LawsonGuru Blog

Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community

The Art and Science of Troubleshooting


“How do I fix xyz?”

Thinking about how to troubleshoot reminds me of trying to fix my leaky shower.

I want an “instant fix”.  My plumber knows better, realizing that you have to go through a systematic process of analysis.  In the end, of course, he is right. And after eliminating some of the variables, we indeed locate and fix the problem.

The frustrating aspect of troubleshooting is that sometimes it’s just so darn difficult, if not impossible, to locate the underlying root cause.  Often you just have to “make it better”.  And, of course, it always takes longer than you–and management–want it to take.  

So where do you start?  In one instance a client says that an Email node in ProcessFlow takes a while–10 minutes is way too long–so that sounds like a good place to start.

  • Does *every* email take a long time?
  • Or just ones that use this flow?
  • Is it just this flow that is slow?
  • A lot of times I find that flows are poorly designed.
  • Have you had “another set of eyes” look at this flow?

Sometimes these types of issues are environmental.  If every email takes a long time, that would lead me to a network issue.

I have also found that there are some underlying settings which can wreak havoc. For instance, the pfserv config settings for trace and logging. Or JVM memory/thread settings in WebSphere. Or OS kernel settings being too low.

Just some random thoughts for this morning.

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4 responses to “The Art and Science of Troubleshooting

  1. MTFF August 18, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Well, as it turns out, the person that post the question, did ‘find” the answer.. maybe.

    some time in the past, the email server’s name, changed… and, of course, no one told him…… so, instead of talking directly to the mail server, its now talking to the “relay” server. What used to take 5 seconds to complete, now takes 10min.

    A “ticket” was opened to ” fix it “, we will see if it does or not.

    so the cause of it was NO COMMUNICATION!!

  2. MTFF August 18, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    oH, so, I ran into another problem that I wanted instant resolution.

    We all use BOOKMARKS in our Portal pages. So one day, I logged into the DEV server, trying to use / assign myself a new bookmark via the CONTENT link. Of course, I get an error message, stating XAUTHEN failed.

    upon first look, I am thinking SSO is messedup. so I start looking there. Accidentally, I broke the entire SSO setup. took me, and help from the Guru a day, to fix it. And no, the CONTENT link is still broken.

    4 days of working with Lawson, try this, try that, who was the installer, what have you changed, did it ever work later, still no solution. Happen to see a similar case, regarding the bookmarks were “corrupt”.

    Decided to try clearing all bookmarks, then reload them. so on the 5th day, finally got it to work…. certainly not instant solution…..all the while, learned lots….

  3. MTFF August 18, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Oh, since I am on a roll… let me continue!

    While we were looking at the Process Flow slowness issue, I issued the command > pfserv config and I knew, pressing ENTER would just move me from one line to the next.

    Not having any patience, I press the ENTER key too quick, some entries, like the SYSTEM COMMAND USER ID, was recorded as RUOOO3. Of course, all the PF nodes that uses system command failed!

    Took us 5 hours, to figure it out and correct it.

    What, a pain…

  4. MTFF September 4, 2008 at 5:25 am

    An update. The email server name was changed to MAILHOST in PFSERV.cfg file

    Sure enough, sending email via Process Flow now takes ~ 5seconds as compared to 10 minutes.

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