Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Windows 7 – First Impressions

Like most MSDN subscribers I spent quite a bit of time on the morning of April 30th trying to download Windows 7 RC1. After lots of refreshes and a few restarts of the download I finally got the image. I poked around with the Windows 7 beta for a little while but I never had much time to dedicate to it.

This time around I am going all out, I have installed the 64-bit version on my home machine and I have a 32-bit VM. I did some initial testing with Advantage with some mixed results. The install for both the server and ARC went smoothly with no errors. Making a remote connection to the Advantage service from the machine worked perfectly.

My next step was to try and establish a connection from a different machine. My first step was to configure the Windows Firewall to allow communication to and from Advantage. This process is much different on Windows 7 than prior versions of Windows. It took me a bit of digging to figure out how to get the firewall configured. The easiest way was to simply add the Advantage service (ADS.EXE) as an authorized application, which only took a few mouse clicks. The best part about this process is it added an exception to the firewall for both TCP and UDP traffic.

I then tried to connect from my host machine to my Windows 7 virtual machine. Discovery doesn't always work too well with virtual machines so I specified the default port to facilitate the connection. My first remote connection was successful which was great. However, I did not get a list of available tables on my free table connection. I double checked my settings making sure that I was ignoring rights and that the path was correct. This did not fix the problem.

Since I knew the path was correct and I had a connection I opened an SQL window and tried opening a table with a SELECT * FROM statement. This is when I got a 7078 error which gave me a big hint as to the problem, you may remember the FAQ about strange 7078 errors. In this case a look in the error log revealed a 8026 error which can be caused when the server cannot resolve the path correctly. The 8026 error occurred when using a share and when using server-side aliases.

Since I was using a VM for my initial testing I switched the networking mode from NAT to Bridged. After making this switch I was able to successfully open the tables. I still cannot reliably get a listing of available tables probably due to permission issues between Windows 7 and Windows XP. However, this should not effect most applications since a listing of tables is not normally required.

The success I had with these initial tests is encouraging and I have enjoyed working with Windows 7. This release candidate seems quite solid and I would expect to see a full release of Windows 7 by the end of the year. Many people are speculating that it will be released as soon as mid-summer.

Keep in mind that Windows 7 is not an officially supported platform for Advantage. For the latest information on supported platforms visit the supported platforms page.

No comments: