Thursday, 19 January 2012

Regional Settings in Windows 2003

We've got a SOAP webservice that parses a string into a datetime object and today after over three months, one of our test servers starting throwing errors back.

After I got over the shock of learning that they were promoting some code into production this weekend without letting us know, hey after all, we are only the guys who look after the app, I started digging.

The first thing I learnt was that all the failures were due the same input date, 22/01/2012, which should have worked. Except that it didn't, because it was expecting MM/DD/YYYY format rather than DD/MM/YYYY format, in other words US date settings.

I remembered that this issue had taken place at some point in the past and they had taken the server down. I also remember setting the regional settings to UK for the service account and bringing the server back up or at least I thought I did.

I logged on to the server with the service account and sure enough it was set to UK settings, eh??

So I decided to ask the Oracle, which threw this link back at me: 

On the Avanced Settings tab:
Click to select the Apply all settings to the current user account and to the default user profile check box to apply changes to the default user profile.
So I did and lo and behold it started working again.

I must say that I don't really understand why it wasn't working before, but it would seem that the default profile was having an effect, perhaps it is used by the .NET framework to determine regional settings, I'm not too sure and I can't investigate from home.

Still quite funny to receive calls from the PM, the programme manager and then the account executive telling me that the issue needed fixing A.S.A.P. as it would result in embarrassment if the latest build wasn't promoted to production this weekend. Never mind that there was no real issue, somebody had determined that a failure had occurred and it needed fixing. This place....

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