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Blank Spaces in Database Fields


Some databases, including Great Plains, store text data in fixed length fields.

One example of a fixed length text field is the Customer Name in Great Plains. Great Plains defines this field as 25 characters and if you put a short name like Bob into the customer entry screen, Great Plains will store Bob in the database as Bob followed by 22 spaces. In Great Plains, and most other databases that store their text fields at a fixed length, the application interface will conceal the blank spaces from you. If you filter for "Bob", Great Plains will find the customer "Bob " even though there are 22 spaces after the name and you did not enter "Bob*" as the filter. Great Plains will also display this username as "Bob", trimming the trailing spaces so you never see them.

Jet Reports can provide an equivalent translation between text values and filters if you activate the "Trim Trailing Spaces" option under Jet/Options/Data Sources/Advanced Options.

We recommend that Great Plains users activate this option. It may also be useful for other database types depending on how the database application represents empty space. This feature is not available when using ODBC drivers unless the Data Source is of type Great Plains. Please note that enabling this option may incur a slight performance hit to the run time of the report, depending on the size of the database and number of text values that are affected.

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