I earned myself some bragging rights.

A customer of ours is migrating an application from old servers (hosted someplace else) to us. Time is of the essence, as this application is needed for an upcoming campaign. The application developer is installing tomcat + jrun + coldfusion on the machines, and then his application. Nothing works. Two of my co-workers and our boss commence with the debugging. Our boss isn’t an expert, but he tries to help by googling. My two co-workers are experts – these are not the guy from last posting. They work on the issue for some time. One of my suggestions is rejected, another one tried but found to be not effective. Meanwhile, they try everything – installing libc compat packages, and various other software packages (a grand total of 120 with dependencies). A lingering question is whether it might be a problem with our 64 bit systems.

Finally, they have to stop to go into a telephone conference with the customer. Half an hour they come back, and postpone that night’s dinner. I am done with the day’s tasks and decide to take a look also.

To make the matter short, I find the solution _five minutes_ later. First, the developer had not entered the server he used in the servers.xml. This had been my first suggestion, which the co-workers tried, only they had provided the wrong document root. Second, the permissions for WEB-INF/cfclasses were wrong. The Jrun/Coldfusion server could not write its compiled files into that directory and died with a nasty exception.

I don’t know much about Tomcat, and even less about Jrun and Coldfusion. I just had the better intuition, and maybe used Google a little better. Still made me good – and we all had some pretty good laughs after the issue was finally solved.