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Fragmented Development

Configure Under Fire

Due to some inescapable conditions we've encountered at our hosting provider at work, we have been cornered into hosting it ourselves. This doesn't bother me one bit, but I wish we weren't trying to do it yesterday.

So, here I am, in the basement, configuring an IIS web server to host multiple virtual sites where once it hosted only one. Not only that, but now we're supporting an additional scripting language (ColdFusion, the rat bastards) in addition to our current ASP.NET and PHP offering. As you can imagine, I'm going to run into lots of problems. I'm going to document them here, so that if there's anyone else stuck in this situation (like me in the future), this might help them along.

Problem 1: "No input file specified" with PHP

I ran into this problem when I tried to change the doc_root value in the php.ini file. Initially, it was set to the web root folder of the main site, because there wasn't anything else. When I tried to move it up one level, I encountered the "No input file specified" error message.

This is probably fixable somehow, but I just commented out the doc_root directive. Works like a charm, no fuss. While this may decrease security some, IIS should enforce directory traversal restrictions. Or so I assume. Or hope, whichever you like. Anyways, cross it off the list!

Problem 2: Connect ColdFusion to a MS SQL Server Express 2005

Since we're a public entity, and because I don't want to pay for the piece of crap that Microsoft's SQL server is, we use MS SQL Server Express 2005 (Extended enterprise deluxe network edition SP3 MMX ...) as our back-end database. Eventually I will convince my boss that a crippled piece of crap software like MS SQL Server Express is not the way to go, and that we should switch to something robust and full-featured like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or anything else really.

Oh yeah, here's how to connect: Written for CF7, works for CF8. Make sure to use your server's IP address as the connection string in the ColdFusion settings, not the SERVER/INSTANCE form.

Problem 3: MS SQL Server Development Studio doesn't carry over the "Identity/autonumber" attribute when importing data

Yes, that's right. They don't. I had to enable them manually, which isn't difficult, but takes frickin' forever. Microsoft, get your act together.

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