The Times They Are A Changin

Tuesday 25th November, 2008
Jake Howlett asks in his blog, if hard-coding ever okay?

I've never known Value Added Tax (VAT) here in the UK to be anything other than 17.5%. I always thought it was set in stone, never to change. Having just Googled it I see it changed from 15% to 17.5% in 1991, but has remained the same for the last 17 years.

We have been trough this over here in Germany recently. And I remember also at least three VAT changes over here over the past 17 years (from 14% in 1992 to 15% in 1993 to 16% in 1998 to the 19% in 2007), a y2k problem (dates from 31.12.99 to 01.01.00 and not 01.01.100), and a change in the postal codes from 4 to 5 digits (I used to live in 6050 and moved automatically to much more uglier 63067). And a change in the currency denomination (DEM -> EUR) with a transition period of nearly 5 years were you could encounter both currencies mixed side by side in certain contexts. And don't forget all the software that was written by the people who were not aware that there is more than one language on the planet and that sometimes in other languages other characters are being used, that are not present in English.

To sum it up - my answer to Jacks question is a simple "nope". :)

I always use global profile documents for such stuff - they are fast and quick and are perfect for holding non volatile data like VAT rates and such.
You can use then @GetProfileField(profile; field) to get the values for use in default value lists, drop down lists, computed text, etc.... The profile forms are cached in memory and are not read every time from disk - that's why they are quick, and that's why you can't write and read from them all the time. Oh, and they are working on the web too.

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