Troubleshooting and Debugging Aids

How to:

Because all software applications occasionally have issues, PMF includes built-in utilities that allow you or your administrator to troubleshoot and resolve potential issues.

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Procedure: How to Use Application Tracing

If you receive an error that you do not understand, you can enable Application Tracing, then re-run the request that generated the error. If you are proficient in WebFOCUS, you can examine the trace yourself to determine the cause of the issue. If you are not proficient in WebFOCUS, you can forward the trace to either your local support representative or your Information Builders support specialist.

To activate Application Tracing:

  1. In the Manage tab, click the Settings panel button.

    The Settings menu opens.

  2. On the Debugging form, select one of the following values from the Application Tracing drop-down list.
    • OFF. Disables tracing, which is the default value.
    • ON. Trace WebFOCUS code without showing a full trace of the Dialogue Manager pre-processing code. This is the most typical setting for tracing.
    • ALL. Trace WebFOCUS code and show all steps in the Dialogue Manager pre-processing code. This generates the most detailed trace.
  3. Click Save.

    If you selected ON or ALL, tracing is now active. You can re-run any process that has an error message, and select Source from the View menu in your Browser to display the underlying HTML source code containing the error trace. Traces are present at the bottom of the HTML file, after the closing </HTML> tag.

Note: Turning on tracing can slightly lower PMF performance speed because more HTML is downloaded to the browser. It is recommended that you turn off tracing after you resolve the issue you are investigating.

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Procedure: How to Trace the Visual Discovery Panel

If you encounter errors when using the Visual Discovery Outlier Finder, you can use data tracing to display the data returned from the WebFOCUS server. Application crashes and other anomalies in Visual Discovery are the result of errors in data retrieval. The most common error is caused by an incorrectly configured web server tier.

To activate Tracing in the Visual Discovery Outlier Finder:

  1. Select the Analytics tab.
  2. Select Analysis from the Type drop-down list, select Visual Discovery - Outlier Finder from the View drop-down list, and click Run.

    The Outlier Finder interface appears.

  3. Select the Trace check box to the right of the Discover button.
  4. Click the Discover button.

    PMF displays a data trace showing the URL query string that was issued to the server, and any data that was retrieved.

    If no records are retrieved, check to make sure the dimensional, measure, or objective intersection actually has data. Also check the URL and ensure there are no errors there. If you notice an error at the start of the query string, such as an invalid web server name or port, you can correct these by editing the A_HOSTNAME.FEX procedure in the \ibi\apps\pmfdata folder on your WebFOCUS Reporting Server. This file should contain the following string:

    -SET &HOSTNAME = webserver_name[:port]


    Is replaced by your web server name and optional port number.

    After you have corrected the issue, re-run the page in Trace mode and verify that you are receiving data. You can then clear the Trace check box and confirm that Visual Discovery is working.