Today's posting will be all about Mustgather information.
The patient needs to report an urgent issue to IBM BPM Support and wants to provide valuable information that expedites the resolution right from scratch.
For Dr. Debug and the IBM Support team it is of utmost importance to have as much information as possible in order for being able to diagnose the problem. Remember: You might know pretty much all about the error and the environment, the steps to recreate and what was done prior to the error. But this is all unknown and new to the support folks.
Should you require Support's assistance, the following steps may help you providing some basic information that should help Support to start investigating your problem.
Ask yourself: What steps do I take in order for the error to occur? What are the symptoms? What was the expected result? Was it working before? Have I changed anything before the problem occurred for the first time?
Note the answers to these questions and provide them to the support folks.
- Provide as many screenshots as possible. The more detailed the better. If you know how to recreate the problem, take a screenshot for each step. It will make Support's life easier. It will enable them to understand and see what you are referring to. Or even better: Record a quick video of how you recreate the problem.
Gather your versioninfo output. It gives an excellent overview of the patients healthstatus and previous treatments if you will. Sort of like: Who is the patient? How old is the patient? What previous issues did the patient have? What Support can pull from these information is which ifixes were installed yet, which exact version are you running? Is there a known issue that has already been fixed and the iFix was not yet installed on this system?
Now, you might be asking yourself: OK, how do I gather the versioninfo? That is fairly easy:
Just open a command prompt and run the following command from <install_root>/bin :
In BPM v7.5.X:
versionInfo -maintenancenPackages > versioninfo.txt
In BPM v8.X:
versionInfo -fixpacks -ifixes > versioninfo.txt
versioninfo -long > versioninfo.txt
This will redirect the output of the versioninfo command to a textfile in the bin directory. You can also specify any other custom path for the output if you wish.
- Gather information about the underlying database, the OS and hardware specifications that might help.
- Gather information about the topology and environment (clusters, nodes, loadbalancer, proxies, etc).
Does the patient have a fever? Is the patient sneezing or coughing? In other words: Do you see any errors in the logs?
First thing to look at is the SystemOut.log file which you will find under:
These logs are created per profile and server. Note the timestamp of the occurence of the issue before sending the logs to IBM Support. That will expedite their review of the log files.
If you spot an exception in the logs, you can try to search for potential known issues and how to address them. Good resources are dwAnswers, the BPM Fixlists, Technotes or sometimes even Google. In some cases the solution is already available.
Taking a blood sample to gain further details and insight. Now we do not poke into our workstation with a needle, but we use traces. There are traces for almost anything. The tricky part is to define the correct one. IBM Support will provide you with the trace string to use. At the bottom of this Technote you will find links to component-specific diagnostic information. Most of those include component specific traces you may use.
To set the trace string IBM Support or the Technote provided, follow these steps:
- Log on to your WAS Administrative Console
- Expand the Troubleshooting section
- Select Logs and Trace
- Select the application server to be traces and click on the Diagnostric Trace link
- Select the Runtime tab
- Click on Change Log Detail Levels under the Additional Properties section on the right hand side panel
- Under Trace Specification enter the trace string
- Click Apply and OK. Then Save your configuration.
The trace will be saved in a file named trace.log by default. Do not forget to note the timestamp and provide the trace.log, SystemOut.log and timestamp to IBM Support. Follow these steps or the steps listed in this technote to get your traces set up.
You can also gather traces in a static manner. The difference is that you need to restart BPM when using static tracing. And that usually mean high impact.
Please keep in mind that our patient is temporarily limited in his actions while the trace is enabled, meaning that you may encounter performance degradation while the trace is enabled. Remember to remove the trace string once you are done.
- Upload all the data and information you gathered to your PMR.
- Be proud of yourself, you helped IBM Support a lot to expedite the resolution of your problem.
- Reward yourself with a nice cup of coffee or tea.
In general it is quite handy when all the information Support needs is available right from the beginning. If anything is missing, do not worry. Support will let you know what they need in addition to what you have provided.
And if this article does not help, take two of these and call me in the morning.