I am in the situation where a client is demanding that I redo some reports so they are organized by one table id (ID_A) instead of another table id (ID_B) that exist in separate databases. All the reports are running from ID_B and they were seeing some data issues. The client feels this was because the data was being pulled by ID_B and should be pulled by ID_A.

I have explained that ID_A does not even exist in the database that I am looking at in this situation and I need to use ID_B to navigate to another database that contains the table with ID_A. I can display both/neither/either ids in the report. In the end the data issue was simply a data mapping bug completely elsewhere.

Now the client is not seeing the bad data, but still wants me to rework with ID_A, because that is the "correct" way to do this. From my perspective, as long as the data displayed is what they want, it is the "correct" way, so I feel like it is extra coding time to redo this work.

I can directly lie to them and say, yep, its done and go about my way. I am worried that they will look at the code in the end (they have rights to it). Does anyone have any experience convincing a client that data can be retrieved in more than one way, or whatever I need help with here. Extremely tight deadlines prevent me from just saying F IT and redoing the code.

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    What is your end goal here? I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish - are you looking to find a way to decline a client request? Get out of the project successfully with a happy client? Or something else? – enderland Nov 6 '13 at 23:41
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    Welcome to The Workplace Jabberwocky Decompiler! There is a lot of technical details in your post that may end up making it harder to get good answers. You also seem to be missing key details, like what the contract says, and whether you had promised to include this ID_A from the start for instance. Could you try an edit explaining the heart of the situation a bit better so people can answer? – jmac Nov 6 '13 at 23:42
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    Is it possible to ask for more budget to do it the way they've requested? – Amy Blankenship Nov 6 '13 at 23:45
  • @enderland I would like to complete the project with a happy client. Since there are currently more changes and will be other changes requested I am attempting to make them understand that this is a low priority. – JabberwockyDecompiler Nov 7 '13 at 0:23
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First figure out what they're really asking for. Are they asking for a different appearance on the report? Are they looking for a bug to be fixed? Are they looking for altered functionality so that they can write custom code to interact with your application?

The answer will determine how to react.

If they are interested in the UI, mock a UI and ask, 'would this solve your request?'. When you get the UI right, build the report for them.

If they are looking for a bug fix, ask them what their test cases are for the bug, to ensure you correctly reproduce and correctly fix, then fix the bug. Say 'thank you' for the suggestion and give them the real fix.

If they want the view into the database so they can write their custom code, give them a new database view and show them how to select that view.

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    Sometimes people think they know what's best when they don't really know. If the bug is fixed and they are happy with the results of the fix, thank them for the suggested product implementation change and add it to the bug tracker as an enhancement request. Do it or don't at a later date. – atk Nov 7 '13 at 0:40
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    They might have some historical/domain knowledge of instances where ID_B will fail that you haven't thought of. – Amy Blankenship Nov 7 '13 at 0:40
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    That's a possibility. If they do, then it would be more effective for them to pony up that information. If they don't share what they know, then they can't reasonably expect the maintainer of the product to read their minds. – atk Nov 7 '13 at 0:43
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    @atk sometimes we just have a vague "bad feeling" about doing something and we don't precisely remember what happened to engender that feeling – Amy Blankenship Nov 7 '13 at 0:49
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    @AmyBlankenship I asked about why they did not want the selection done by ID_B if they thought it would fail, etc. They said that it was because of this other report wizard looks it up by ID_A. So I looked at the code there, and haha, that code has the ability to look it up by either, but the form does not have the ID_B on it GAAAAA. After I showed them the code, they said, "I guess it can be a lower priority". Ugh, clients. – JabberwockyDecompiler Nov 7 '13 at 18:30

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