Wednesday 6 May 2009

Troubleshooting bulk update

Wessex Premier is able to perform a bulk update on Wessex & Frinton moulding records. It's very useful to, say, add all the mouldings from Wessex (as, after all, you can order just one length with your weekly delivery). But as the list consists of somewhere in the region of 1300 records this is where the update-from-file comes in.

The program has proved to be very reliable in this area (you download the update files from the, tell the program whether you want to just update the existing records or to update and add everything else, then navigate to the downloaded files and press go).

One point to note is that Wessex & Frinton share some mouldings (actually over 200), these are the "WFxxx" and "PWxxx" ranges. So, if you already have them listed under (say) Wessex when you update the Frinton section the program will report that it cannot add duplicate records.

Any problems that have arisen have always been to do with the update file itself. These files are in "Excel" format and are prepared by hand at Wessex, so one problem has been where an expected value hasn't been entered (usually the price has been left blank). Now, whilst the program updates now have more code to cope with this, it can cause the bulk update to stop.
The answer is to open the file with Excel and look for the blank values and then either - delete the line, or - put in a sensible value, save the file and rerun the bulk update. 9 times out of 10 this fixes the problem.
However, we did have one brainteaser where there was a whole blank line at the end of the file!
So that blank line had to be deleted, very strange getting your head around deleting something that wasn't there!

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