What happens when you exceed a field's size in a Progress DB?

And a follow-up question...

How can you get around the ODBC error when a field exceeds its size?  

Things like LEFT(OrderHed.Description,100) don't work.


I've written a program to build an HTML email to be used with a Shipping Alert BAM.  

While testing it, I would just query the AlertQue table in Excel, using ODBC - instead of waiting the minute or two for the email process to find it and forward it to the relay. 

Once the AlertQue.AlertText field got to over 1,000 characters (which happens very fast with HTML), The ODBC would return the error "Column AlertText in table PUB.AlertQue has a value exceeding its max length or precision"

This has me wondering what happens when a table's field exceeds it's specified size.  

And the alert queue isn't the only place this happens.  The most egregious offender is the Description field in the QuoteDtl and OrderDtl tables.  It's not uncommon for a sales person to copy and past a description upwards of 4,000 characters.

Is this a bad thing?  It really only seems to affect ODBC queries - which  we do a lot

Thanks in advance,


P.S. - using 8.03.409C with OE 10.1B