Confluence as a service

Monday, 21 January 2008

I was having trouble running Confluence as a service. It failed with the following unhelpful error:

C:\confluence\confluence-2.7-std\bin>net start

Confluence The Apache Tomcat Confluence service is starting.

The Apache Tomcat Confluence service could not be started.

A service specific error occurred: 0.

More help is available by typing NET HELPMSG 3547.

Support responded with a suggestion that I review this thread in the Java Forums. And turns out that was my problem too. Copying msvcr71.dll into \windows\system32 has done the trick. I presume this is a bug in the JDK installer.

I was also able to set the service to run as NetworkService which is nicer than hardcoding my credentials, or letting it run as SYSTEM.

Confluence Wiki

Friday, 18 January 2008

Last year Ben spent some time evaluating Wiki software. He quickly came to the conclusion that the SharePoint offering was not that impressive. He also looked at some other versions which were much more capable.

I'd noticed that quite a number of sites globally were using Atlassian's Confluence Wiki software. We managed to purchase a 25-user license to test the waters. Apart from anything else, Atlassian are based in Australia, which is nice.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to install it and get it up and running. I found the process surprisingly straight-forward.

It is written in Java, and requires JDK 1.6, but otherwise it was just a matter of following the instructions step by step (including grabbing these JTDS drivers as we're using SQL Server for the database backend).

It defaults to running on port 8080, but after stopping the default web server in IIS, a quick edit of conf\server.xml swapped to standard port 80.

The database setup went flawlessly. I just pointed Confluence at the server, and ensured the username was in the db_owner role, and it created all the tables it required. I've since removed it from the owner role.

We have our own Active Directory so using LDAP for authentication made sense. This too proved simple to configure. I just followed the instructions again, and used an existing AD account.

About the only thing I haven't got working is configuring the whole thing to run as a service. There's documentation on how to do this, but it doesn't work for me. Hopefully I'll hear back from their support people shortly.

I was quite pleased with the whole process. It isn't quite as nice as just double-clicking on an .MSI file, but it was still relatively painless.

Later on, we can try out the SharePoint Connector that lets you integrate Confluence with a SharePoint site.

Where's the time zone update for Windows Mobile devices?

Friday, 18 January 2008

I mentioned previously that Microsoft released an update for their desktop and server operating systems in late November. This included the new daylight-savings ending for South Australia.

For some reason, we're still waiting for a similar update for Mobile Devices. The last release was from August 2007, and that doesn't include changes for South Australia or Tasmania.

What's the holdup? Daylight savings will have finished if they don't hurry up!

CodeCampOz 2008

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Mitch announced that Code Camp Oz is on again this year in Wagga Wagga.

I've attended every one so far, and plan to be there again this year. About the only thing that could throw a spanner in the works would be the early arrival of G3.

Firefox Extensions I use

Thursday, 17 January 2008

I thought it would be useful for posterity to document which add-ons to Firefox I'm currently using.

Bookmark Duplicate Detector

Does what it's name says - keeps your bookmarks free of redundant entries.

ColorZilla

Let's you find out what colour something is on the current web page.

DownThemAll

Download manager (I'm using 1.0b2) which makes big files downloading a lot faster. Not 100% compatible with all sites, so you do need to resort to the built-in manager sometimes.

Firebug

The best web page debugger and inspector.

Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer

I use this to synchronise my bookmarks between work and home.

IE View

I don't use this as much as I once did, but there are some pages out there that unfortunately only render in IE.

Link Alert

One of those nice productivity enhancers - it modifies the cursor when you hover over a link to indicate what the target file type is. Notice in the image below how it tells me that this is a link to a Word Document.

Example of link alert extension

Live Writerfox

Let's me launch LiveWriter to blog about the current web page.

View Trace.axd

Roger's fantastic add-on that makes debugging ASP.NET applications so much easier.

Web Developer

The original web developer toolbar. Firebug supercedes some (but not all) functionality so I don't use this as much as I used to.

YSlow

Requires Firebug and gives you a "performance report card" of the current web page.

I haven't mentioned DOM Inspector or Talkback, as they both come with Firefox.