14 Aug 2006

unknown territory

14 Aug 2006

It’s amazing how a simple thing can come around and bite you in the butt. Hard.

At the office, we have this web system used to track our SAP development transports from our development server to our training, staging, and production systems. It was working fine and dandy until the company decides to switch the emailing system to MS Exchange. The web system continued to work, but it no longer triggered any emails and so, a lot of things were late because the respective people weren’t informed about whatever they were supposed to do.

The problem with this system is that the vendor has already lost its main programmer, and the consultant left behind doesn’t even have access to it. Checking with the people in charge of the web servers also did not yield any results, except for a lot of “it’s not our responsibility” and “we don’t care about you, go away” type of responses.

So I decided, hey, why not I just fix it myself? It should be pretty simple, right? Find a string that defines the SMTP address and change it to the new one. Yup, sounds like something anyone can do.

I ask for developer access.

I get it the next day. Eager to get on with the rest of my work, I just dived into the code and quickly found the string I wanted to change. So I change it.

I log back onto the system: runtime error. Perplexed, I checked back the small portion of code I changed. Doesn’t seem to be any problem there. Hmmm…

So there I was stuck with this problem that I didn’t have a handle on with my current level of VB/ASP knowledge and access. I even went to tweaking the Web.config file to try and enable more details in the error message, but that didn’t help me either. Then while I was looking here and there for a solution, I accidentally deleted it, that config file. That’s when the shit hit the fan right there.

In retrospect, if I had left that file alone, I might’ve been able to minimize the damage.

And, if I had checked to make sure the system was OK before I touched anything, I would’ve been able to screw the server people for breaking it. Never assume that people would do things right. :

So here I am with a broken system, and bits of code on my hands.

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