Report Metadata Error

A few of our clients were getting an obscure error when running reports.  I couldn’t find any information on the error online, so I thought I would post a potential workaround here to help the next person that runs into it.

While the report is running and being prepared for preview, a dialog pops up prompting the user to find a table/DBF. When the user presses Cancel, the dialog may or may not pop up again multiple times. Eventually, the user receives this error:

File ‘m_4nl0nroh6.dbf’ does not exist.
The metadata for some report definition rows could not be loaded.
Some dynamic report features may be missing, or a report could not conclude successfully.

The error occurs in frxcursor.UnpackFrxMemberData() while attempting to ALTER TABLE on a cursor that was created only a few lines earlier. For some reason, the underlying DBF is missing, but I can’t explain why.

What I did find is that some of our reports contained generic MemberData in the STYLE field of the FRX that was not being used. Once removed, the code producing the error will not need to run. I suspect the data inadvertently got in there in the first place using the Report Designer. If you go to Field Properties->Other and click on the Run-time extensions->Edit Settings button, it will automatically add code to the STYLE field, which will be saved if you press OK.

NOTE: There are legitimate uses of MemberData in the STYLE field, such as rotated labels. In those cases, the STYLE field needs to remain populated, so be sure before deleting the data.