The Final Installment of Serendipitous Cerebration
This is it. The final installment. The end. Our tunnel of light leading us to the promise land of perfect integrations with Serendipitous Cerebration as our Virgil guiding us through the Malebolge of Content Management.
So we integrated PeachTree to ILINX Content Store via ILINX Integrate and a few weeks pass by with no word from the client. Like most other Engineers, we figured no news == good news. Then like a meteorite dropping from the heavens a client that we will refer to as Dr. Frankenstein, We’d use “Dr. F” for short if any other references to them were made in this blog and they are not, submitted a ticket stating an issue has been identified that will need correcting. Seemingly out of nowhere the Integration project quit opening up Content Store documents. To be a bit more specific, the ILINX Integrate project was no longer able to get past the login screen. Even when we logged in manually, we are still unable to get any image retrieval using the “Magic Buttons”.
When a formal inquisition was placed to the workers, it was learned that an issue showed itself a few days after the project was installed. Nothing like hearing that the project you were working on less than a month ago is completely down, for like 2 weeks! Did I mention we heard about there being 2 issues that broke the project weeks AFTER completion? Oh and the crowning turd in the punch bowl, the client wants the error corrected yesterday.
Shooting the Trouble
ILINX Integrate is fairly strait forward to troubleshoot project issues with. Open the .kap file using the Integrate Studio and run the project. The Studio outputs log messages as part of the user interface, a very nice feature when trying to figure out what could have happened to a once working project.
Earlier we outlined how the project works, but let us take a few moments for a brief review. Scrape values from PeachTree screens and feed the values into a URL search string for ILINX Content Store. Now as much as I hate to admit to this, both parts broke. No values were being gathered from the PeachTree Screens and the search URL no longer worked, but what happened?
Updates to ILINX Content Store
Of the 2 issues correcting the access URL was the first that we noticed. ILINX Content Store had an updated revision that came out about a week after we completed the project and the client updated their system. Part of the update was a modification to the access URL. Easy fix, correct the URL in the project to match the new URL format.
Easy fix on this one, now when we test the URL corrections in a browser and enter in the parameters by hand we get a return from ILINX Content Store. We could not however get the “Magic” buttons to work.
Software Updates Part Duex
Yes, that’s right some more updated/patched software in an integrated system that once updated breaks the integration/system. Most support staff and/or engineers have encountered a software update that wreaked havoc on a system leaving technical support scrambling around like headless poultry. PeachTree had an update, and part of that update has somehow changed the format of the AP and AR forms where the Invoice Number and PO Number fields became unreadable.
We fought with these 2 fields for who knows how long. We tried different adapters, configurations, coding tests, all to no avail. To be honest, it was starting to feel like we were fighting against a greased pig version of the Borg. Blood pressures raised & tensions were high when the sound of maniacal laughter erupted behind me. At first I figured that John “The Hit-man” Hart had snapped and I started checking to see which exits are unblocked. The smile on his face was not that reassuring either, and crap he is looking in my direction and BLOCKING THE DOORWAY! Finally John decided to let me in on what made him start acting like he was just released from Arkham hospital.
Apparently, Serendipitous Cerebration can temporarily cause delirium like symptoms in some people. I managed to defuse the crazy by attempting to use the Jedi Mind trick to convince John that the project was still broken and that David Blaine, Chris Angel, and David Copperfield are casting an illusion making the fields only appear to read properly. Training more Random must do with his Jedi powers, as John wasn’t buying it and I could see an open document in the ILINX Content Store window behind him. Low and behold the fields are reading properly!
What had happened?
John was working with configuring different adapters when out of nowhere it started working. During some of the testing, John was building out adapters and configuring to read frames inside of frames and switching back and forth without deleting the adapters. What he found that ended up working was first building out & configuring a Windows adapter then to changing the configured Windows adapter into a Windows .Net adapter.
The only difference that I can see here is that the configuration for the Windows adapter reads the Secondary Window Information differently. Using Notepad I tested what we found. I was unable to configure the secondary screen to read the entry portion of the Notepad window using a .Net adapter, so I tried configuring a Windows adapter and it is able to find and read the Notepad screen. When I switch to the .Net adapter I found that I had to remap the entry field, but this time it could find the field properly. It’s a strange illogical way to configure a screen but sometimes you are just happy that it started working that finding out the details as to how takes a bit of a back seat, and without Serendipitous Cerebration we’d probably still be fighting this beast.
I apologize for the lack luster conclusion to this blog series, but 1 long blog later I feel that even given the strangeness of the…..OHHH something shiny, is that Nexus?
Co Authors: Random Kurt-Patrick, Duncan McParks & John Hart