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Technical/Application Support

Here's a question that -- at this moment -- has me knocking my head in frustration.

You're working application suppport for a firm that has a client-server enterprise software product with zillions of installations.

Your client phones you, claiming that your software isn't working. You know that it is; you suspect it's something peculiar to his hardware.

How do you prove to him -- ans this is the kicker -- that it isn't a problem with the software short of fixing his hardware problem?

Charlie Grahn
Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Put better error handling in the application, so it tells the end loser whats wrong, precisely.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Sometimes you just have to rub their noses in it.

The weirdest case of that was an application that I had the contract to supply the support for; worldwide, largely email and freephone.  A new installation just had totally strange behaviour, records not properly updated, read locks just being ignored.

Using PCAnywhere (no TS then), I ran monitors on their server and saw that their network was getting lots of physical retries and that Netbios was all over the shop, machines appearing and disappearing.

I wrote a report, I detailed it, I discovered that they had mixed 3Com and 'other' NICs I suggested they just had one or the other, and they didn't believe me and as they only had one major application running it was the one that was blamed.

In the end I had to go onsite, and their hardware vendor accepted there was a problem (this is cutting a long story short).  The site was in Quebec, I was in  England.

They replaced the NICs and that problem disappeared, and of course there was silence from the end user about it.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, February 20, 2003

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