Embracing New Technologies Have An Implied Warning Label

Embracing new technologies have a implied warning label, especially when dealing with specialty software markets, like library software. Take as in my case, a Dynix library catalogue on Microsoft SQL 2000, Windows XP Professional x64, Then add to that one fat windows based library software client, SirsiDynix's Horizon client version 7. Will they work together?

Short answer: No, not "Out of the Box".

Long answer: Yes, but only if you know about the "workaround". And it comes with cavaents.

If you install everything by the book: the SQL Server 2000 client tools, the java runtime environment, and the Horizon client. Reboot. Apply SP4 for SQL Server 2000 on your local installation (really just to patch the client tools, in attempt to be complete). Modify the shortcut on your desktop to include the "[email protected]" to tell the Horizon client to connect to a Microsoft database, and don't forget to add the alias to your library database in the client tools. What happens when you double click the Horizon client shortcut?

A little error message pops up and says "No list of servers is available!"

What to do? This blog gives some hints as to why it isn't working:

Note: SQL Server 32-bit applications, including SQL server client tools, are still not supported on WOW64 for IA64. Also, currently 32-bit Reporting Services is not supported to run on WOW64 on IA64 and x64 platforms running Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition.

In a nutshell, I translate this in from the Horizon client point of view that "I can't see/read the alias created via the client tools!" I suspect that it is something similar to that anyway - and please correct any part this article in the comments below.

How to workaround this problem? Well, you start by un-installing Microsoft SQL Server 2000 from your workstation. Then download SQL Server Express edition from Microsoft. Run the installer, follow the prompts past the System Configuration Check, until you get to feature selection. I suggest X'ing the database services, and add the Connectivity Components. After all, I am after is a connection to the Horizon database. If you have other goals in mind (say web development), then of course choose appropriately. Next into the Error and Usage Reporting, picking what you would like to do (I chose not to send errors). Next into the Ready to Install, click Install. Wait for that to settle up, and end off by following the installer prompts and clicking the finish button.

Find off the Windows Start button SQL Server 2005 > Configuration Tools > SQL Server Configuration Manager and click on it. Double click in the Configuration Manager Native Client Configuration, and Client Protocols. I disabled every protocol with the exception of tcp/ip, because that is all that is needed to connect to Horizon Database. Double click Aliases, right click on an empty space in the right pane; pick New Alias, and create a server alias much the same as you would for SQL Server 2000 Client Tools. Click Apply, OK and close the Manager.

Viola! Double click the Horizon client shortcut, and you should be present with the normal login prompt of the Horizon login prompts.

It does some with caveants. I spoke with Support and the company stressed that a setup like this is definately not supported. Essentially that means, that if a support incident crops (say database corruption) and gets traced to the Horizon Client on 64bit Windows, you would likely have to pay the support costs to bring the catalogue back to normal.

The client tools for SQL Express are really designed to connect to a SQL 2005 capable server, not 2000. Therefore, there is an off chance that the SQL Server 2000 might not interpret the connection commands correctly. We haven't fully tested this setup ourselves, so there no way to tell at this point what the implications total up to.

I am of the opinion, that some light catalogue only searching would be ok to do. Heavier stuff, like circulation, cataloguing, or administration, I would not recommend.

But what does the community think?


Sounds like you've been busy!

Since I can't see your system or software first-hand, any advice I give you is speculative. However, if a configuration isn't officially supported, usually that's for a good reason.

I don't know if light searching would be any less likely to cause problems than all-out cataloging. Odds are, if it works in one instance it will work in almost all instances.

However, the big issue is that the vendor cannot guarantee the software will work in this configuration, and without that guarantee you're on your own. You might be able to get away with using this unofficial configuration for a while, but if a problem does occur you're hooped. And it sounds like it was pretty difficult getting the software running in the first place. I'd be a little worried about troubleshooting it down the road.

In any event, that sounds like a lot of work for an ILS. The ILS I work on can be installed in just a few steps. I'm surprised the vendor didn't give you more one-on-one help.

>Long answer: Yes, but only if you know about the "workaround". And it comes with caveants.Cave ants are the worst. They are even worse than those picnic ants and wood ants. They really can mess up a computer.

Embracing New Technologies Have A Implied Warning Label

An. "An Implied," not "A Implied."From Dr. Grammar,

A or An?According to The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style, "The indefinite article a is used before words beginning with a consonant sound, including /y/ and /w/ sounds. The other form, an, is used before words beginning with a vowel sound. Hence, a European country, a Ouija board, a uniform, an FBI agent, an MBA degree, an SEC filing. Writers on usage formerly disputed whether the correct article is a or an with historian, historic, and a few other words. The traditional rule is that if the h- is sounded, a is the proper form. Most people following that rule would say a historian and a historic--e.g.:'Democrat Bill Clinton appears within reach of capturing the White House in Tuesday's election, but Republicans hope that late momentum, can enable President Bush to win a historic upset' (Dallas Morning News). Even H.W. Fowler, in the England of 1926, advocated a before historic(al) and humble (MEU1).The theory behind using an in such a context, however, is that the h- is very weak when the accent is on the second rather than the first syllable (giving rise, by analogy, to an habitual offender, an humanitarian, an hallucinatory image, and an harassed schoolteacher). Thus no authority countenances an history[emphasis added], though a few older ones prefer an historian and an historical.Today, however, an hypothesis and an historical are likely to strike readers and listeners as affectations. As Mark Twain once wrote, referring to humble, heroic, and historical: 'Correct writers of the American language do not put an before those words' (The Stolen White Elephant,1882). Anyone who sounds the h- in such words should avoid pretense and use a (Garner 1).

Thats it. From now on I'll cut 'n past from a word processor and then do the html markup. BTW: Keep the corrections coming!

SSMS-EE will support connections to SQL Server Express and other SQL Server 2005 editions, SQL Server 2000, and MSDE 2000.from: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url= /library/en-us/dnsse/html/sseoverview.asp

From a technical aspect it might be possible to get the ILS working with 64-bit Windows, but the big question is whether the vendor supports it. Regardless of whether or not running in the 64-bit environment causes problems, you may find that the vendor refuses to provide you with any support whatsoever when they find out that you're running on an unsupported configuration.
And that's not unfair of them, either: after all, any potential problems you have in the future could be stemming from your unsupported configuration.

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