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I am currently working on a large SP2007 site for a client. This site was initially built from a VS solution and some of the components of the solution can still be deployed to production if code changes are needed. However, some of the elements of the site have been edited in production (not by me!) I am talking about .ascx controls and inline code (cringe!) Also, the site has a huge content database and unfortunately a custom Membership provider based on Commerce Server (FBA) and there is also a tie with that into Avectra. The main issue is there is no development environment that mirrors this setup and the system is having issues with users not staying authenticated. I need to debug the site and cannot fathom how to do this hence the question. We are trying to recommend an upgrade, but I would like to know the feasibility of copying the system and users over to a development environment so that I can debug if possible. Any thoughts are appreciated.

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Can't you just build a new dev/staging environment and copy the prod databases over to the new environment? –  PirateEric Apr 24 '13 at 17:46
    
Not exactly. I suppose that would work better if it was just windows auth, but it is forms based auth and the tie in with Commerce Server and Avectra make me more inclined to believe it may just not work that way. The user authentication problem is impossible to troubleshoot further right now. –  spevilgenius Apr 24 '13 at 17:50
    
Couldn't the membership databases be copied as well and just do some repointing of authentication sources? Honestly I've never been in a SP FBA environment so not sure if this is feasible or not. –  PirateEric Apr 24 '13 at 17:54
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1 Answer

Before you go to those lengths, verify that the load balancer that is out front is actually configured to use 'sticky' sessions as not having that set can cause this exact behavior. have them physically check the box, not refer to some documentation. I've seen cases where people 'fixed' load balancing by switching to Round Robin and not telling anyone. It would also be a good idea to verify that session expiration is set properly on all WFEs

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I don't have access to the load balancer but can have that checked. How exactly do you check session expiration on the WFE's? –  spevilgenius Apr 24 '13 at 21:49
    
Open IIS Manager on the WFE and navigate to Sites - (Your Web Application) and then click on Session State. The value is called "Time-out" down under Cookie Settings and the default is 20. –  Dave Wise Apr 29 '13 at 14:32
    
Right! Yes, I didn't realize that's what you were referring to. Thanks! –  spevilgenius Apr 29 '13 at 19:02
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