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A BDC runtime error explained

I caused a BDC error this week that manifested itself on the user interface and in the 12 hive log at runtime.

First, this appeared in the user interface:

Could not find fields to insert all the Identifier Values to correctly execute a SpecificFinder MethodInstance with Name … Ensure input Parameters have TypeDescriptors associated with every Identifier defined for this Entity.

Here’s a screen shot:

 

I could also cause this message to appear in the 12 hive log at will (using my patented high-tech-don’t-try-this-at-home  "mysterious errors" method):

11/14/2007 09:24:41.27         w3wp.exe (0x080C)         0x0B8C        SharePoint Portal Server         Business Data         6q4x        High         Exception in BusinessDataWebPart.OnPreRender: System.InvalidOperationException: The Identifier value ”, of Type ”, is invalid. Expected Identifier value of Type ‘System.String’. at Microsoft.Office.Server.ApplicationRegistry.MetadataModel.Entity.FindSpecific(Object[] subIdentifierValues, LobSystemInstance lobSystemInstance) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.BdcClientUtil.FindEntity(Entity entity, Object[] userValues, LobSystemInstance lobSystemInstance) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.BusinessDataItemBuilder.GetEntityInstance(View desiredView) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.BusinessDataDetailsWebPart.GetEntityInstance() at Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.BusinessDataDetailsWebPart.SetDataSourceProperties()

I searched around and found some leads in the MSDN forum, but they weren’t enough for me to understand what I was doing wrong.  I watched a webcast by Ted Pattison that my company has squirreled away on a server and came to realize my problem.

In my ADF, I’m connecting to a SQL database as shown:

            <Property Name="RdbCommandText" Type="System.String">
              <![CDATA[
                SELECT     
                      SETID, CARRIER_ID, EFFDT, DESCR, EFF_STATUS, TAXPAYER_ID, NETWORK_ID, FRT_FORWARD_FLG, ALT_NAME1, ALT_NAME2, LANGUAGE_CD, 
                      COUNTRY, ADDRESS1, ADDRESS2, ADDRESS3, ADDRESS4, CITY, NUM1, NUM2, HOUSE_TYPE, ADDR_FIELD1, ADDR_FIELD2, ADDR_FIELD3, 
                      COUNTY, STATE, POSTAL, GEO_CODE, IN_CITY_LIMIT, COUNTRY_CODE, PHONE, EXTENSION, FAX, LAST_EXP_CHK_DTTM, FREIGHT_VENDOR, 
                      INTERLINK_DLL, TMS_EXCLUDE_FLG
                FROM         
                      dbo.PS_CARRIER_ID_VW WITH (nolock)
                WHERE     
                  (SETID <> 'SHARE') and 
                  (lower(CARRIER_ID) >= lower(@MinId)) and
                  (lower(CARRIER_ID) <= lower(@MaxId)) and
                  (lower(DESCR) LIKE lower(@InputDescr))
                ]]>
            </Property>

I was provided that SQL from a DBA person and I’m given to understand that it’s a special view they created just for me.  The unique key there is CARRIER_ID.

Here is the bug I introduced:

      <Identifiers>
        <Identifier Name="CARRIER_ID" TypeName="System.String" />
        <Identifier Name="DESCR" TypeName="System.String" /> 
</Identifiers>

Somewhere along the line, I had managed to confuse myself over the meaning of <Identifiers> and added DESCR even though it’s not actually an identifier.  I took DESCR out of the identifiers set and presto! It all worked.

I hope this saves someone some grief 🙂

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2 responses to “A BDC runtime error explained

  1. Pieter January 23, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Hi,I\’ve got an issue with a BDC, and I wonder if you can help with this?I\’m using two identifiier fields ( a number and a description field), whenever the total number of characters exceeds 60 I\’m getting the foollowing errors:Invalid text valueA text field contains invalid data. Please check the value and try again.Do you understand where this limit of 60 characters comes from? and how to fix this issue? Currently I\’m limiting the description in such a way that the total number of characters doesn\’t exceed 60.

  2. Paul March 20, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Pieter, you probalby solved this by now, but my guess is that it would be related to the definition on the back end. Maybe the SQL field itself is limited to 60 chars? Something like that?

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