How to report a problem


H2OS operates in a complex environment, and while we do everything we can to minimize problems, sometimes they may occur.


When a problem occurs, be sure to report it, unless you know that it's already been reported. Then try to restart and see if you can run the failed process now. Some problems that can occur are "self-correcting".


Usually, restarting H2OS will recover the system after a catastrophic problem. When this happens, be sure to check the customer record being updated at the time of the crash is okay, and re-enter any data that was lost, if any.


In large measure, H2OS is resilient because it will automatically recover from most failures after a shutdown and restart.


It's a good time to mention that you should have checked the installation section on the customer guide, the pre-requisites in particular. Also see the System Maintenance screen.



When an error occurs


When an error occurs, usually (but not always, depending on the type of error), the H2OS Error Handler screen will appear with some information about the problem. Follow any on-screen messages to recover or shutdown and restart H2OS, collecting diagnostics for the 1st occurrence of an unreported/unknown/not obvious problem.


Other types of problems that do not result in an error screen can be reported by selecting Help -> Report a Problem on the menu


Also see the Support page, which can be used to send a quick informational note to customer support (which does not a response or follow-up, use Report a Problem instead)




How to report a problem




Error messages


If you encounter a problem where an H2OS Error Handler message appears on your screen,

such as this:




The error message and additional details are shown in the upper part of this screen. Depending on the nature of the problem, the wording can be easy to understand - or not.


If you recognize the error and know it's been reported, click CANCEL, restart H2OS and avoid using the failing feature until the correction is available. You can check the online H2OS release notes to learn when a fix is available and can be downloaded in a subsequent maintenance release.


If this is not a known problem (see below), click the SEND REPORT command and H2OS will create a file named H2OS001.ZIP with diagnostics  for analyzing the problem, which it will send to our Customer Service.



Checking to see if this is a known problem

It's possible the problem you are experiencing has already been reported, and perhaps a workaround or fix is available. To check the forum, click the Forum command button (or click here), which will launch your Internet browser to our forum page. Once the forum page appears, you can browse the topics in the H2OS Release Announcements, Installation and Operations categories. There is also a keyword search feature in the upper right portion of this page.


1. Search the online do-list for keywords that relate to the problem (such as using keywords in the message), to see if it's already been reported and the current status of the report


2. If you find a record related to the problem, you can add information to it or chime in that you are in need of a solution


3. If you cannot find a record related to the problem, please submit a new problem report


Submitting a new problem report


Collect any information that might be useful for the report. Often a screen shot of an error message or incorrect display can be very helpful.



To bring up the problem reporting screen:




The problem report entry screen will appear:




2. Enter a brief summary level description of the problem, deliberately adding keywords that can be used later to find this records.


3. Describe the problem in as much detail as possible to assist our programmers in resolving the problem. If the problem can be reproduced, please provide this information and the steps need to reproduce.


4. Click SUBMIT to save this report on your computer and also send a copy to H2OS Customer Support.




When this screen appears, check the checkbox for "H2OS Customer Support", as shown here





Message to accompany this file


Use this entry field for any (optional) notes you may wish to add to the problem report, such as the steps to reproduce it, if possible.


Attach database record

If checked, a copy of this problem report record is attached to the problem report. Unless asked, leave unchecked.


Attach file

If you have screen shots to accompany this report, check the "Attach file" checkbox and use the Windows navigator to locate the file (such as a Word doc you've pasted a screenshot into, or an image file created using another program) containing the screen shots


Attach trace

The ATTACH TRACE checkbox will be selected (checked) automatically if the trace has been turned on and is currently active (that is, you have turned on the trace, reproduced the problem, and now wish to send the trace in). Leave this checked to have the trace automatically added to the email problem report.


If the trace is not turned on, but you do have a trace to submit, check this checkbox and use the Windows Navigator to point to the trace file to be attached to this report.




5. Click SEND





If you have checked the ATTACH TRACE checkbox, a 2nd email will be sent with the trace attached.



6 If you have checked the ATTACH DATABASE RECORD checkbox, the recipient will see an email like this:





We make every effort to respond to all problem reports on the same day as received and we generally work on a first-come, first-served basis, with high priority customer problems going to the top of the list.



Web-based problem reporting

Web-based is an alternative system we are presently testing using our on-line forum for problem reporting and topical discussions.

We've acquired the use of this particular bulletin-board forum software from the open-source movement on the Internet, and are presently evaluating it  for our purposes. We will continue to test this and other software products for this purpose through this year before deciding which, if any, work best for this purpose.


Until we settle on a best practice, be sure to keep local (on your machine) copies of information that you post to the forum. We do create internal problem records for problem reports, regardless of the reporting method used, and we can make this information available to you on request.


To get to the H2OS Forum online, click the Forum command button or click here





1. If the PROB command button does not appear in your command system, you can add it using customize your command buttons, or you can:





2. Some problems can be better understood if accompanied by a system trace of activities. To help us with getting a trace of the problem, please see starting the trace for how to start trace recording. With the trace on, then perform the activity that fails or produces invalid results. After the event, re-cycle H2OS and use the PROB button to submit the report with the trace attached.


3. Note that the trace table is only cleared when you click the CLEAR button on the TRACE page. That is, you can restart H2OS after collecting a trace, and the trace will continue to be available in the next H2OS session for viewing/sending.


Original note on changes to problem reporting implemented in 06/07:


Changed the problem reporting screen (click PROB and then SAVE AND SEND) to attach the trace automatically if the trace is on when the problem report screen is brought up to report a problem.


The effect is, when the operator wants to report a problem and include a trace, he/she


- when possible, recovers from the problem and clicks the PROB button, enters prob ticket info, clicks SAVE AND SEND, checks recipients list and the "INCLUDE TRACE" checkbox (which should be on by default since the trace is on at this time). The system will then send the problem report and the trace to the recipient(s) selected on the IPT form.


- if the problem cannot be recovered from, restart the system and then click PROB. However, since the TRACE is not turned on for this new session, you will have to check the INCLUDE TRACE checkbox so the system will know to include the trace with the problem report. Of course, don't hit the CLEAR TRACE button before doing this. Note that the system will not clear the trace either, so it will continue to exist as before, until you click the CLEAR button on the TRACE page.




Screen shots

Oftentimes the most helpful information about a problem can be a screen shot of the 1st visual evidence of the problem. Sometimes the effect of a problem can cascade and appear to be something else, so be sure to get that 1st screen shot if you can. If not, try to note the words of the message you received, and it's also possible a subsequent screen shot may be of help (but be sure to tell us this is the case)


There's a few ways to get screen shots, but the standard Windows way is to use the PRINT SCREEN key, which will place a copy of your current screen image into your windows clipboard. From here you can use PASTE (ctrl-v) to copy the screenshot image into a Word file. You can also paste the image (ctrl-v)directly into a HTML formatted email note.




For another perspective on problem reporting