I come from Singapore but find myself now living and working in the Netherlands, specialising in SMS 2003 / Configmgr 2007. I enjoy working and connecting people with computers and I hope I can share as much information as I can here through this blog.
“Computers do not just work like that, at the press of a button. From the moment a computer is switched on in your office, magic happens. That’s why you need an IT department and they do more than crawling under your desk to plug in that wire you kicked out.”
I recently noticed something interesting with the SCCM console and the Database, so I have decided to post it here for everyone's information. Note that this usually does not happen often in most SCCM environments but worth noting nonetheless! So here goes, apparently there is a limit to an advertisement name created in a ConfigMgr package. Hey, what? Wait a minute, this is nothing surprising knowing very well that the varchar limit of the "OfferName" Column in the "ProgramOffer" table is set at 200. A history buff like myself would also like to point out that "advertisements" were once called "offers" in early versions of SMS.
So yes, explain this:
I know its my word against yours but the above advertisement name has only 104 characters, 96 shy of the 200 mark in the database. This is happening because the Configmgr console's GUI sets a limit to 100 characters on the advertisement name, despite what it says in the database. It essentially does not allow you to enter anything more than 100 characters into the name so doing that alone from the GUI is impossible. In some organisations, automated scripts are used for various tasks that write directly into SQL from WMI and in these cases, advertisements longer than 100 are allowed to be written to the ProgramOffer table based on the fact that it allows for a varchar(200) and also bypasses the restrictions set in the console.
Everything will work like a charm until someone attempts to change the settings of the advertisement. That's when you get the above behaviour. Nothing short of a show stopper though, since altering the length to go below 100 characters will ultimately solve your problem.
I hope I at least enlightened someone out there!
What about using the SDK to create or modify the advertisement Lionel?! And remember that nothing in ConfigMgr indexes off of the advertisement name, AdvertID (OfferID!) is used instead ...