Sun support… WTF??

I’ve mentioned before some of the problems we have been having with the Sun Java Enterprise System suite of programs. I’ve deliberately *not* posted too much about it but given the number of Sun ips I’ve noticed visiting recently and the fact that I’ve had a shitty week I think I’ll have a rant.

There are plenty of things about the system that I feel like ranting about but I’ll save them for another time. There are a lot of things I like about the system as well – don’t get me wrong, I still think it was a better choice for us than the exchange alternative (but only just) – but JES sucks big time.

The backend services are pretty much ok (well, we have an outstanding odd ldap corruption that means some of our users can’t log in and sun have not been able to fix or even suggest they know why this is happening – 2 months and counting on that one). Most of our problems come from the frontend services. Unfortunately, this is the bit that the users see 🙁 UWC, comms express, unified client, whatever you want to call it is buggy as hell. Sun support guys posting on Suns own forums claiming that it is really only version 0.7 suggests that internally Sun now it’s a steaming pile of shite. Bear in mind that we rolled this thing out *live* over a year ago and still their support staff are referring to it as v0.75. I think we must have been sold something like v0.1. It certainly felt like it.

Anyway, my particular rant tonight is due to support closing one of our calls. We are using (well attempting to use) the Sun Outlook connector. Like much of the userside components of JES this “nearly works”. One of the problems that we are seeing is that users cannot send plaintext emails. The option is there but no matter what you set the bloody thing insists one sending a mime encoded email with both a plain text and a HTML component. Less of a problem than it would have been a few years ago but still totally broken. It also screws up a lot of list managers (and other software that finds it difficult to parse multipart msgs). No problem, we will log it with support – it’s such a basic problem that it’s obviously been overlooked. oh dear…

We logged it on 21st Sept. A simple problem – hopefully a simple resolution. First response not promising. Basically, a bit of waffle about installing another connector to convert back to text (hey, here’s an idea – how about we don’t encode it in the first place?) and then the response ends with:

If possible can you supply the mail source from the outlook client and the end result. This sould give some pointer on where to go next. Unfortunately use of Outlook is banned on SUN’s internal netowrk so what tesing I can do is limited to my Home Windows PC network.

Awwwww bless. The Sun support guy will attempt to help us out on his home network. How dedicated. Not quite sure how they managed to create an outlook plugin when “outlook is banned”. We plug on and end up getting nowhere. The problem is stuck with someone who insists on helping us at home. He also wants network sniffs of our traffic to our Exchange server (errrrr hello – we don’t have and exchange server – we bought the Sun answer instead!). Anyway, we had other hings to do so didn’t chase this much and then suddenly without warning the case was closed this afternoon with:

**Problem Summary:**
Why is the Outlook connector plugin adding html to mails

**What fixed the problem:**
This is notmal behavior is resends local mail as noth plain text AND html mail. This is the mose compatable type of mail to send.

==================== SC Closure v2.1 Jan 2003
Sun Engineer

18-Nov-05 13:13:43, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+00:00)
=================== Summary – Feb 2000 ==================
The plugin works as local server and intercepts mails sent from any local mail client. It has access the mail client send settings and resends all mail as both test & html (The most compatable send format). S cuh the behvaior the customer is seeing is normal for the plugin.
The customer needs to idetify why the recibing client is rejecting the mail when it is on a stanadrd format.

======== Don’t forget the Next_Contact template! ========

the broken english and bad spelling is for once not mine. WTF???? Multipart mime is “the mose compatable type of mail to send”? I think not.

As the anonymous “Sun engineer” has closed the call we now can’t update this either. Great. I’m beginning to quite look forward to our meeting with Sun in a couple of weeks. After we ranted at our account manager a few days ago we now have a meeting aranged to discuss our “issues” with a “Mission Critical Escalation Consultant’ from the software support group” within Sun. It remains to be seen if he will actually be able to help but you’ve got to admit, that’s a hell of an impressive job title 🙂

If anyone want to look it up then it’s case 37465884 – anyone with access to do that will know enough about who I am to be able to find it. And if anyone from sun is wants to put this post up on the What People Are Saying About Java Enterprise System & Java Suites page then feel free. I suspect however, that you won’t…

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One Response to Sun support… WTF??

  1. Travis Knabe says:

    The things in your blog are exactly the same types of issues I’m having. I’m just telling my users to use Calendar Express and Thunderbird. I email Jonathon S. complaining about their lack of email client, and he said they use Thunderbird internally too. But what about calendar? Our latest issue with comms express is checking calendar availability doesn’t work. and the address book sucks.

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