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CRM 2013/2015 Workflow uses nbsp instead than space while concatenating fields

January 13, 2015

I thought I share, since this took some time to investigate.

  • I have a “Full Name”, “Last Name” and “First Name” fields
  • I have a workflow that is triggered on Last and First name changes
  • The workflow updates “Full Name” by concatenating First and Last with a space between
  • In the Quick Find View, I am including “First Name” and “Full Name” as search field.

All works, until you try to search. If you have “John Smith” and you search “John” or “Smith” you get a hit, but when you search for “John S” you get nothing. This drove me CRAZY for a week, until, by exporting to Excel, I was able to see that the space that was inserted by the workflow was not a space at all but a nbsp, and that does not match “space”.

There are many solutions to this problem, but they all have drawbacks. I should also note that this behaviour only appeared in CRM 2013/2015 and in the olden times it was possible to concatenate fields in workflows with spaces in between. I suspect that this is a side effect of a bug that was reported in this very forum (workflow was stripping all spaces).

Forewarned is forearmed.

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