So Tony and I are working on a web site that integrates with a third-party site delivering searchable content. For the last little while, the other site has been completely broken, with every page reporting the following error:

Microsoft JET Database Engine error ‘80004005’
Unspecified error
/ContentServerTest/includes/dbConnect.asp, line 78

Whoops. Someone’s probably scrambling over there to resurrect the database and get the site back online.

But what’s more interesting– to me, anyway– is that it’s using the Microsoft JET Database Engine. That’s a fancy term for “Access”. Whoa… they’re running an entire web site on Microsoft Access? That’s pretty 1997; Access is a terrible choice for anything in production, especially a high-traffic web site that should be responsive to requests.

More than likely this is a case of “someone wrote this code in 1997 but he left the company a year later and no one else understands it and it works so we don’t touch it”. I suspect that happens pretty often. Still, come on guys…