Increasing field lengths in Navision
One of the very first things that most new developers try to do when they start with Navision development is to increase the lengths of certain fields. Typically Item Description or Customer Name and Address fields.
Those that have been in Navision development for a long time will do everything they can to stop new developers from doing this. But are we really helping people by telling them not to do this.
I am starting to wonder …
I have been very public and verbal in telling people not to increase the length of these fields. But I am starting to think that even though the short term is disastrous, there are long term benefits to increasing field lengths.
I think that no matter how much we try to teach people to do things properly, there are some people that just must learn on their own. So you can tell a child 50 times "Don't touch the stove, its hot" and they might never learn, but let them just once touch the hot stove and they will remember for life.
I would like to know how many of the long term Navision people on this site have increased the length of fields in Navision. I will put my hand up and say it was one of the first major mods I ever did. At the time of the first upgrade, I truly learnt what a disaster that was, and I wonder if I would have learnt this lesson if I had not done it.
At first glance the task looks easy, you just need the developer tool kit, find the places its used and change. But the issue for that one Variable in some buffer code or that table that uses the field indirectly, or most importantly at upgrade time; those issues you learn later.
Maybe its time that we in the community let the beginners burn their fingers a bit. The long term effect it to have a much higher level of skills out there, and I think its obvious to everyone that the general level of Navision skills is the lowest its ever been in the history of Navision, so getting that skill set up is maybe the most important factor right now.