Support Community Best Practices

Version 16

    Creating a case in the Jive Support Community is pretty easy (Introduction to the Support Community), but there are a couple things that you can do to ensure a quicker and better response from the Jive Support team.


    Log Files


    Under most conditions, we will ask for your log files (both your jiveHome logs and your application server logs). This includes, but is not limited to, the following:


    • System Errors:
    • Stack Traces:
    • Other strange behavior (i.e. when your content isn't saved after editing the HTML widget):


    Why are log files useful?


    The error you see is the result of the problem, but the log files help us figure out the cause. Finding the correct error and stack trace within a log helps cut down on the resolution time immensely.


    What are log files? Where are they? How do I get them to you?


    For system errors and other strange behavior, we usually just need the files in your /jiveHome/logs/ directory. Don't know where your jiveHome directory is? This is set when you installed the software. As a reminder, you can always log into the Admin Console as a System Admin and navigate to System -> Management -> System Information and look here:




    Alternatively, you can always access the logs through the Admin Console as well. Again, as a System Admin, you can find them at  System -> Management -> Log Viewer:




    All you need to do now is zip up all the log directory (yes, the entire directory) and attach it to your case:




    For other stack traces and errors that do not look like they are from Jive SBS (for example, there's no mention of Jive Software in any lines of the stack trace), we would like your application server logs (see your application server documentation for the exact location) in addtion to your /jiveHome/logs/ directory.


    Note: There are many errors and exceptions in the log files and all of them are seperated by timestamps. It can be very useful if you let us know when (time and date) you reproduce the error so that we can use that as the starting point in going through the logs.


    Thread Dumps


    "Jive SBS just isn't responding and we have to restart it to get it working again. This is happening three times a day!"


    In cases where Jive SBS is crashing or suffering severe performance issues, thread dumps are very useful. They give us a snapshot of how the system's resources are being allocated and used. Thread dumps should be taken when your application is no longer responding, but the Java process is still running. One thread dump is not very useful. We recommend getting three thread dumps spaced roughly ten seconds apart for each node (if your application is clustered).


    The following commands can be used to produce thread dumps:


    • Linux: kill -3
      • These thread dumps are saved in your stdout or server log output files.
    • Windows: ctrl + brk in the Java process window
      • This will be saved in your application server's log output. You might need to increase the screen buffer if you're running the server through a console. To do this, right click on the title bar and select Properties.The Layout tab will offer the ability to change your screen buffer size (so that you can read more text in the console):


    These thread dumps are written to the standard out of the Java process.

    Heap Dumps


    There are times when your application crashes due to out of memory issues. In most cases, upping your heap size and your perm gen memory via the JVM parameters (as noted in the documentation) will be sufficient. If you have a generous amount allocated, then the next step will be to capture a heap dump when the JVM throws an out of memory exception. Thread dumps aren't very useful for out of memory issues, but a heap dump will tell us where and how much memory is being used.


    You can trigger the JVM to capture a heap dump by setting the following JVM parameters (for the Sun JVM):


    • -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError
    • -XX:HeapDumpPath=\path\to\file


    Severity when Submitting


    This is the current matrix used to define the severity levels used at Jive:


    (1) Critical - Production Site Down or Major Production Functionality Impaired
    60 minutes1 business day
    (3) Medium - Minor Production Functionality Impaired1 business day1 business day
    (4) Low - Non-Production Related Problems and Questions
    1 business day1 business day


    Here is an example for each severity level:


    1. Critical - The production site is down and no one can access the site
    2. Medium - A widget isn't rendering correctly
    3. Low - Questions on correct permissions use


    More information on each severity can be found in both the Standard Support and Premium Support Terms and Conditions.


    So what happens when I submit a Severity 1 issue?


    The Jive Support team is alerted right away and at regular intervals (this is only for users with Premium Support contracts). Once alerted, we will contact the customer and start the investigation right away. Please make sure that the issue falls within the definitions of a Severity 1 issue as outlined in your Terms and Conditions. If this is determined to fall outside of the category of a S1 issue, we will adjust it and explain why it does not qualify.


    Submitting Multiple Cases


    When submitting cases, you might have multiple ones that are related or a couple separate issues to report at the same time.


    If this happens, please submit them individually. This helps us focus on the specific issue and helps us keep better track of the current open issues -- ultimately resulting in better support for you.


    Screen Sharing




    Screen sharing helps in cases where we cannot reproduce the error, or when the issue is easier to demonstrate than to explain via words. Every single person on the Support team has the ability to create an Adobe Connect meeting and set up a screen sharing session within five minutes. Just ask the Support engineer for their meeting URL and you're halfway there.


    When we request a screen sharing session (or if you request one), we'll supply you with a URL to our personal meeting room. Please prepare your desktop (remove any sensitive information ) and be ready to install the plugin that Adobe uses to share screens.


    What about a screencast?


    Screencasts can be very helpful for us to get a good understanding of the problem at hand. We spend a lot of time trying to duplicate a bug so that we can begin troubleshooting it and being able to see the user do this helps immensely. The best (and free) screencast software that we've found so far is Jing. It is easy to set up and you can share links to your screencasts and pictures instead of attaching them to a case.


    A link to an example bug report screencast can be found here.


    Best Uses for "Allow Case to be Public"




    This function is meant to serve two purposes:


    • Allow you to view other cases: If other customers have marked cases as 'public,' then you can search them and possible solve your issue before even contacting Jive Support!
    • Tap into the considerable resources of the community: A public case has more eyes on it and you may receive a quicker answer from the community. If you have a customization question or a question that has no single correct answer, other users can weigh in with their experiences or opinions on the subject matter.


    The decision to make a case public is ultimately up to you, but we encourage it whenever possible. Sharing cases and solutions with the community will only shorten the response and resolution time for your question. There are actually two main public communities: a support community and a developer community. As a general rule of thumb, Support engineers frequent the support community and answer usage questions or address problems and developers keep tabs on the developer community and answer customization questions or talk about possible new features -- but there is a generous overlap between the two communities and who participates in them.


    Can I still keep track of this case in the Jive Support Community?


    Yes, public cases are treated the same as a private case. It will still show up in your Case view in your company's Jive Support Community and it is still tracked and addressed by the Jive Support team.