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What do the "*" (asterix) characters tell me in Work Allocations?

Andrew Codrington (17733135) | asked Jan 14 '13, 10:59 a.m.
We're on still, but I see the same * characters beside some timelines in the Work Allocation part of Work Environment on the 4.0.2 M system. See Adrian's for example.

What are they trying to tell me?

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Millard Ellingsworth (2.5k12431) | answered Jan 14 '13, 9:24 p.m.
Just about all of the timelines in the example have an asterisk (except RTC Dev and the archived ones).

Typically, the asterisk indicates a changed/dirty state. When I edit a single line of my assignments and change a percentage, and asterisk appears on the line.

I pulled up my assignments on a test server and saw that all of them had an asterisk as well -- which doesn't make much sense since I just pulled the page up and had not changed anything yet. I played around with some of them hoping to make the asterisk go away and nothing seemed to worked. Then, when I saved it at one point, I got a popup dialog asking if I wanted to save the default allocations as well. I said "yes" and all of the asterisks went away.

So the asterisk would seem to indicate that the default allocation is not saved. As you can see, Adrian has been added to a lot of teams/projects and some sort of allocation has been made (likely be default) each time. As in my test above, I think if Adrian edited that page and answered "yes" to the "Save default allocations" dialog, all of those would go away.

Since the page is not actually made dirty, you don't get a prompt to save when you exit but if you do make the page dirty, it's going to ask to update all of those default allocations (then the asterisks would go away). This is all surmised by looking at the behavior -- I couldn't find the spot in the code that appends that asterisk, at least not quickly enough to bother.
Andrew Codrington selected this answer as the correct answer

Andrew Codrington commented Jan 15 '13, 10:39 a.m.

Thanks for digging in Millard! That explanation seems to fit.

A follow-on question would be for more detail on default allocation behaviour.

On my own profile I had previously 'saved defaults' but had some asterisks again after changing team memberships. Does that mean all allocations are 'dirtied' or are only the ones for new team/project memberships affected? I wasn't observant enough to notice before I saved...

My interest in this is because we went through some effort to get admins to set everyone's allocation appropriately. Then after we added some new teams we noticed a few people had unexpected new allocations that we'll need to fix. I'd like to  understand the behaviour so we can avoid surprises next time.

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Mike Shkolnik (9807160143) | answered Jul 19 '13, 12:35 p.m.
edited Jul 19 '13, 5:32 p.m.
The asterisk appears to indicate that the particular allocation will be split if the person is added to another team. It can be forced to "stick" by setting the allocations manually. There is a bug related to this auto-split feature, so another reason to make sure you hard-code your allocations to clear your asterisks:

workaround for bug in Planned Time view

You will need to hard-code the allocation in this manner every time someone is added to a new team (though you likely do that anyway since you remove them from the old team). It would be nice if there was a query that would list users who need to have their default allocations set. And a query that lists the allocations of all users. I am right now manually checking all 283 of our users...

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