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Problems with Data Compare...because of one line???

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  • Problems with Data Compare...because of one line???


    I'm using BC version 3.1.11 (build 12204). I can't upgrade because this is a company-owned laptop and it takes them forever to update the products, so I need an answer other than, "update to the latest version," please.

    I have an Excel spreadsheet that has several tabs, some of which have more data than others. Once upon a time, I was able to do Data Compares on any of the tabs (against other files with similar or identical spreadsheet structure) with no trouble but, recently, performing a Data Compare leads to BC spinning off into never-never land and never returning. A text compare of the same file doesn't have any problem and will compare just fine, reporting the results for any tab in under a minute, but I need to see the data in spreadsheet format to keep my sanity.

    To try to figure out what the problem is, I separated all of the tabs into separate files, for two separate versions of the file, and compared each of the different versions of each tab with each other (comparing oldFile.tab1 to newFile.tab1, oldFile.tab2 to newFile.tab2, etc.). Doing this, I was able to narrow the problem down to two tabs in the spreadsheet.

    Next, I took the two, single-tab files for one of the tabs and removed all the data except the first 100 rows (it had about 750) and ran Data Compare on it. No problem there, so I added/removed lines and kept comparing until I eliminated down to one particular line. I then removed that one line from the full tab's worth of data and the Data Compare worked perfectly--results generated in about 30 seconds. The problem is, I need this row in the table. So I tried adding the data back in on a new line--first by copy/pasting each cell from a text file (Windows Notepad was used for this purpose), then by typing the data in manually, letter by letter, to ensure no weird non-printing characters got in. Every time I get the full row of data entered, the Data Compare problem comes back. I even thought I'd isolated it down to a particular cell in the row but, after having to pack it in for the evening, I tried again this morning and a different cell started acting up.

    This is very odd. This tab has, as I mentioned, about 750 rows and 22 columns. The data in the cells is fairly average in content--some cells empty, some stuffed full but most somewhere in between, leaning far more toward minimal amounts of data than maximal. Some cells have colored backgrounds and/or text (but not the data I added back while trying to identify the problem). There aren't any formulas in this spreadsheet at all, though some of the cells were generated by Rational DOORS and copied into this spreadsheet. (I haven't seen any other problems with DOORS data, so I'm not pointing a finger in that direction--just noting it in case you all know something that I don't about DOORS and BC.) Other tabs in this spreadsheet actually have MORE data in them but don't have this problem. And, as I noted, the Data Compare works just fine on the full contents of the file, minus this one line (consistently this same line--never random on that point).

    Any ideas what the problem might be? This is a highly useful spreadsheet for our team and I know we're going to want to compare this data to other data sets in the future, so I need to get this fixed. I wish I could send you a copy of the file but the information is company sensitive, so a description is pretty much all I can give you to work with.

    Please help!

    A bug is a son of a glitch.

  • #2
    Without being able to update BC3 (or BC4) or seeing the problem data, we won't be able to tell what is failing. I can offer some general advice.

    If you run the Conversion Command line (to convert from XLSX to TXT) from the Windows command prompt, there may be an error message present during the conversion. You can find the command line we use in the Tools menu -> File Formats dialog, select Excel (golden Data Compare format icon), and in the Conversion tab. You can also check the Excel (Text Compare white paper icon) here, too. Replace %s with your source file, and %t with a target test.txt file when performing as a command line operation (outside of BC4).

    You can also clone the Data format, and alter/replace the conversion utility with any other conversion utility, including the variant that the Text Compare uses:
    Beyond Compare is a multi-platform utility that combines directory compare and file compare functions in one package. Use it to manage source code, keep directories in sync, compare program output, etc.

    Or try redownloading and reinstalling the Excel Data format for BC3, from the website here:
    Beyond Compare is a multi-platform utility that combines directory compare and file compare functions in one package. Use it to manage source code, keep directories in sync, compare program output, etc.

    If you are unable to upgrade BC4 or change the Excel file, the only piece we can modify is the conversion utility (which calls to your installed copy of Excel, which may have also changed).

    The quickest test would be to be able to install the trial of BC4 and see if that version "just works" as a justification to upgrade to the newest release (and get all of the various enhancements and bug fixes that comes with it).
    Aaron P Scooter Software