Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ouch: ArcIMS 9.1 & ArcGIS Desktop 9.2

What a day I had a couple of days ago. Quite unproductive as I spent the entire day correcting a mistake. My mistake of course. The bottom line is ArcIMS 9.1 and ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 do not mix. Hear me now and believe me later.

This was one of those days that leave your head spinning and asking yourself what the heck is your place in this world. What the heck did I accomplish today? What the heck do I do every day?

Here is what happened.

Our campus really takes advantage of our ESRI site license, and over the last 3 years more and more departments requested ArcGIS be installed in their labs. Including the library, there are now 16 labs, all spread out over the campus, that maintain the ArcGIS software. We have made it a priority these labs alll run the same version over having the latest versions in some labs. Why? Because of compatibility and consistency. So, OIT (campus computing services) finally completed their testing of ArcGIS 9.2 on our license server, and I was first in line to (literally) to get my copy to install on my desktop and my staffs' as well.

Now, this will give away the ending to my little narrative, but bear in mind that our GIS server is running ArcSDE 9.1 & ArcIMS 9.1
  • 9am : Begin uninstallation of 9.1 from my desktop
  • 945am : Begin installation of 9.2 on my desktop
  • 1030am : Success! Next on my to-do list is to tweak one of our ArcIMS services.
  • 1035am : Fire up ArcMap 9.2 and connect to the MXD file running on the server. The ArcIMS service I needed to update is an MXD-based ArcMap Image Service.
  • 1115am : Complete updates to MXD file
  • 1120am : Launch ArcIMS Administrator on the server and restart service. ArcIMS Administrator does not crash, but hangs there longer than normal with that hourglass that never seems to run out of sand.
  • 1130am : ArcIMS Administrator finally threw up an error message that told me (as hindsight knew it would) that the version of the MXD file is not compatible. Woops. Big woops. Should have seen that one coming. And, of course, the service was removed which means that our applications depending on that service are also down. That is no good.
  • 1135am : Realize that all I need to do is to resave the MXD file as 9.1 compatible, restart the service, and all should be OK.
  • 1136am : Remote into my laptop in the GIS lab, fire up ArcMap 9.1, and attempt to open the MXD file. Not going to happen as I last saved it using 9.2. No compatible.
  • 12pm : Run upstairs for my 12-2pm reference desk duty, feeling a tad bit frustrated. Was told that the reference staff planned a meeting at 2pm and they would be so grateful if I could work at the ref desk from 2-4pm instead today. I race back downstairs at top speed.
  • 1205pm : Scan ESRI Forums for methods to save a 9.1 compatible MXD file from 9.2. I found nothing. Explore the properties in ArcCatalog...nothing helpful. Explore the Save As dialog in ArcMap...nothing.
  • 1230pm : Recreating the MXD file remotely using my laptop in the lab. Switching back and forth between ArcMap 9.2 and ArcMap 9.1 to recreate all 28 layers, symbology and all, on my laptop's version of 9.1.
  • 1pm : Finish recreating MXD file.
  • 105pm : Remote to server, launch ArcIMS Administrator and recreate the service. Success! Even completed my tweaks.
  • 110pm : Notice that the automated geoprocessing scripts (most notably the script running the Friday Night Hangout processing) have been crashing. Good grief. They too are not compatible. I will need to trouble shoot to update the code to 9.2, but after the morning I had today was not going to be the day. This too, I should have foreseen. Ah well. The Friday Night Hangout site is one of the most popular services that students play around with even though it is not a course requirement, so I should still get that ironed out ASAP.
  • 130pm : Begin unstallation of ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 from my desktop
  • 2pm : Run upstairs for my 2-4pm reference desk duty
  • 345pm : Leave ref desk early. Begin installation of ArcGIS Desktop 9.1
  • 350pm : Run to business library for meeting with management faculty
  • 430pm : Installation complete. Check the geoprocessingt scripts and all is well with my world again.
Went home and my wife asked me how my day was, and I told her.......


Anonymous said...

ESRI can't make software which is compatible with itself, and you were thinking the two versions might actually be backwards (or forwards) compatible? As a rule of thumb, always budget an extra 200% to your time estimate whenever you try to "upgrade" anything Arc.

mapz said...

Hehehe...You're absolutely right.
Also took me the best part of a morning a while back to resolve the conflict between IE7 and the Arc geoprocessing dialogs. Reckon it's always fun solving these little complications, but I would rather solve more substantive puzzles than troubleshooting software installations.

Meg said...

Thanks for putting all this down. I'm gettng ready to go through the same (potential) hell and your experience may help to minimize some agony. I haven't yet installed ArcIMS...I have 9.1 and 9.2 sitting in boxes on my desk. But I've taken the 9.1 class and was advised to stick with ArcIMS 9.1 for now. Good to know to stick with ArcGIS 9.1 also!

mapz said...

Thanks for your comments Meg. No doubt we're all going through similar up/downgrade dilemmas.

Just yesterday I spent another 30 minutes troubleshooting Python scripts that were no longer working. Discovered that ArcGIS 9.2 installs Python 2.4. When I uninstalled ArcGIS 9.2 and reinstalled 9.1, it did not uninstall Python 2.4 and this created conflicts with Python scripts in ArcGIS 9.1, which can only work with Python 2.1. So the fix was to uninstall Python 2.4 and all was well again.

This should be the end of my up/downgrade troubles...

Unknown said...

Man, compatibility issues are frustrating. I haven't tried it yet but I was told that I could save an .mxd while using 9.2 as a "9.1 .mxd" that should be compatible. How odd, though, that it wasn't in the documentation like you said. I'll see what I find at work when I return. Good luck and thanks for sharing the info!

Unknown said...

FYI: I checked to find out how to save in 9.1 or older versions of .mxd files. It is under File>Save a Copy then choose your version under Save as Type.
I do realize that you needed to get it all upgraded to the newer version anyway. Glad it finally worked out!

mapz said...

So, that's how it's done... Thanks!

Our campus is planning to upgrade this summer and this little trick is going to be very useful.

Guy Bhains said...

I have been following your blog regularly, its simply great! Please keep up the nice work. We are having ARCIMS( prior to ArcIMS 9.1 , which we are now thinking of upgrade straight to ARCIMS 9.2) under annual maintenance by ESRI. We read in the ARCUSER magazine (Jan-Mar'07 Pg. 8) that for folks like us they would provide ARCGIS SERVER 9.2 STANDARD & ARCIMS 9.2 . This was informed to them but now they say, it is not like that...can you help us to know what it is like ?

Anonymous said...

When saving your .MXD, under file menu "Save A Copy", then from within the window, hit dropwdown and you can save as 9.1 or 8.3

I am upgrading ArcGIS Desktop to 9.2 as well, thanks for the tips.

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