Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Eaten by my job

Yeah, yeah — I haven’t written much this week. We have a big huge system conversion going on at work, and the project has eaten the entire IT department. We’re changing our primary business platform from a mainframe to an iSeries.

Since we have web applications which communicate with the mainframe, these must be modified to work with the new system. We also decided that this would be a good time to upgrade our web server, since our current site has been running on the same hardware and OS for about five years now. Of course, we should have known better than to try changing the hardware and software on both ends of the system at the same time…

We first tried to go all the way, and upgrade our old WinNT4-based web server to Windows Server 2003. I got pretty far with it, but I was having trouble getting the ISAPI programs for our shipment tracking system to work. Since that’s pretty much the core of our web site, this was a Bad Thing.

After fiddling with that for far too long, we decided to fall back to Windows 2000. I had previously done a little bit of work on moving our web site to a Win2K server, and had it mostly working. All we had to do was convert all the user accounts from the other server. “All we had to do, ” ha! As you may guess, that didn’t go so smoothly, either. For some reason, when they set up Active Directory and imported the users, one crucial portion of our application began failing. The portion that lets registered users perform advanced shipment tracking functions. Doh.

Sooooo, with deadlines looming, we decided to fall back a little more. We’re going to keep using our original web server, and just modify the applications to point to the new backend system. For now. With deadline pressure off, we’ll be able to go back and study the other systems to figure out how to get them working, and eventually migrate our web site to the new, beefier platform.

The final switchover occurs this weekend. They’ll spend all day Saturday moving data from the mainframe to the iSeries. I will have to come in late Saturday night to make the necessary changes on our web server. I’ll probably come in around 11pm, though (according to the schedule) I probably won’t be needed until closer to 1am. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get my changes in place and tested within a couple of hours. Maybe I’ll actually get back home before 4am. Ugh.

So anyhow, if you’ve wondered why I haven’t posted much this week, or why I haven’t done much work on WordPress or Ping-O-Matic, that’s why.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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