Course13:IT Connect - 11.1 How to create a support ticket

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This book explains how to gather relevant information to create a support ticket.

Contents

The support process

Generally, if you are eligible for vendor support, you can create a support ticket as described below.

A ticket is meant to screenshot.png deal with a single issue. If you have more than one issue at hand, be sure to open a separate ticket for each of them.

All communication regarding this ticket is done via E-Mail (even though support personal may choose to call you for details or to do a remote support session).

When the issue is resolved, the ticket will be closed.

As written in the Introduction book (page Support) of the Preparation course, real-time support is possible in special cases. If you know that you will have a difficult installation ahead, you can let us know at least 5 workdays before. If so, we might be able to schedule a support person that is dedicated to your installation and may be called right away in case of problems (call the switchboard at +49 7031 73009 0 and ask for the support person assigned to your case).

Before contacting innovaphone support, we recommend that you contact your local innovaphone distributor. He knows the most common innovaphone topics, can help you with many support-related enquiries and eases communication by speaking your local language. Your distributor might offer also a phone hotline or some additional onsite-support. If this is a training offered in the training facilities of a distributor, please ask your trainer to present their local support offer.

Creating a support ticket

The way to create a support ticket is to send an E-Mail to support@innovaphone.com. A few minutes later, you will receive back an screenshot.png automated response that tells you the ticket number.

You should keep this email and use it if you want to respond to innovaphone support personal regarding this ticket. Simply reply to this email then (you can as well reply to just any E-Mail you will receive regarding this ticket).

Your new ticket will be handed to a person known as the dispatcher. The dispatcher will look at the case and determine if all information is present that will be needed to deal with the problem. If so, it screenshot.png will be dispatched to an appropriate support specialist who will work on the ticket. It is thus of utmost importance that you screenshot.png include as much information as possible in your initial email already. If you fail to do so, the dispatcher most likely will screenshot.png come back to you saying "we also need this and that information to work on your ticket". This is wasting our and - more importantly - your precious time!

So if you send an E-Mail saying "I have an important issue, please call me soon" you simply will loose a lot of time until the dispatcher comes back to you saying "we need more information".

We'll discuss how to prepare relevant information later in this book.

Support versus Presales tickets

A support issue is an incident where your system, although it is is configured correctly, does not behave as specified.

In contrast to that, if your system does not behave as intended because it is not configured according to the requirements, then you can still open a ticket. However, this is then known as a presales ticket and you would send it to the presales team (which can - not that much surprisingly - be reached as presales@innovaphone.com). They will give advice how to set up the system so that your (or your customers) requirements are fulfilled.

Responding to a ticket

We will eventually send you E-Mail regarding your ticket. If the sender assumes that you need to respond before we can proceed with the ticket (there will be screenshot.png a note "we are expecting your feedback" in the signature of this email then), we set the ticket state to "feedback" internally and we will not do work on the ticket unless you respond!

So even if you think there is no feedback required or you don't know what to respond, be sure to answer to the E-mail. Otherwise, the ticket will get stuck.

Ticket content

When you create a ticket (by sending an initial email to support@innovaphone.com) you need to provide a certain amount of information. We will got through this in the remainder of this chapter

Your identification

You do not need to identify yourself in a special way in your E-Mail. We usually associate your case with your company and hence infer your support status based on your E-Mail address.

However, you may be forced to use a different (e.g. private) E-Mail address. In such a case, please note your "real" name and E-Mail address in the text so we can find you in our records.

Also, it often makes sense to call you regarding your ticket. Although we might have your phone number on record, it is much easier if you just screenshot.png note it in the text. If you include a line in the format
@phone +12 (345) 6789
we can call you with a single mouse click, which is greatly appreciated!

Problem description

We receive a lot of tickets saying "feature xyz does not work, do you know this issue?".

Guess what? This is not going to be every supporters darling!

It is a rare case that 2 customers actually have the same issue. Most of the time, they are subtly different and it is a waste of time to guess that it might be a known issue.

So be sure to include a screenshot.png good description of the issue you need to have resolved!

A simple guideline is:
  • describe what needs to be done to reproduce the issue
  • describe what actually does happen in your installation when you reproduce the issue
  • describe what you expect to happen in contrast to that

     

E-Mail format

Our ticketing system is text-only.

