[MS4W-Users] Mapserver and Sql Server 2008 missing DLLs

Anzel, Phil - Fort Collins, CO Phil.Anzel at ftc.usda.gov
Mon Apr 26 13:22:01 EST 2010

Hi, Jeff,

Thanks for your very quick reply. I'll respond here, as the ticket you've created (http://bugzilla.maptools.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2184) clearly lays out the specific VC++ issue.

In effect the problems I spoke of stemmed from my ignorance of the MapServer product (I just got started a few days before the initial message to the list server) and from an outside-the-box avenue of exploration.

I installed MS4W beta 11 without incident (save for a php.exe v. php-cgi.exe documentation error) and was able to create images by invocation of the IIS-hosted MapServer executable. I've not yet tried the Sql Server 2008 connection in that context; data was sourced strictly from local shapefiles.

Our target application currently uses a maze of web service, ArcIMS and ArcServer instances. There are some task goals that are either not attainable with the ESRI products or are unstable. MapServer, at least in my reading of the documentation and examining examples, appears to provide most if not all of what we need. Specifically, it appears that a C# application, using the mapscript_csharp.dll, could do just about everything, yielding an image file unencumbered by an Apache or IIS server. In effect this would repurpose part of the MapServer package as an image generator rather than as a server-side embedded Web application.

To this end I've been attempting to copy in all needed DLLs to a common location, allowing the mapserver.DLL (and then the msplugin_mssql2008.dll) to execute. When I encountered problems with initial startup of the mapserver.dll, I used the "dependency Walker" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependency_Walker) which showed need of the two VC++ DLLs as well as the Windows Vista DLL, DWMAPI.DLL. This is referenced by a different Microsoft DLL, IEFRAME.DLL. The roughly 260-character limit on effective use of the PATH variable for loading the mapserver.dll when running from a DotNet project made for another valuable learning opportunity.

The fact that at this stage of my testing MapServer appears to run without error under IIS within Windows XP SP3 makes me believe this O/S dependency is conditional, and may therefore be ignored. In addition, for some reason I do not yet know, the fact that I've got Visual Studio 2008 installed seemed to provide enough of a DLL environment to allow MapServer, in the context of IIS, to find the needed VC++ DLLs. There's plenty yet to learn.

Documentation of specific O/S requirements or workarounds would be quite helpful. In addition, some "how-to" documentation on using the MapScript API without benefit of a full IIS or Apache rollout would be quite helpful.

- Phil Anzel
USDA/NRCS (Vistronix Inc.) Web Soil Survey development team

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