Another Frustrating Day

Yesterday the whole day was spent (for the most part) fighting a fire involving a client, an SSL cert, and IIS and Tomcat. This morning the first thing on my plate was owner of said install decided that the fact that it was sitting there rebooted with IIS not running in the morning it must be our fault (just for the record, I never wanted to be working on their live production machine). Turns out it was our fault, kinda. Apparently registry keys can stop IIS running with some sort of an RPC service error. Yea, makes lots of sense I know.

After this it was on to the fire of the day. Seems a training session was moved up from tomorrow to today, and after fighting the previous fire I was told “that new stuff is installed at the client site right?” Uhmm…. nope. So I get one of our other programmers in to tell me what files I need and where to put them. Then I find out that one of the things that is going to be trained on is broken in the new version but not the old, and another thing that’s going to be trained on is broken in the old but not the new. Ok, so set up another virtual directory (context Tomcat calls them), that’s easy enough right?

Nope, spend literally 1-2 hours on the stupid thing doing something that a simple task shouldn’t take more than 20 seconds. Turns out there was a zombied Tomcat process and some random changes someone made to settings in a file somewhere broke things (no one bothered to tell me this though). So now it’s 12:30, training starts at 1. Next step, get the new context working. That, thankfully, didn’t take long. I thank the programmers and tell the trainer it’s all ok. Grab a sub. Come back from getting lunch to find an urgent “I can see it but I can’t save anything” error.

So I call the programmers back in. After a bunch more testing it turns out that when I was originally given the database definitions one of the fields had an auto-increment property, an identity in SQL Server-speak. Turns out it doesn’t need it, and in certain cases, like this one, it breaks things (mental note, go and fix all previous installs for this). Ok, this should be a simple fix, just remove the auto-increment field. In MySQL this would be a matter of running:

alter table foo modify column bar int

Apparently in SQL Server this is impossible. Easy solution of course is to create a new table, copy data over, drop the old table, re-create the table with the proper definitions, and copy the data back over. Of course, training is in progress and I feel kinda nervous hitting that GO button with people in there. Eventually the query was run and it worked perfectly, but still, this is now 2:00. I didn’t get a whole lot done the rest of the day, my brain was fried. A couple of small housekeeping chores, sending of xmas cards, and worrying about the piles of work I have to do.


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