So please screenshot.png do not include
  • embedded pictures
  • bold, italicized, colored or otherwise made standout text
  • specially formatted text like tables
in your email. It will just get lost!

You may (and should indeed) send relevant screenshots, pictures and drawings along with your case. But please do not send them as embedded pictures. Instead send them as attachments and be sure to give them meaningful names (for example, do not call them image1.png, image2.png etc.)

In very rare cases, attachments may get huge so that they are rejected by either your or our E-Mail system. In this case, use FTP (see fish-help.png FTP upload).

Configuration data

We will need the configuration data of your system. Investigating issues without knowing the exact configuration generally is a waste of time.

So we will need:
  • config files of all relevant devices
  • dump files of all relevant App service instances
  • local configuration of related myApps clients

     

Traces and logs

Also, we need to know what is going on in myApps, your app services and your other devices when the issue occurs.

For this we need:
  • myApps console logs
  • system syslogs
  • event and alarm status
  • device trace files
  • app service diagnostics
We will discuss how to obtain all this data in the following sections.

Summary of all your current tickets

See fish-help.png Understanding the innovaphone trouble ticket status page for how to see a list of all your open tickets.

Creating a support ticket

This section walks through the creation of a full support ticket. It is meant to be done as homework exercise (in other words, not here in the on-site class).




Enough theory, let's go for it and create a support ticket. First of all, to gather all the information, screenshot.png create an empty directory on your PC's download folder and call it ticket.

The issue


As you remember, a support ticket is meant to resolve an issue where the system does not behave as specified. So we need such an issue - something that goes wrong in our system.

Here's our fictional problem:
  • customer reports that sometimes incoming calls are not shown in the phone App's call list (history)
  • customer says that he can reproduce the issue whenever he is called by one of his buddies. Calls from or to other persons are shown as expected

Creating the data

Generally, the way to create the data to be included in the ticket is as follows
  1. try to reproduce the issue
  2. think of which devices are involved (see below)
  3. prepare the system and devices to create the data files
  4. clear previous log/trace data
  5. reproduce the problem
  6. collect the data

Where to collect the data from
To create the relevant data files for your ticket, you need to determine the relevant Apps, devices and clients.
  • As the PBX is the heart of all of it, you will always want to include the data from your PBX device
  • likewise, the Users App is always relevant, as it mirrors the PBX's user data
  • if any App is involved, you will want the respective data from your App platform
  • if myApps is involved (either native or web), you want to include the browser logs from your PC
  • if an additional device is involved (e.g. if the issue involves an analogue phone attached to an FXS gateway, a SIP trunk running on a separate box etc.) you will also want to include the data from this device
If you're in doubt, include all of it!

Reproduce the issue

To understand which devices are involved, we need to know how to reproduce the issue. In fact, it is pretty easy to do so in our case:
  • open myApps
  • to get a fresh call list, start the Calllist App
  • and video2.png clear the call list
  • then start the phone App (hq IP Phone IP232)
  • and video2.png add Lisa to your list of favorites
  • now call yourself (10) from Jean (12)
  • as expected, the call is video2.png shown in the phone App's history
  • then call yourself (10) from Lisa (11)
  • as described by the customer, the call is video2.png not shown in the phone App's history


For our fictional support issue, the determination of the devices involved is as follows
  • as always, we need the PBX and Users App data
  • the issue's symptoms can be seen in the phone App
  • also, as it is somehow related to the call lists, the Callist App is relevant
  • the symptoms can be seen in myApps, so its browser logs are relevant
  • there might be something wrong with the calling phone (hq IP Phone-IP111-lsv) or the called phone (hq IP Phone-IP232-invalid member reference '.username' in 'username'), so let us assume their data is also relevant

Preparing devices to write logs

innovaphone devices can write log files to the Logging App service instance. The Install has already screenshot.png configured the URL to write to and the credentials as part of the screenshot.png Alarm server Global device configuration job in Devices.

However, we still need to verify the current log levels. When not instructed to set them otherwise by innovaphone personnel, it is always a good start to tick
  • PBX Calls
  • Gateway Calls
  • H.323 Registrations
on all devices where affected calls flow through.

