Part 4 – Tools for Troubleshooting Web Client issues: the Web Client Diagnostic tool
In Part 2 andĀ Part 3 of this series, I talked about resolving Web Client implementation (installation if you will) and functional issues, respectively, along with some specificĀ information that must be compiledĀ to aid in the troubleshooting process.
No troubleshooting process would be complete should we not have the appropriate set of tools to aid in capturing some of this data. Let’s start with the one tool you are most likely to use when opening a support case with Microsoft: the Web Client Diagnostic tool – in reality, is more like a set of diagnostics than _a_ diagnostic in particular.
The Web Client Diagnostic tool can be accessed once you create a support case and after the creation of an MS Solve caseĀ (also known as a Microsoft FixĀ It center case). The tool must be executed on both web server(s) and session host(s). The tool will collect important data that will allow Microsoft Dynamics GP Support to resolve your case. If you do not receive an invitation to execute the Web Client Diagnostic tool, you are encouraged to ask the Support Engineer on your case to send said invitation.
|Support Case submitted|
As you become more and more familiar with Web Client support cases, the above message is quite important. If this is missed after creating the case, the support engineer taking your case has no way to provide the Fix ItĀ URL shown above back to you.
The support engineer taking your case will need to generate a new link for you to use and pull the diagnostic information.
The URL in the message is what you should copy off to either your email or another editor for safe keeping. Once that is done, you can access both web server(s) and session host(s) machine(s) and then paste the URL into the Web browser and following the guidance provided.
|Automated Troubleshooting Services window|
This is the default page that will be presented after pasting the URL into the browser once the Diagnostic Web site is launched. Once the Web page is opened, click on the āRunā and the diagnostic packageĀ will be downloaded to the local machine.
|Run the Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services app|
Once fully downloaded, you will then again be prompted to Run (or Donāt Run) the diagnostic. At the point is where the Diagnostic starts running through its wizard based UI.
|Info Screen and Online Privacy Statement|
Accept the terms and condition to actually allow Microsoft to gather Web Client specific data points.
|Diagnostic Components download|
Once accepted, all the diagnostic components are downloaded to the server you are running it on.
|Select where to run the diagnostics|
Once downloaded, select This Computer as your option and choose Next. The option ofĀ A different computer is currently not working as intended.
|The package is executed|
The Diagnostic tool will then create an multi-task execution package of all the steps to be completed for data collection.
|Configuration and Setup information|
Next the Diagnostic will begin its first data collection process, focused onĀ Web Client configuration and setup data,Ā once you select on the Start button.
|Session Central and Session Host machine tasks|
Once the installation and configuration data is collected, the Diagnostic tool will perform data collection on the Web ServerĀ (running Session CentralĀ Service)Ā and Session Host machines. This screen allows you to click on a hyperlink to obtain further information on the information to be collected.
|Session Central and Session Host data collection executing|
Click Next to begin the data collection process on Session Central and Session Host.
After gathering all of the information requested, the Diagnostic then packages the data up for submission to the Diagnostic web site. That submission will occur once you select the Next button.
The Diagnostic tool will compile a number of screenshots, a list of Internet Explorer add-ons, performance data, machine configuration data, certificates andĀ portĀ bindingĀ information, URL reservation, and much more. Some of this information is collected using command line programs which I will talk about in a future installment.
|Send diagnostic data to Microsoft|
You can then save a copy of the diagnostic data prior to submitting it to Microsoft.Ā This data is packaged in a cabinet file (.cab) for ease of submission and compression. Click the Send button to initiate the submission of the cab file.
Once the file has been submitted, then the process is complete. The file is then attached to the original support request, via the MicrosoftĀ Service Request (SR) number created by the Fix It.ļ»æ
Tomorrow I will talk about Fiddler and how they can be used throughout the troubleshooting process.
Until next post!
Mariano Gomez, MVP
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Troubleshooting the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client – Part 4
July 24, 2013
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Support Debugging Tool – Finding Tables that make up Windows …
July 23, 2013
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We recently released a new set of templates for Extender and SmartList Builder to use with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013. I wanted to outline for you what they are and why I think they are a great resource for everyone to use.
SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 R2 introduced many features in the area of graphical display of information. According to MSDN, there were three new features introduced in SQL Server 2008 R2āmaps, sparklines and data bars and indicators. This final article of a three-part series on data visualization will explore the features of indicators as we build reports using Dynamics GP data.
Setting the Stage
Indicators are a way of providing immediate visual clues about the status of something. For example, while bar charts are a nice way to compare things to each other, sometimes you want to know the status of things right now so you can take immediate action. Are sales up or down right now? Is there an inventory shortage? By using indicators, you can provide those immediate clues to users that allow them to see the status and then look at the details.
According to Microsoftās TechNet website, here are four benefits of indicators:
- Trends by using trending-up, flat (no change) or trending-down arrows
- State by using commonly recognized symbols, such as checkmarks and exclamation marks
- Conditions by using commonly recognized shapes, such as traffic lights and signs
- Ratings by using commonly recognized shapes and symbols that show progress, such as number of quadrants in a square and stars
In this example, letās build a report that provides indicators based on how much of each item we are selling. The report is going to be grouped by customer class and item class.
First, once we launch Report Builder, weāll create a data source.
Second, we create a dataset. Here is the query for the dataset.
Once the dataset is created, we will use the toolbar in Report Builder to insert a matrix.
The next step is to add a column where the indicator will be placed.
Click in the matrix and then highlight the Extended Price column. Right-click and choose āInsert Column,ā then āRight.ā
From the toolbar, click āIndicator.ā
Click the new column in the Item Description row.
A window showing indicators appears. In our case, weāre selecting the five-star indicator in the Ratings group.
Once you have placed the indicator in the matrix, right-click on it and choose āIndicator Properties.ā
Click on āValues and States.ā
Enter the ranges that will determine which star will appear. You will see that there are various options for customizing the indicator on this window.
Enter the values and click āOK.ā
Hereās how the report appears in Design mode.
Click the āRunā button to view the report.
Expand the report to view details by Item Description. Notice the varying amount of colors in the stars based on the sales value.
As you can see, the report indicates (Notice how I used the word?) the Cantata FaxPhone 9800 is doing well, whereas the Shoulder Rest ā Deluxe White is not.
This article just scratches the surface of adding some visualizations using indicators to your SSRS reports. In just a few steps, you can add these visual elements to your reports. Feel free to experiment using Report Builder or Visual Studio.
For more information, please contact our Microsoft Dynamics GP Support Center.
A few days ago, Errol Schoenfish on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog announced the forthcoming Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP2 (or H2 as he named it) for Q4 of the 2013 calendar year. The part of the announcement which ā¦ Continue reading ā
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Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP2 Announced for Q4
July 23, 2013
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Let’s jump right in. We debug our Visual Studio applications over and over; and attaching to the test environment is among the most important, and time-consuming skills we use. (How many times have I launched GP2010 when I was thinking of GP2013?)
Of course we all simplify our testing by building the dll and pdb files directly in the DynamicsAddins folder (right?). If not, start doing that.
Were that the only thing to learn here, that knowledge alone would be worth the price of admission. But it’s a fairly obvious step, and many of us already send the built dll file to the folder.
The next level is launching and properly attaching to the right Dynamics processā¦automatically.
A huge shout-out to Patrick Roth for showing me this.
First, verify you are automatically building to the DynamicsAddins folder. Otherwise the real value of this blog is blunted quite a bit.
- Within Visual Studios, Solution Explorer, select the project you are working on.
- Click on the Project menu, and click ‘project name Propertiesā¦’
- C-Sharp:Select the Build tab, and change Output path to your DynamicsAddins folder.
- VisualBasic: Select the Compile tab, and change the ‘Build output path:’ to your DynamicsAddins folder.
With that sorted out, we can now simplify the Debug process.
Second, in the same Properties window as the First step above, select the Debug tab ā this tab is the same for both C-Sharp and VisualBasic.
- Change the ‘Start Action‘ radio group to ‘Start external program:’
- Click on the ‘ā¦’ button, and select Dynamics.exe within your Dynamics folder.
