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Speed Customer Troubleshooting by Sharing Your Resolution Techniques. Doug Drechsel Technical Manager BEA Systems. It’s a Support Pattern. Design Patterns for Software + Recurring Problems Types + Different Investigative Techniques ---------------------------------------------

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speed customer troubleshooting by sharing your resolution techniques

Speed Customer Troubleshooting by Sharing Your Resolution Techniques

Doug Drechsel

Technical Manager

BEA Systems

it s a support pattern
It’s a Support Pattern

Design Patterns for Software

+ Recurring Problems Types

+ Different Investigative Techniques


Support Pattern

support pattern
Support Pattern
  • Granular vs. Generic
  • An algorithm comprised of investigation techniques for a predefined problem type
  • Predefined Problem type (Support Database is a good start)

Ex: Diagnosing Server Core, Diagnosing SSL Configuration Issues

example pattern
Example Pattern

Problem DescriptionAn application gets a binary core file produced when the WebLogic Server process terminates due to some invalid native core (machine specific code).  A server crash, JVM crash, machine crash, or HotSpot error may also be associated with this occurrence.  This pattern will describe what steps are needed to gather information from a core file on various platforms.

example pattern1
Example Pattern
  • Quick Links
  • Why does the problem occur?
  • Getting information from a Core file on:
    • Solaris
    • Linux
    • HPUX
    • AIX
    • Windows
  • What if I don't have a Debugger?
  • Operating System Values that should be checked for core file generation
  • Stop the JVM to get Thread Dumps
  • On-line Debugger Manuals


how it started
How It Started
  • Backline(BL) and Frontline(FL) organizational tiers
  • Easier to find trends at BL tier
  • At first, target audience was FL tierCase Deflection vs. Empowerment
  • Why not the customers? Empower the customer to resolve the issue.
  • BL Engineer responsible for a specific problem type (Data Mined)
  • Review Period: Review by all BLers in Patterns Group (RFC)
  • Post to Internal WebSite w Security (Roles)
  • Blogs for each pattern, feedback mechanism
  • Triggers emailing Knowledge Engineering when a new internal pattern has been created or updated
  • Pattern Portal on ESupport
  • Internationalization
patterns workflow
Patterns Workflow

Patterns Workflow


new education offering
New Education Offering
  • TroubleShooting Methodology Training
  • Patterns are transcribed as an educational offering with Labs
  • Leverage content to train new employees

(Internal and External (India) )

actual customer comment
Actual Customer Comment

When Jeff's on-site he presents a couple Support Pattern seminars during the week.  I have found these to be among the most beneficial of aspects of having Jeff on-site.  Jeff's being here over a week allows him to flex the presentation into our schedules so most of my team can attend.  The seminars are short enough as to not adversely impact our workloads.  Having an individual on-site to present highly technical material makes a world of difference in my ability to understand, retain, and actually use it.  The fact that Jeff has actually worked with me on specific problems allows him to directly relate the material to the enterprise in his presentations.  The net result is a solid learning experience for me, which has resulted in actual problem resolutions for the company for issues that would have largely been unsolvable for us previously.  Core files, Too Many Open File Descriptors, and Performance Tuning are three Support Patterns that I immediately put to use after attending Jeff's presentation.  Today Jeff presented the Memory Leak Support Pattern material.  There are a number of applications deployed to WebLogic in the ORGANIZATION that suffer from a "memory leak".   I know the result of the presentation will be my being able to help resolve the problem that we've just been living with for years.


Quicker Resolution = Satisfied Customer

You can give the customer the knowledge and training for common recurring problem types that enables them to either resolve the issue themselves or be better prepared to work with your support organization.