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Special chars in vars...?

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Hello all -- 

I’m noticing a very odd behavior in a script I’m writing, and have it narrowed down to a Variable-Set command.

I’ll read a row from a client table (Passwords) with Get-DataSet, then Fetch the values into sql_var.  The value appears correctly in the debugger, but the next step is a simple Variable-Set, Type Constant, Parameter @sql_var@, Variable Name: stvar.  In testing, when sql_var starts with an exclamation point, stvar is assigned -9999; when I remove the leading exclamation point, the value is assigned correctly.

Is it possible that the script is reading the exclamation point as a Not character?  Do I have to enclose the Variable-Set Parameter in single/double quotes?   Very confused.

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