Saturday, October 6, 2012

Error of "Invalid field name" while saving form

While working on a legacy Lotus Notes client based application, I did some modifications on a form but while trying to save it I was getting error message "Invalid field name" and the form simply refused to be saved. I checked all the field names trying to find out any invalid character amongst them, but no luck.

So I went to my faithful old friend — Google. And it took me to this discussion on Notes/Domino 8.5 Forum where a user was having the same issue. He resolved it by removing and adding existing sections. Why it happened, he didn't know.

My form had controlled-access sections. Digging deeper into the properties I found that the property "Section field name (for R3 compatibility only)" was set to a numerical value.

When I updated the property to another numerical value it threw an error message saying that the field name was invalid and displayed the rules for naming fields.

I was then I realized that the property of "Section field name (for R3 compatibility only)" follows the same naming specifications as any other fields. When I updated the field name as per the specifications everything was back to normal.

Why did Lotus Notes not warn when this form was first created? My best guess is that the developer who created this form was probably on an older release of Lotus Notes which did not check this value. I was working on Lotus Notes 8.5.3 which was checking this value and throwing this error. Again, this is just a guess!

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