The Art of Troubleshooting

August 6, 2007 at 11:32 am | Posted in Troubleshooting | Leave a comment

Laurence has a neat trick to solve an LDAP Synchronization problem. I’ve used this a few times myself in the past. The really interesting thing about the post is it’s a good illustration of how to go about troubleshooting a problem. I suspect I went through a similar process when I discovered the trick myself.

It’s not just about the technical details but about the attitude you take in solving the problem. First of all you start of with a general understanding of how Documentum implements jobs, you know what is being called and when. As a result of reading round the problem (docs, forums, blogs, etc) you have an idea of what structures are possibly being updated. You understand in broad terms how the code is doing the job it is supposed to do. From all this you are usually left with a number of possibilities as to why you get the results you see. A little testing narrows it down to (hopefully) just one thing.

Finally it’s good to see someone discuss the issue of when and where you can test out theories about how the system works. Usually you need to do this in an isolated, controlled setup; to avoid messing up the production system for real users and also to ensure that tests are controlled and repeatable. But as Laurence points out removing a user wasn’t a big deal if that user couldn’t access the system in the first place, but you still need to be careful.

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