Garbage in, garbage out

The adage is pretty widely known, but every once in a while the realization creeps up on me that my input is occasionally of the type that should be gently placed in the recycle bin and carried to the curb.

I now have Confluence bound to our active directory, and following that accomplishment I got it to automatically stick users into the confluence-users group when they log in. I was pretty excited that it pulled all the usernames over and is syncing live with the LDAP, but I hadn’t gotten groups figured out until a guy from Enterprise Systems (a different group in my department–I’m in User Support) dropped in. He’s been helping me understand LDAP better and I’ve been bouncing ideas off him, so when I mentioned the groups issue (where I wanted Confluence to pull Groups/Roles from our AD so we can manage it from our standard account management system), he asked about how I had it set up and to what container I was pointing Confluence. Something he said sparked a realization and I changed one small tag (two letters, in fact) which fixed Confluence. It’s now pulling the groups I wanted it to pull.

I simply hadn’t given it the right parameters, and while I wish something could “Just Work,” that’s never actually the case. So now, both users and their groups are pulling from the AD. It’s not set up correctly on the AD for Confluence (I’m pulling the groups associated with our current “Common” folders, which are often used for shared documents, so it seemed like a good idea at the time), but it’s a fantastic proof of concept and it wouldn’t be hard to create a new locker with groups structured just for Confluence, should we decide to buy the software.

I’m just excited that it works. It has certainly been a frustrating process, but learning AD binding, how to search for and run queries against an LDAP server, and how to structure all this stuff has been a really valuable experience. I should probably spend some time tomorrow documenting how I got it to work so I have some point of reference for the next time this comes around (hopefully soon, if we buy Confluence).

My brain is mush

I’ve spent the day working on two things. I’m configuring Confluence as a wiki solution for the ERP, and I needed it to 1) run as a service, and 2) email comments/discussion to certain members as a tool for collaboration. This meant, concerning the second one, that I need our server to function in both web and email capacities.

I’ve set up email servers before, but absolutely hate the SMTP functionality built into Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Therefore, last time I did this, I used HMailServer. Unfortunately, my documentation was not complete and failed to note that, when authenticating to HMailServer, your username is the full email address (so username@hmailserver.edu). I was just using the username, so everything else was configured correctly, but it wasn’t working, and it wasn’t providing me any errors. A simple mistake, but it took me the better part of the day to figure it out.

As for running Confluence as a service, our installation of Windows was missing a .dll it needed for that to work properly. After copying the .dll from the Confluence directory to the system32 file, everything worked perfectly.

Two good milestones reached in one day. I’m pretty proud of it, and tomorrow I’ll start looking into LDAP integration. For now, though, I’m done.