The Woes of Beta Software

There’s always a “cool-factor” invovled with working with beta software and trying the latest products out before anyone else.  It’s definitely quite exciting to see some of the new features of Office 2007 in action and actually dig into Project Server 2007 and SharePoint Services 3.0.

At the same time, it’s also incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re the one that has to set up the beta environment :-S.

I’ve been hunched over my PC and laptop over the last 4-5 days trying to get Project Server 2007 to install on a VM image and it has been downright painful.  From the dreaded “Thread was being aborted” error to the  “Object reference not set to an instance of an object..” error.  It has been slow and painful as each failed install took tons of time and there have been few answers on how to deal with these errors.

With regards to the first type of error, you may be able to solve it by following the warning in the documentation (starting the SharePoint Services Web Application service).  In my case, I believe the process was actually timing out on me.  Initially, I was trying to do the install over remote desktop from my laptop to my desktop.  The documented fix did nothing for me after several tries.  After switching to the desktop, I was able to work around this.

With regards to the second error, well, I’m still working on that, but it seems that to provision the PWA website, an Active Directory domain account is necessary.  Don’t ask my why as I have no clue why this should/would be the case.  Apparently, it’s fixed in Beta 2 Technical Refresh.

It was also fun coming across the superficial SQL Server collation error reported by SharePoint Services 3.0.  I was on the brink of uninstalling and reinstalling SQL Server before I stumbled on the Microsoft Communities thread.

All in all, this has been brutal weekend.  I’m simply drained from having to deal with this.

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