MS Project Task has dots......

Hi,

Possibly a silly question but what are the little dots after my tasks in MS Project? It is not a split task because the dots only appear at the end of the solid line. The solid line goes a certain distance then the task continues on as a dotted line but always spans the required duration. I can cancel it by setting duration to 0 then back to required duration again and the display updates as a full solid bar. Does anyone know what controls this visual layout?

cheers

Simon
Crackers69Asked:
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VincentSGCommented:
Hi Simon!

I have only accessed the database directly in one previous project. Don't think will be able to help you there.

Let's wait for some other experts.
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VincentSGCommented:
Hi!

You may want to provide a screenshot. However, I believe the dots instead of a sold line because the duration you have put in is tentative instead of confirmed.

Cheers.
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Crackers69Author Commented:
Hi

Thanks for swift response

Here is the screen shot. I should mention that this happens only when I change the duration value in the background database (as I have saved file as .mdb) and when changed native in MS Project it works fine. However, for purposes too long to explain I need to edit the durations via the background DB using access.

Cheers

Simon
Screenshot.jpg
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VincentSGCommented:
Hi!

I think it could be because of the estimated duration, which you might have missed out while editing in the database itself. While you set the value natively in Microsoft Project, the duration is set to Exact instead of estimated, i.e. (without the "?").


Estimated duration values

Estimated duration is simply the duration value of each task formatted to be displayed as estimated. The value of the duration is displayed as estimated if the estimated flag is set to "True." To display custom duration fields as estimated, set the column DUR_FMT to the appropriate value (see Using the text conversion tables to retrieve strings below).

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Crackers69Author Commented:
Hi,

Thanks for the response again. You have mentioned the DUR_FMT column in the database and said "see Using the text conversion tables to retrieve strings below" .....but there is nothing more below??? Did you miss something off your response or am I misunderstanding?

Just to provide update of where I am.... I have edited the DUR_FMT to the same value as all the others with solid lines (value of 7) but dotted line still appears. I have done some trial and error messing around and it seems that when I populate the PROJ_EXT_EDITED column of the MS_PROJECTS table with -1 (or "true") it updates the duration bar to correct length but dotted. But when I alter duration in MSP_TASKS but leave PROJ_EXT_EDITED at 0 ("False") the duration field updates correctly but the bar does not alter to display the new value, however it does remain solid.

Just to clarify:

Values:
MSP_TASKS, TASK_DUR = 24000 (5days)
MSP_TASKS, DUR_FMT = 7
MSP_PROJECTS, PROJ_EXT_EDITED = -1 (True)
results in bar displaying as dotted line but correct length of 5 days AND duration field correct.

MSP_TASKS, TASK_DUR = 24000 (5days)
MSP_TASKS, DUR_FMT = 7
MSP_PROJECTS, PROJ_EXT_EDITED = 0 (False)
results in bar displaying as solid line but not changed to new duration. Duration field updates normally and is correct at 5 days.

Hope this makes sense, not sure if it is relevant! As a side note, you sound like you know about the operation of the background DB of project much better than me! Do you think you could view my other question worth 500 points. Its called "How to manipulate MSP_TASKS in MS Project DB" Im having trouble manipulating the actual start and end dates in the MSP_TASKS table of the background DB. It just ignores whatever value I put in!

Thanks again

I know this is a pain!

Simon

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Crackers69Author Commented:
Helpful to some degree but a solution was not reached for the overall problem.

Many thanks anyway
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