Set command ending with a "." (dot)

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http://www.unix.com – Hi I have a "set" command which ends with a "." (dot), for example: set `grep "\<${pnum}\>" /tstmp/data.txt |sed 's/#//'` . Can somebody help me to understand the purpose of this "set" and "." combination? The problem is that this command does not produce the same result when run on AIX vs SunOS. May be somebody knows the work around? Thanks a lot for any advice... -A (HowTos)