The root of the problem seems to be w3wp.exe interacting with the 10g client we use to attach to the 9i DB (due for upgrade to 10g soon). I can't really change the VB component since it's also required to run on Windows2000 - which it handles with no problems against the same DB. Also can't upgrade to .NET due to limited resource. Replacing the DB call with a Java component or service may be an option, but not sure how feasible this would be.
The component is set to stay active in memory, and I think this is what causes w3wp.exe to hold onto DB connections (although they do go to inactive). I need a way of having the connections dropped as soon as the transaction is finished - user logs out. We've already looked at changing connection pools and other minor tweaks on the server, not much success.
Any useful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.