A strange character started appearing in RequisitePro requirement descriptions and ClearQuest records on my project – specifically, an upside down question mark. I was able to search descriptions of the records for the special character to determine the extent of the problem.
After interviewing several members of the team, I learned that many users paste data from Word documents directly into the Rational Tools. Smart quotes and double hyphens in Word often don’t appear properly in ClearQuest and RequisitePro. Still, there was no explanation for the sudden occurrence of this phenomenon. I researched the problem and found an IBM technical note that described a similar situation and indicated the cause: an incorrect character set applied to the database. I pursued the possibility. The Database Management System had recently been upgraded and migrated to a new server. Working with the Database Administrator, I learned that the wrong character set had been applied to the Database Management System.
Once the proper one was applied, I led a team tasked with updating the records – replacing the upside down question mark with the proper character – successfully resolving the issue.