Outlook 2003 and Its 99th Attachment Problem

I recently discovered an interesting little problem while troubleshooting an Outlook 2003 issue, and figured it might be of help to other users out there. I’d come across the problem before, but didn’t remember the solution. So, this article is just as likely to help me in the future as it is anyone else.

Continue reading

Installing Microsoft Office Data Connectivity Components

Pretend for a second that you are an application developer, developing in VB.Net, and you find yourself needing to work with an Office-based data file (like Access or Excel). So, you write your code, put together your connection string, and go to run your program. Maybe the program works on your workstation, maybe it doesn’t. The real problem is that the code bombs out when you run it on your web server. You get an error that looks like this:

The ‘Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0’ provider is not registered on the local machine.

Now what? Well, the error should be pretty clear to anyone working with OLEDB or ODBC connections. Whenever you go to make a connection to a database, using a database API to do so, you need to have the appropriate drivers installed. If you have the latest version of Office (2007+) installed, then you may already have the necessary drivers. If you don’t (and you really shouldn’t on a server), then you’ll need to separately install the drivers. They can be a bit hard to track down, but here is what I’ve found.

Continue reading

Permissions. It’s Always the Permissions.

Lately, much of my work time has been spent upgrading the servers that keep the company network running. As the Extended Support End Date for Server 2003 has crept closer and closer, it has become essential to role out updated hardware running the latest version of Windows Server. There’s almost two years left before Server 2003 loses its support, but the earlier I can get things upgraded, the better. Now, any server upgrade can be a scary proposition, but my latest upgrade was particularly worrisome. It was time to upgrade the Primary Domain Controller (PDC), or perhaps more correctly, the Domain Controller (DC) that has the PDC emulator role assigned to it. For those not familiar with Windows networking, here’s a simple overview. DCs are the servers setup to store all network information on them. These servers work together to run a system called Active Directory (AD). Many items are stored in AD, but the most familiar to an average user would be user logins. Without AD, you wouldn’t be able to log in and access files and services on the network. So, not only was I upgrading one of the core machines behind “the network,” but I was upgrading the one that handles the bulk of the networking workload. That makes for a lot of potential for something to go wrong. Continue reading