For our fictional ticket issue, the call would flow
  • from Lisa's phone hq IP Phone-IP111-lsv
  • through the PBX PBX - hq.dvl-ckl2.net
  • to your phone hq IP Phone-IP232-invalid member reference '.username' in 'username'
  • go to Maintenance / Logging in the advanced UI
  • tick the PBX Calls, Gateway Calls and H.323 Registrations check-marks
     

Preparing devices to write traces

innovaphone devices (but not the App platform) can write trace files to the Files (or Backup Files) App service instance. For this to work, we need to create and share a folder.

We will use a video2.png new folder in Backup Files for this:
  • open Backup Files in myApps
  • create a new folder called ticket in the root
  • share it (using User ticket and Password ticket)
  • obtain the folder's URL (http://apps.dvl-ckl2.net/dvl-ckl2.net/backup-files/root/ticket) and copy it to the clipboard
  • un-share the folder again (we un-share the folder for now because we do not want to capture the traces prematurely)
We now have to setup all relevant devices (Lisa's phone hq IP Phone-IP111-lsv, the PBX PBX - hq.dvl-ckl2.net and your phone hq IP Phone-IP232-invalid member reference '.username' in 'username').
  • open Devices in myApps
  • select the Devices tab
  • for video2.png each relevant device:
    • click on the device in the left pane
    • click on the Admin UI tab on the right
    • select Services / HTTP / Client
    • in the Authenticated URLs table add a new entry with
    • click on OK
    • select Maintenance / Tracing
    • tick the Enable RPCAP check-mark
    • copy the URL of your ticket folder (http://apps.dvl-ckl2.net/dvl-ckl2.net/backup-files/root/ticket) in to the Write PCAP to URL field
    • if innovaphone support personal has instructed you to tick specific trace flags, do so.
      If not, tick H.323 Signaling, Phone (on phones only of course) All IPv4 TCP/UDP Traffic and All IPv4 TLS Traffic by default
    • click on OK

Preparing myApps to write logs

The native myApps (both on Windows and on Android/iOS) can write trace files with various trace levels. When you are not using native myApps (that is, when you run it directly in your browser), limited logs can also be obtained from the browser console and the exact method depends on the browser used. We therefore recommend to use native myApps to obtain myApps traces.

myApps will always write trace files. However, you need to set the appropriate trace levels before. If innovaphone support personal instructs you to use certain levels, do so. Otherwise use Browser, App Websocket, App and HTTP client by default.

To video2.png do so,
  • start myApps native
  • click on the burger menu on the upper right
  • scroll down to More
  • switch to the Trace tab
  • tick the trace levels you need

Preparing App Services to write logs

To turn on log file creation for App services proceed as follows
  • open the platform managers Apps from myApps
  • select Platform (xxx)/Manager in the left pane
  • click on Diagnostics in the Manage section of the upper ribbon band
  • screenshot.png set the following trace flags:
    • App
    • Database
    • HTTP client
    • HTTP file
    • WebSocket client
    • App WebSocket
    • WebDAV service
    • Command
    • Config
  • save the settings by clicking on the Save button
  • for each relevant App service (Users in our case)
    • select Installed apps/Users in the left pane
    • click on Diagnostics in the Manage section of the upper ribbon band
    • screenshot.png tick the Enable logging check mark
    • save the settings by clicking on the Save button
    • select the relevant App service instance (usersapp in our case) in the main window
    • click on Diagnostics in the Manage section of the upper ribbon band
    • screenshot.png set the same trace flags as listed above for Platform (xxx)/Manage
    • save the settings by clicking on the Save button
The app platform manger as well as the app service instance(s) will now write log files

Reproducing the issue again

Now it's time to reproduce the again so that meaningful logs and traces can be obtained.

The only thing left to do before is to video2.png turn on the sharing on our ticket folder in the Backup Files App. It is important that you do this just right before you reproduce the issue.

You already know how to reproduce the issue, here are the steps as a reminder:
  • open myApps
  • to get a fresh call list, start the Calllist App
  • and video2.png clear the call list
  • then start the phone App (hq IP Phone IP232)
  • and video2.png add Lisa to your list of favorites
  • now call yourself (10) from Jean (12)
  • as expected, the call is video2.png shown in the phone App's history
  • then call yourself (10) from Lisa (11)
  • as described by the customer, the call is video2.png not shown in the phone App's history



Now that we have created all the necessary traces and logs, we are ready to collect the data.

