields or at the end.

    Inserting between existing fields can mess up the masks, lookups and calculated fields.

    ALWAYS insert new fields at the end of a table.

    Charlie Crimmel

  19. #19
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    Charlie, you may be on to something. I noticed that some of his fieldnames are oddly truncated. Suggesting maybe that the dictionary files holding longer fieldnames became corrupted or separated from the DBF somehow. Difficulty restructuring the table might account for it, too.

    -- tom

  20. #20
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    Tom it fills the person id so as to give me a headstart on completing the person id. If you look at the sample data, the person id has 4 more characters that get filled in to customize it. During an earlier version of A5, when you entered the person id field you could set the default location for the cursor to the end of the filled text. Nice feature which seems to have disappeared about a half a year ago.

  21. #21
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    Charlie, I do not recall having edited the tables recently. Thanks for the tip on inserting as I do tend to add things as I see a requirement.

    Larry

  22. #22
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    Tom, I believe that the fieldnames are truncated as at one time there was a lot of discussion on keeping fieldnames under 10 characters so as to eliminate use of the dictionary files.

    Larry

  23. #23
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    During an earlier version of A5, when you entered the person id field you could set the default location for the cursor to the end of the filled text. Nice feature which seems to have disappeared about a half a year ago.
    Larry, I think this is still available. Choose Data Entry tab while defining a field rule for the Person_id field, then scroll to the bottom. You'll find an option for positioning the cursor there.

    -- tom

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    Tom it fills the person id so as to give me a headstart on completing the person id. If you look at the sample data, the person id has 4 more characters that get filled in to customize it.
    Larry, yes, I saw that. It just seemed unusual to me. I probably would have chosen a default field value approach, but it's probably six of one a half dozen of the other.

    -- tom

  25. #25
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    Default Tom:

    Tom:
    If you open a DBF file from a directory that does not contain the DDD,DDM,DDX files, Alpha will truncate the field names.

    Look at the bottom of this thread.-
    Related links.
    Larry posted the same question in 2002 for version 4.5
    when he inserted fields into a table.

    Charlie Crimmel

  26. #26
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    Tom, I knew that the choices were there however they no longer did what I was expecting. I just went in and tried them again and have found one that positions the cursor to the end of the entered text so either I was confused at what I was doing previously or the function has been corrected in one of the revs.
    Thanks for pointing the item out. I am happier today to have that function back which saves me a keyboard entry.

    Larry

  27. #27
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    Default Re: scrambled field data in table

    Well it has happened again, 11 years later, a bit different than before as in this event, the field sizes changed and the data was dumped. Different table than before
    Had to restore the data from Friday the 13th back up.

    Forgot I had even started this thread.

    Larry
    Attached Files Attached Files

  28. #28
    "Certified" Alphaholic MoGrace's Avatar
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    Default Re: scrambled field data in table

    I only read the first few threads but your error pointed to a field rule lookup. If when you define the lookup you put a different field in the first field order, you will see that field displayed instead of the linked field, even though the link is populated as you mapped it - it won't display. Check the field rule and see if that is the case.

    This can be useful when using primary and natural keys and you want to hide the primary and display the natural. I'm not sure when this change was introduced, perhaps v8 or 9?
    Robin

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: scrambled field data in table

    Robin, the problem that I had in the past has not come back to haunt me so I must have fixed something or it was a one of occurrence.
    The current scramble which changed field sizes is bizarre. The restore seems to have resolved the problem for now

    Thanks
    Larry

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