I’ve been building SMS and ConfigMgr environments for over 17 years now.  You would think that in that amount of time I would be able to do this without pulling my hair out.  Most of the time that is the case, but not always.  Today, I wanted to do something that I’ve done dozens of times before: set up the ConfigMgr 2012 application catalog and web service.  Simple enough, right?  But it wouldn’t work, “Cannot connect to application server”.

Searching through Bing led me to many of the same web pages I’ve seen in the past:  Make sure ASP.NET is installed, make sure HTTP activation and non-HTTP activation are enabled, etc.  Easy to check, easy to fix, but still “Cannot connect to application server”.  More searching ensued.

Eventually, that led me to this thread:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/configmanagerapps/thread/267352b5-01d2-4c8e-b40b-0a7ab669b65b/

The solution was interesting (manually tweaking the connection string), but not something that should be necessary (or supported).  But it caused me to think for a minute:  What if I didn’t configure a DNS suffix on the site server when I configured the static IP on my standalone server environment, and as a result the server couldn’t resolve its own name?  Sure enough, I didn’t configure one, so I added it and rebooted.  And all my problems disappeared.

Two hours lost, new things learned.  If you are coming to TechEd in New Orleans next week, I’ll be using this site server for some of my demos.