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[Condor-users] Windows jobs behave deifferently under Condor

Hi all.

We're trying to help some researchers use our Condor cluster to submit
batches of SPSS jobs, and having trouble.  I don't think Condor is "the
problem", per se, but the jobs work fine when run from the Windows
desktop, and we're having a hard time figuring out what's different
under Condor such that the jobs fail.


SPSS has a scriptable executable, what they call a "production
facility", called spssprod.exe.  Our researchers gave us a sample input
file called SPSSJob1.spp, and we have no trouble sitting down at one of
our Windows machines and running:

  spssprod.exe SPSSJob1.spp -s

With no further user interaction, it writes an output file to a location
specified in the SPSSJob1.spp file, which can be collected and viewed 
using the interactive SPSS application.

So, we wrote a simple Windows batch file, quoted here in full,

  spssprod.exe SPSSJob1.spp -s

...plus a submit file which transfers the .bat executable along with
SPSSJob1.spp and a "syntax" file.  We know that the Condor portion of
the process works, because spssprod writes an output file to the same
specified destination; unfortunately, now that output only consists of:

  8/18/2006 4:07:29 PM
  Unable to start SPSSWIN.EXE application.

So obviously there's something different about running commands from the
console vs. sending them through Condor, which SPSS doesn't like.  I
wrote another simple batch file which just runs "SET", so that we could
compare the environment variable settings between the two cases.  The
only thing I found that looked promising was an "SPSS" variable, thus the
second line of the batch file quoted above, but that didn't seem to make
any difference, and it's at this point that my meager Windows knowledge
pretty much runs out.

So my question boils down to something like this: Aside from the
environnment, is there some salient difference in the way jobs execute
under Condor which would have an impact on the runtime behavior of a

I've also opened up a case with SPSS, but I'm afraid that they'll just
point the finger at Condor and shrug.  I don't expect Condor folks to
know the hairy details of how SPSS operates, but I'm hoping that
somebody has seen an analogous situation with other Windows apps which
might throw some light on this.  Our cluster is a new endeavor, so we
don't have much in-house experience to guide us.