Web Trenches

ColdFusion and OpenOffice with Multiple Instances

For some reason, the production instances of ColdFusion 9.01 on our two production Windows 2008R2 64-bit servers just would not work with OpenOffice CFDOCUMENT conversions.  Our test and staging servers were working fine with the EXACT same configuration and CAR file imports.  

Any time I attempted to run a Word-to-PDF or Excel-to-PDF conversion with the CFDOCUMENT tag, I got the error “”Could not determine OpenOffice installation.”  Here are the troubleshooting steps we attempted.

  1. Verified that the path in CF Administrator to OpenOffice was correct.  It displayed a green confirmation message on submit.
  2. Ran the OpenOffice commands for remote installation on   Set up the remote settings in CF Admin.  Still no go.  Change it back to the local install.
  3. Tried various Word and Excel documents.
  4. Reinstalled OpenOffice (3.2).  Opened same documents locally on the server, and they opened fine.
  5. Ran the same script and document through the default “cfusion” instance on the server.  It worked!  This verified that the paths were working, as was OpenOffice and CFDOCUMENT.  Now, it's down to just the production instance.
  6. Went through and compared settings files, including neo-document.xml, jvm.config, and others to look for any differences across instances or servers.  Nothing.
I also passed this question to our local user groups, Adobe forums, CFTALK, and two CF experts.  Nobody had a solution.  So, we went with a reinstall of the instance.  
I exported the settings into a CAR file, deleted the production instance, recreated it, and imported the CAR file.  It then started working.  
I put this out there, not because it is some amazing solution, but because it may save someone else a lot of time fighting this issue in the future.  Luckily, we had two load-balanced production servers, so I could shift all traffic to one while I rebuilt the other.   Then, shift it back to patch the second server.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *