The Setup

OK. I have an interesting problem and I'm not sure if this post is the
appropriate place. I have an application that is web based and runs on
JBOSS and Tomcat on Windows 2000 Server or Windows 20003 Server. The
application is Primavera's Expedition, version 10.1. Normally, the
JBOSS/Tomcat app is set up as a service. The problem is, the are
thousands of files referred to within the application. These files are
called attachments. An attachment reference, in Expedition speak, is
merely a pointer to a file that resides somewhere, whether via URL,
mapped drive, or UNC path.

The Issue

Primavera assumed an all-Windows environment when they rolled out this
new version of Expedition. They assumed all the attachments would be
residing on the web server itself or on another Windows share, and that
they would be accessible via UNC path while the app runs in service
mode. They assumed the account used to run JBOSS/Tomcat would have at
least read access to the attachments. My users are not in a Windows
domain. They run as local users on Windows 2000 Workstation. They save
the files (that the attachment references are mad to from within
Expedition) to a drive mapped to a NetWare 6.5 SP3 volume. The account
on the Windows Server is not going to be able to access the files while
running in service mode. The only semi-working solution I have so far
is to run the app under a user logged in at the console using the latest
Novell client with a drive mapped to the same place my users map for the

Proposed Solutions

You may be thinking that Native File Access would solve this. Native
File Access does not seem to be a workable solution for me. You see,
under Native File Access, the server is presented with a name different
from that of its NetWare name. This means that they don't get a Windows
login script. They see the NetWare volume with the mapped drive. If
all the existing trustee assignments would stay in tact then maybe this
would be a possible solution, but so far it seems to be a no go on
making this work in our environment.

Another solution would be to cater to the vendor and place a couple
hundred workstations in to our Windows NT 4 Domain and create all those
user accounts and move 200,000 files to a Windows box and re-create the
user file systems rights on the Windows server share. I hear your
laughter from here.

The only solution I have that kind of works is what I'm doing now -
running the app logged in with the Novell client with a drive mapped.
The problem is that it takes the app six minutes to open a 1MB PDF
file. This same file, opened from the server, opens in seconds. The
user account can move large files in seconds over the network between
itself and the NetWare volumes. The slowdown only happens when the file
is accessed via the web app.

Any thoughts?

Before you ask, the application is JBOSS 3.2.5 and Tomcat 5, running in
tandem on Windows 2000 Server. Running on Linux or NetWare is not an
option, seeing as how the vendor of the app won't support running the
app on either platform and I would have to spend quite a bit of time
reverse-engineering the app to pull it off anyway.

Also, I performed packet captures with Ethereal on the server and client
and merged them together in time sequence order. I see tons of
re-transmissions. I just don't know what to make of it from there. If
anyone is interested I will send them the packet capture.