21 September 2006

Why didn't it work?

One of the frustrations in the last few days has been a database. One of the clients we work with uses a database for his contact data and 3 of us have copies which we should be able to synchronise. I was the last to get my machine set up, so I went through the process of installing the database software.

As part of the installation, the software checks for updates and goes through an update process. I downloaded my copy of the database I was supposed to work with, but I couldn't synchronise it with the server. That caused consternation, particularly since the FAQ for the database software was offline when we tried to investigate the error messages.

Today the FAQ suggested that there was a logical answer to the problem. The error message that we were generating indicated different versions of the software running on the server and the copy on my machine. Despite the update during the installation, I was running behind current technology. OK, running an update should be easy. If only that were true. It didn't matter whether I asked for my old data to be backed up or not, the installation wizard failed. Failure meant restarting from the beginning and starting the 50MB download again. After several failed attempts I decided to do something more radical. Removing the database completely eventually allowed me to complete the update. I am now running the same version as my 2 colleagues. Later today I will download my version of the data and check whether synchronisation is now possible.

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