HP Service Manager (SM) Supportability Tools: How to Diagnose, Debug, and Keep Your System Healthy

Robert Palmer once crooned “Doctor, doctor give me the news.” HP Service Manager (SM) administrators and implementers have uttered a similar cry.  

 

                                                                                                                   Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)

                                                                                                                   By Robert Palmer

 

When you have an ailing Service Manager application, how do you diagnose the issue and, once you know what is wrong, fix the issue to bring your system back to full health? 

 

Below we’ve highlighted 4 of the best new supportability tools, pulled from Service Manager (SM) 9.3,that can help you diagnose problems with your system, identify the root cause, and prescribe the best remedy around. 

 

 

 

1. SM Doctor

 

As a Service Manager administrator what do you do when the SM server is not able to startup successfully or it starts up but it is very slow?  No need for sirens, SM Doctor to the rescue.  Service Manager’s favorite physician collects ALL the SM server information needed for SM support to quickly diagnose the issue ailing your system.  No need for an appointment -- this doctor is always in, automatically and efficiently collecting comprehensive data and validating it against predefined validation rules.  

 

Offered now as a standalone hotfix (contact HP Support to get the SM Doctor package), the SM Doctor will also be part of the next Service Manager release.  

 

2. WebTier Functionalities

 

Rub a dub dub in the SM tub with the following SOAP functionalities, available from SM 9.3 and beyond.

 

As a system administrator or implementer, you may receive a system error such as “User login error- an error has occurred while processing a request for: /webtier-0.00/index.do"

 

  • As an SM admin wouldn’t it be helpful to find the SOAP fault of the last request your client sent in Webtier log? A crystal ball is no longer necessary.  With the new WebTier functionality you can find the last request sent to the server when you get a SOAP fault response or another indication the server was unable to process the request, just like magic.

 

  • Back in the olden days you may have walked to school 3 miles in the snow with no shoes. You may have also only been able to log SOAP messages on the server side. Luckily, we now have shoes AND Service Manager 9.30. The former allows you to avoid frostbite and bunions. Equally important to some, the latter allows you to log web client XML traffic based on a URL parameter. When you suspect SM WebTier failed to send  specific field info, such as the detailed description of an incident ticket, to the server, you can now check the XML traffic details from the Webtier to the server. Providing this information in the WebTier makes life that much easier.  SM administrators can set a URL parameter to turn the SOAP log on so all of the SOAP messages in a single user session can be logged until the user logs out.

 

  • Carrier pigeons are also a thing of the past. You can now send browser and application server information straight to the SM Server.  Just login to the WebTier URL and BAM - your browser type and version and your app server type will be automatically transferred to the SM Server eliminating the need to enter the Webtier log file to find the information you need.

 

For more information on WebTier functionalities please visit the SM Help Server, in the Contents view, under the topic category “Status and Notifications” and look for these topics:

 

  • View SOAP fault information in the client log
  • Web parameter: tracesoap
  • View the Web clients connected to the server

 

3.      RTE Functionalities

 

  • Don’t let the IT bugs bite. Available since SM 9.31, Dynamic Debug is a repellant and treatment all in one. Imagine an end user is complaining the user session is very slow while other users have no complaints. Restarting the SM server is not an option to solve the problem nor is increasing the debug level, as both will impact many people. Administrators can now enable or disable debugging or tracing information for a session without restarting the server. When enabled, relevant debugging information of the session/server will be written directly to the server log. With the help of Dynamic Debug, admins can print more detailed debug log for on the fly.  

 

  • What do you do when your server instance is consuming an unordinary amount of OS memory?  In the past you may have rushed to check the number of sessions, login/logout per servlet container or the database client transmission volume / size. Diagnostic counters, your IT detectives, are here to help! Created especially for Service Manager and the Administrators who use these counters, the detectives retrieve diagnostic counter information to help system stability and performance issue investigations. It’s elementary, dear Watson.

 

  • For more information on RTE functionalities please visit the SM HelpServer, in the Contents view, under the topic category “Status and Notifications” look for for these topics:

            - Dynamic debugging of user sessions or schedulers

            - View diagnostic counter information

 

4.  SM has an App for that

 

  • When customers plan to develop their own SM Apps and use JavaScript to fulfill some specific functions, SM provides 2 different ways to help debug during the implementation phase:

            -For JavaScript tracing in the Service Manager apps layer, just go to RAD and execute the trace Javascript         function. Rad, huh?

 

  • We also offer a Log4Js style mechanism. Similar to log4j (minus the ‘s’ and a few features) this API helps developers log events in a SM script for debugging without major changes to the code base.  Log4Js provides in-line debugging on and off, allowing for control of the logger.  Cool, huh? 
  • For more information on SM Apps please visit the SM HelpServer, in the Contents view, under the topic category “Status and Notifications”  look for Trace JavaScript execution
  • Also look on SM HelpServer in Search view for “Programming Guide”.  Open the PDF file and do a find on “The log4js script” section.

 

That completes our list of the top 4 best new supportability tools in Service Manager 9.3!

 

We are also running a survey around service desk performance and we’d love your feedback. Join in here!

 

As always we’d love to hear from you….tweet us @HPITSM or join the conversation on LinkedIn.

 

 

-  Bing Zhang (Byron)

SM R&D

 

 

                            

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