- Your project now knows to launch Dynamics.
- Be sure the text box contains entire path as well as the file.
- Under ‘Start Options‘:
- Change the ‘Command line arguments:‘ text box;
- Enter ‘DYNAMICS.SET’
- If you have a more-preferable SET file, for testing or other reasons, enter that SET file instead.
- Change ‘Working directory‘ to be the path where the SET file is located.
- Generally, it’s the same as the ‘Start external program’, but without the Dynamics.exe.
- Be sure it ends with ‘/’.
- Save the project.
Finally, as needed:
- Build the file (F6), which automatically is built in the DynamicsAddins folder
- Alternatively, build and copy the dll and pdb files to the DynamicsAddins folder
- This is useful if Visual Studio doesn’t have rights to the Dynamics folder.
- Debug (F5).
Once it’s set up properly, clicking on F5 should launch Dynamics for you. Behind the scenes, your code is automatically ‘attached’ to this instance of Dynamics.exe.
To fully see the power of this, place a ‘Toggle Breakpoint’ (F9) on the first line in your code’s Initialize() method. Then click ‘Start Debugging’ (F5). The code should automatically break on that line after launching Dynamics. (Try doing that by ‘Attaching To Processā¦’)
Plus, once this is set up, I no longer launch GP2010 when I meant to launch GP2013 ā except for the first time after an upgrade :-).
See more here:
Debugging Visual Studio Tools Tips
July 23, 2013
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Part 3 – Resolving Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client Functional Issues
Last week, Part 2 of this series dealt with resolving Web Client implementation issues. The key to remember is any exception condition prior to the Microsoft Dynamics GP login window is treated as an implementation issue and as noted back in Part 2, there are two major processes – steps, if you will – in compiling information that will lead to resolving Web Client exceptions.
Just like with the implementation issues, you must compile information related to all application exceptions.
Let’s see what type of information can be compiled:
- If the problem involves product functionality, it’s always a good idea to record the steps to reproduce the problem.
- It’s also possible that the issues are UI related, i.e., a window does not display correctly (though these issues are less frequent, but certainly possible).
- Printing and data export issues. In this case, you will want to determine whether the Silverlight application is being trusted.
- Silverlight exceptions, i.e., those displayed in a window with a stop sign
- Third party application customization vs. standard Microsoft Dynamics GP functionality. In a multi-dictionary setting, this will play a role whether using Web Client or the Rich Client (traditional Dexterity application).
- Enable all available Web Client logs (session management and multi-tenant logs)
- Capture all user-machine related information with MSINFO32.EXE
- Can you reproduce the problem in the standard Microsoft Dynamics GP rich client application
- Can the problem be reproduced by more than one user
- Can the problem be reproduced in more than one company
The followingĀ are sample application exceptions:
|App stuck on “Initializing” upon login|
As you can tell, some of the information that must be compiled is standard. What must be taken into account here is, the Session Service is a real GP client running in the background supporting the Web Client session.
With that said, the following are some key success factors for the resolution of Web Client functional issues:
- First, all issues must be treated jointly as Microsoft Dynamics GP issues and not something isolated to the Web Client.
- You must keep in mind that Web Client will display the same exception messages displayed by the standard Microsoft Dynamics GP rich client.
- Breakdown the problem and make sure it’s focused on the Web Client.
- The Web Client functionality “resembles” that of the Microsoft Dynamics GP rich client – we use the word “resemble” here, because we know certain things like navigation are slightly different in Web Client.
- The rich client is installed on the Session Host server(s), therefore files like DYNAMICS.SET, DEX.INI, and forms and reports dictionaries are still in the mix
- All exceptions experienced by the rich client are submitted to the Web Client, whether handled or unhandled.
- All Dexterity third party applications are supported in the Web Client.
- The Web Client uses a proprietary messaging system.
In part 4 of this series, I will look into some tools available for troubleshooting both implementationĀ and functional issues.
Until next post!
Mariano Gomez, MVP
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Troubleshooting the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client – Part 3
July 22, 2013
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