From time to time when working in the Activity View of Primavera P6 Professional, I find that I get Access Violation errors like the one in the screenshot below.
This happens to our clients, colleagues and people we meet in the Primavera P6 community and I suspect it happens to many Primavera P6 Professional users. When this issue is reported to Oracle, the response always advises the Activity Layout has somehow become corrupt and we need to recreate it from scratch. I’ve even been told to upgrade to the latest service pack, even though it doesn’t list this fault as being fixed.
After a particular harrowing time with this error, I decided to spend some time investigating it and seeing if I could reproduce it and find a workaround or fix it.
I’m happy to say I did reproduce it and will be writing a follow up article that will allow you to reproduce it too, and if enough of us report it to Oracle then maybe they will fix it.
In this article, I’ll share a little bit about the circumstances that tend to create the problem and also the workaround.
What Usually Causes The Problem?
I mostly get the problem when the Collapse to individual bars to minimize space option is selected on the Collapsed Bars tab of the Bar Chart Options dialog as shown in the screenshot above. Here are the steps that have always fixed it for me – though I could just be lucky.
1. The first thing I do is click on the OK button of the error and any subsequent errors until they are all gone. Sometimes there are many errors one after the other so patience is required.
2. Once back in control, I right-click in the Gantt area and choose the Bar Chart Options… item from the context menu. This displays the dialog mentioned above. I change to the Collapsed Bars tab and set the option to Collapse to grouping bands and click on the OK button to dismiss the dialog.
3. Then I go to the menu and select View > Table Table Font and Row… to display the Table, Font and Row dialog.
4. I clear the Keep Current Row Heights check box and select the Optimize height by row content option before clearing the Do not exceed check box as per the screen shot below. Finally, I click on the OK button.
5. I then click in the slider between the columns and Gantt to bring the slider from the top to the bottom. Just dragging it down does not always work.
6. I now go back to the Bar Chart Options dialog, click on the Collapsed Bars tab and changed the option back to Collapse to individual bars to minimize space before clicking on the OK button to dismiss the dialog.
7. I then repeat steps 3,4 and 5 and I’m done.
Sometimes, the error comes back again after a while and s I just repeat this routine and it goes away again.
By way of background information the Access Violation error is most likely caused by poor computer memory management in the Primavera P6 application which is written in Borland Delphi and requires the software developer to manage memory.
I believe the little routine I use, happens to re-initialize the memory and so the problem appears to go away, when it really just delays it for a while, and sometimes I finish working in Primavera P6 before it comes back.
It would be great to hear from Primavera P6 Professional users who get these errors regularly and also to hear if this routine helped cure your “corrupt layout” without having to rewrite it again.