Troubleshooting process overview

Troubleshooting is the process of finding and eliminating the cause of a problem. Whenever you have a problem with your software, the troubleshooting process begins as soon as you ask yourself what happened?

A basic troubleshooting strategy at a high level involves these steps:

  1. Recording the symptoms of the problem
  2. Recreating the problem
  3. Eliminating possible causes

Recording the symptoms of the problem

Depending on the type of problem you have, whether it is with your application, your server, or your tools, you might receive a message that indicates that something is wrong. Always record the error message that you see. As simple as this sounds, error messages often contain codes that make more sense as you investigate your problem further. You might also receive multiple error messages that look similar, but have subtle differences. By recording the details of each message, you can learn more about the problem.

The sources of error messages are:
  • Problems view in the Workbench
  • Console in the Workbench
  • Log files in your workspace
  • Error dialog boxes

Recreating the problem

Think back to what steps led you to this problem. Try those steps again to see if you can easily recreate this problem. If you have a consistently repeatable test case, you can have an easier time determining what solutions are necessary.

Consider the following questions:

  • How did you notice the problem?
  • Was anything being done differently that made you notice the problem?
  • Is the process that is causing the problem a new procedure, or has it worked successfully before?
  • If this process worked before, what has changed?
  • The change can refer to any type of change made to the system, ranging from adding new hardware or software, to configuration changes you might have made to existing software.
  • When you noticed the first symptom of this problem, were there other symptoms occurring around that time?
  • Does the same problem occur elsewhere? Is only one machine experiencing the problem or are multiple machines experiencing the same problem?
  • What messages are generated that can indicate what the problem is? What else do you see that tells you there is a problem?
  • How often does the problem occur?

Eliminating possible causes

Narrow the scope of your problem by eliminating components that are not causing the problem. By using a process of elimination, you can simplify your problem and avoid wasting time in other areas. Consult the release information that comes with the product and other available resources to help you with your elimination process.

Start with these questions:

  • Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • Is there a fix that you can apply?
  • Have any fixes been applied or any changes made to the system that could be causing the problem? Does rolling back the fix or the changes solve the problem?