Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In which I bitch and moan and forget how good I really have it

So .. it's like this. My new best friend is an Enterprise Application Integration server. Written in Visual Basic [1].

I'm digging around to see why it's suddenly decided to flood an ERP application server: how does it talk to that server - what's the logic?

I found something worse than Visual Basic - I found that underneath it all the thing is using batch files to transmit XML files to the server. Lame batch files.

xmlcopy.exe very_critical.xml jde-server-005.yourcompany 6004 200

That's it: 'command file - server - port - timeout'.

I've got nothing against batch files, honest. I love batch files, for what they are, in the same way I like a boot to the head - a simple, direct way to accomplish certain tasks.

Boot To The Head by the Frantics by you.

My ire was aroused when I poked around two connectors, found 22 batch files, each identical to the sample above, changing only the filename. I've got a bunch more connectors to survey.

If I want to change the destination .. or the port .. or the timeout .. of this one process I've go to edit a few dozen files per connector.

Picard Facepalm by you.

Whoever invented the idea of variables ... he died in vain.

Leaving me with some really tedious and boring crap to tidy up so we can live with this outdated gimpy excuse for Quality until the funds can be signed off and management approval gotten for a new EAI tool.

KL0671 to Montréal - Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport by Points1.

Yeah, I know - someone call the Waambulance. Sucks to be me with a job I love and working indoors and all that. At least I'm not the guy driving the airplane - talk about a day to harsh your mellow.

What I'd like to fool around with is Openadaptor.

It was written - and the development is still directed - by a bank. A German bank. Which was, sure, established in 1786 which make it a sort of Puppy as far as European banks go, but, hey, they've got spunk. The software developed by those guys outta be solid.

[1] A minority of you will skip ahead - the story from here is inevitable and well-known to anyone who has worked in IT for longer than a week.

That's not to say you can't write quality applications in VB. Just that ... like seeing a second Lieutenant with a map and compass .. it's rarely a sign that good things are ahead.
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