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ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

Copper Contributor
Posts: 59
Country: United States

ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

[ Edited ]

 I am usiing: ACT! by Sage 2007 (9.0) Version 9.0.1.162

 

I am desiging a new report, it all works fine, but then I try to add a subreport (notes), I follow al the instructions, but then when I go to preview the report, all I get is the following error:

 

"Object reference not set to an instance of an object", and no report????

 

But if I go back and delete the notes subreport out of my report, then run it, no error, it works fine.

 

Any ideas what the problem might be?

Message Edited by tonyGTO on 02-07-2009 05:26 PM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

I have no idea what you might be doing wrong when you add the sub-report without examining the template but obviously, you are doing something wrong.
Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
Copper Contributor
Posts: 59
Country: United States

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

Thanks for the comment, that helps alot!

 

The fact is that ACT is a very buggy, sometimes very strange program. Working with it every day, all kinds of strange things can and DO happen, and then you have to use your free time searching for solutions to problems that have developed for no apparant reason! All with very little, or no help from the company that sells this.Unless you PAY MORE of course!

 

And what does the company say, UPGRADE to the newest version (pay us MORE money), which then has its own buggy crap going on, just different buggy crap.

 

Whatever, this BB used to be a "nice" place to come and get possible solutions to problems, now it is SOMETHING ELSE!

 

 

Nickel Elite Contributor
Posts: 934
Country: USA

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

[ Edited ]

Roy is a ACT! Report Expert / GURU so perhaps if you contact him, he can quickly resolve your problem.

It's probably something very minor?

 

When I went from ACT! 6 to ACT! 10, I was VERY PLEASED.

 

I would say that learning the ACT! Reporting side of things was my most challenging part of the task and even learning Crystal Reports on top of that, but ACT! 10 and 11 are super products.

I have been a Technology Professional for Fortune 100 companies for 20+ years. Then a Recruiter for 10+ years, now I sell a ACT! Add-On product.

Recommed you do upgrade to ACT! 2009 version 11  and it is very affordable for all the POWER you get. A $100 - $200 investment is very little.

 

At first I had a couple of frustrations like you but Sage and this forum was a big help. A little issue can seem awfully big at times.

Now I am giving something back so feel free to contact me for assistance - No Charge  but as I mentioned, Roy is the ACT! Report Guru.

Cheers- FSB

Message Edited by FillStaffBill on 02-08-2009 11:09 AM
Message Edited by dlunceford on 02-09-2009 08:34 AM
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Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

I can understand your frustration but not your anger. 

 

I do extensive work designing and coding report templates and I find the ACT! reports to be very solid. Everytime I have experienced a problem such as you describe, it was caused by an error that I made, not the ACT! report generator. One issue is that most people don't understand what report templates are. I have seen many people try to think of report generator as similar to a word processing programming. In actual fact, when you create a report template, you are writing a program. Programming experience isn't required when creating a report template but it does help for debugging a template.

 

Back to your problem, it's actually very hard to create that problem with a report template. In most cases, errors in constructing a report template will result in data not being reported, not the error you are getting. To make any attempt to debug your report template, I would need to examining the template. It probably is fairly simple but the error indicates a serious mismatch between your template and the database.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
Bronze Contributor
Posts: 1,276
Country: USA

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

[ Edited ]

Hi there.  Sorry you are having problems with the report.  Let's see what we can do to help.  First off, the "object reference..." is a classic .Net error saying, in a way nobody can understand, that it'doesn't see data.  So that means, in your report, when you add the Notes subreport, nothing is being passed to it.  Now, the reportwriter part of ACT is poorly documented.  Period.  Others can argue with me, but that's a fact.  Now, let's talk about what is probably going on with your report.  Notes in ACT reporting are tied to the contactid field.  In most reports that have Notes and Histories, this field is typically there, but hidden from view.  it's one of the little one pixel fields hidden at the top of a report.  This is the field that ties contact data to Notes.  Oh, and this is not documented very well, if at all.  So, I bet your report doesn't have a contactid file sitting around somewhere to tie the contact record to the subreport.  Here's a tip.  Open a Notes/History report.  Save it as another name.  Open the view Properties pane and then click on the fields at the top.  go find the contactid field.  This will give you an idea of how to add it to your report.  I bet it will work after that.

 

This is such a tricky thing I typically start with a Notes/History report and remove things I dont' need to build custom reports.  It's just easier.

 

Oh, and Roy really is a nice guy and truly knows reports.  he was just trying to help.

 

Pat

Message Edited by pregen on 02-08-2009 06:35 PM
Patricia Egen
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(423) 875-2652

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 59
Country: United States

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

[ Edited ]

Before reading your post above, I tried to fix this report and now the error has changed to this:

 

"Guid should contain 32 digits with 4 dashes (xxxxxxxxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)"

 

Weird, I now wonder if this error is before and in addition to the Object reference error, like maybe it's now generating this new error before it even gets to the point that the other Object error would be generated. This is something that I am usually very good at doing, now, I wonder.

 

I will try your suggestions, thanks for taking the time to try to help.

Message Edited by tonyGTO on 02-09-2009 01:12 PM
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Country: USA

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

Error: "Guid should contain 32 digits with 4 dashes (xxxxxxxxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)" usually occurs because the ContactID field is not added to the report.

 

Bronze Contributor
Posts: 1,276
Country: USA

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

Ah, the Guid error.  Seen that one too.  This is caused by a variety of things - and I wish I could figure out what does it, but it's typically when someone works on a report and does a lot of saving or editing or touches it often.  Somewhere on the report is an entry that has been placed there by whatever that needs to be removed.  The message, even though it sounds obtuse, is actually right.  It sees a Guid in the report that it can't figure out.  All reports are actually XML documents.   You can right click on them using Windows Explorer and open them in Notepad.  By the way, make a copy of the report first before doing this, just in case.  Now, search thru the file using Find in Notepad and look for the word GUID.  When you find it, make sure there is nothing on that line that actually looks like a Filter. 

 

Here's an example of a report that went south (one of my own, in fact) and this is what I found on the report:

 

"<ConnectionString>Act.UI.Designer.Report.Data.ContactReportConnection,Act.UI.Designer.Report.Data</ConnectionString>

<Filter>[C:ContactID]='5bdd3d80-f534-4b0e-947c-a19d938dc7d7'

And [C:ContactID]='5bdd3d80-f534-4b0e-947c-a19d938dc7d7' And

[C:ContactID]='5bdd3d80-f534-4b0e-947c-a19d938dc7d7'</Filter>"

 

The part that is wrong is the "'5bdd3d80-f534-4b0e-947c-a19d938dc7d7' piece.  A GUID is a unique identifier to a record.  Well, you are doing a report for a lot of records, not just one.  So, you don't want to see a specific GUID in the report. 

 

I suggest that you open the report and see if you find a line that has a GUID actually showing up.  If so, delete the line that has that entry.  That's why I said make a backup copy of the report.  I'd hate to give you advice that would kill the report altogether.

 

Pat

 

(ps. sorry to be so techy here)

Patricia Egen
Certified ACT! Consultant, Trainer, Developer
www.egenconsulting.com
(423) 875-2652

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 59
Country: United States

Re: ACT v9 reports problem "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" ???

It worked! I tried that, but had to put that ContactId field on the main, and sub reports before it would work. Your right, I couldn't find anything in the help about that.

 

Thank you very much for the help, I appreciate it more than you know!