Handling Error Messages in Business Central’s Warehousing

As a brief follow up to our posts on Basic and Advanced warehousing in Business Central, I thought it could be helpful to provide a short guide on some of the error messages you might see. These errors relate to ‘Advanced’ but not ‘full WMS’ warehousing. Unfortunately, not all the notification and error messages in Business Central are useful when it comes to warehousing. By that, I mean, error messages may indicate that there’s an issue with posting a document and prevent posting but don’t relay what the issue relates to.

Warehouse Setup fields to consider

I am coming back to amend this blog around a year or so later, after we made a discovery recently which will hopefully alleviate some of your pains; two fields on the Warehouse Setup screen. These are ‘Receipt Posting Policy’ and ‘Shipment Posting Policy’. The value you have for these fields dictates the types of messages you’re given when you’re trying to post warehouse shipments or receipts. We anticipate that in the vast majority of cases, you will want the value to be set to ‘stop and show the first posting error’. I did some testing on this. Let’s take a look!

This image shows the Warehouse Setup page, specifically highlighting two fields: 'Receipt Posting Policy' and 'Shipment Posting Policy'. These fields determine how descriptive the error messages you receive are, when using Business Central's warehousing module.

Testing the Receipt and Shipment Posting Policy fields

In testing this, I created a Item and after adding it to a sales order, I enabled the Sales Blocked field. I did this to ensure I would get an error when I tried to post it, alongside other items which wouldn’t error. In the first example, with ‘stop and show the first posting error’ selected, I found that all warehouse shipment lines posted except the one which I knew would error. In my second example, I kept the warehouse shipment record. It now had one line remaining. I added another line to it, with an item I knew wouldn’t error. I then selected ‘posting errors are not processed’. When posting, the same thing happened. The line without errors, posted, leaving the other one remaining:

This image shows how even if you have 'posting errors are not processed' selected on the Receipt and Shipment Posting Policy fields, the system will still post the lines it can, leaving behind any that error.

So in summation, I see no reason not to select the ‘stop and show the first posting error’ for the Receipt and Shipment Posting Policy fields. Both values work in the same way, however this one produces useful error messages.

The rest of this blog will be what I wrote originally. This was with ‘posting errors are not processed’ selected on the Shipment and Receipt Posting Policy fields.

Back to the original blog…

Just before showing different examples, we should highlight that this isn’t an extensive list of all the errors you might get. Some of the errors you might get could appear like those below but be as a result of something different entirely. This is to offer some guidance as to what the errors could relate to.

Error message: example one

This image shows a message notification saying "Number of source documents posted: 0 out of a total of 1". Unfortunately, this message doesn't clearly display why it happens. Fortunately, we outline potential reasons for getting this message, below.

This first message appears as a result of a couple of scenarios:

  • Missing accounts on the General Posting Setup page and;
  • Where locations on the Inventory Posting Setup page are missing accounts. In both these instances, the error message we got is the same

Error message: example two

This error message, whilst not very clear, is related to missing values in either the General Posting Setup or the Inventory Posting Setup.

This next error message appears where you are trying to post a purchase order prior to creating a warehouse receipt, where ‘require receive’ is enabled.

Error message: example three

This one occurs where you try create a warehouse receipt after a warehouse receipt already exists for the order. It could also appear when you are trying to create a warehouse receipt for a location which hasn’t got the correct configuration on the Inventory Setup page.

Error message: example four

The explanation for this next error requires a few screenshots. It occurs when you are trying to create warehouse receipt:

This error message appears when users haven't been set up as a warehouse employee for the relevant location.

If you click ‘ok’ at this stage, you’ll be taken to a warehouse receipt record. All good so far and the message looks pretty self-explanatory. Whilst on paper, this looks valid, the details of this warehouse receipt relate to an entirely separate purchase order. Bizarre! Instead of creating a warehouse receipt for the relevant record, it’s opened an entirely unrelated warehouse receipt document for an old purchase order. This ‘error’ occurs when you are not set up as a warehouse employee for the location in which the items will be received into. Make sure for each location you transact from, the appropriate users are setup as warehouse employees.

I’ll attach a screenshot of the purchase order that I clicked that I clicked ‘Create Whse. Receipt’ for:

As you can see, it’s a different vendor, item and location!

Error message log

One way to see a log of error messages, which could be useful when trying to show someone a message you got from performing an action, is by visiting the Error Message Register page. Here you can see a list of errors that have taken place in the particular company, who the user was that caused it and when exactly it took place. By drilling into the number on each line, you’ll see a description of the error.

In the Error Message Register, you can see which user was responsible for generating error messages.

Inspect pages and data

Another way to see what data is on a page is by using the ‘Inspect pages and data’ function. In the top right-hand side corner of your Business Central, click the ‘?’ icon, and ‘Help & Support’ to find this. Alternatively, use the Ctrl+alt+f1 keyboard shortcut on the page you wish to inspect.

This will bring up a grey page inspection area on the right of your screen. This tells you every field and value relating to the record you are presently on. This can be really helpful in diagnosing a problem as often you will see a required field is missing a value.

Recent update to error messages

In 2021 wave 2, Microsoft issued an update to error messages, namely the information that displays on the screen. This splits the error message into user-friendly and technical sections. AL developers can now add technical details for the error in a collapsed section of the error dialog. These can include a description of the error, session ID and an AL call stack. This isn’t specific to warehousing but it’s worth noting that Microsoft are aware of how error messages appear sometimes, and are looking for ways to better the user experience. I’ve attached a link to Microsoft’s documentation on the topic.

Concluding remarks

Thanks for reading! We hope this can help to clear up any issues you have when running warehousing in Business Central. Error messages in Business Central aren’t always clear so this seemed like a post that could assist users. If you have any comments, questions or queries, make sure to contact us. If you’d like to follow us on LinkedIn, you’ll be the first to see our latest posts.

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