Collecting device traces

Now that we have reproduced the issue, we can collect the trace files. First of all, we need to stop writing traces to the Backup Files App so that current files are flushed out and no new trace files are started.

To stop creating trace files on Backup Files
  • open Devices in myApps
  • select the Devices tab
  • on video2.png all relevant devices (Lisa's phone hq IP Phone-IP111-lsv, the PBX PBX - hq.dvl-ckl2.net and your phone hq IP Phone-IP232-invalid member reference '.username' in 'username'):
    • click on the device in the left pane
    • click on the Admin UI tab on the right
    • select Maintenance / Tracing
    • clear all trace flags (tracing creates load on devices)
    • clear the Enable RPCAP check-mark
    • clear the Write PCAP to URL field
    • click on OK
As soon as this is done, you may also want to video2.png stop sharing your ticket folder on Backup Files (just to make sure that no trace files are accidentally written stored there).

You will then screenshot.png find the trace files in your ticket folder in Backup Files now. Note that there might be more than one file per device. screenshot.png Download all of them to your ticket folder on your PC.

Collecting device configuration

Device configuration files can be retrieved using the advanced UI at Maintenance/Download/Config and saved on your PC:

For all devices (Lisa's phone hq IP Phone-IP111-lsv, the PBX PBX - hq.dvl-ckl2.net and your phone hq IP Phone-IP232-invalid member reference '.username' in 'username') involved, video2.png do the following:

  • open Devices in myApps
  • switch to the Devices tab
  • for each device
    • open the Admin UI tab
    • navigate to Maintenance / Diagnostics / Download / Config
    • click on download with standard password
    • save the file to your ticket directory
It is absolutely essential that you
  • use the download with standard password link (not the download link)
  • do not change the file name

       


Collecting Apps traces

To video2.png obtain the Apps traces information:
  • open Apps in myApps
  • click on Platform (...) / Manager
  • then click on Save next to the Log file: prompt
  • save the file to your ticket directory
  • click on Installed apps / Users
  • click on the relevant instance (most likely usersapp, as you probably have no other)
  • then click on Save next to the Log file: prompt
  • save the file to your ticket directory


If other apps (e.g. reporting) may be involved, repeat the last step for each of them. For example
  • click on Installed apps / Reporting
  • click on the relevant instance (e.g. reporting)
  • then click on Save next to the Log file: prompt
  • save the file to your ticket directory
(Further Hints) Again, do not change the file names!

Collecting Apps configuration

  • open Apps in myApps
  • click on Platform (...) / Manager
  • then click on Backup in the top ribbon
  • in the popup window, click on download
  • save the file to your ticket directory
  • click on Installed apps / users
  • click on the relevant instance (most likely usersapp, as you probably have no other)
  • then click on Backup in the top ribbon
  • in the popup window, click on download
  • save the file to your ticket directory

If other apps (e.g. reporting) may be involved, repeat the last step for each of them. For example
  • click on Installed apps / reporting
  • click on the relevant instance (most likely reporting, as you probably have no other)
  • then click on Backup in the top ribbon
  • in the popup window, click on download
  • save the file to your ticket directory
(Further Hints) Again, do not change the file names!

Collecting myApps configuration

myApps web stores its configuration in the browser DOM storage (more precisely, in the Local Storage). This is entirely under the control of the browser and the way to get at it is therefore depending on the browser used.

In any case, first create and edit a file called myAppsLocalStorage.txt in your ticket directory.

myApps native (Windows)

To save your myApps configuration:
  • right-click and select Inspect just anywhere in the myApps client
  • a new window called development tools appears
  • in this window, select the Application tab
  • select Storage / Local Storage / https://localhost:xxxx
  • copy the Values of the Keys appclient-config and appclient-model to your myAppsLocalStorage.txt file and save it

myApps running in Chrome (Windows)

Chrome for Windows behaves like the Chromium browser we use in myApps native on Windows. So the procedure is as outlined above, except that you do not find (and hence not copy/save) the appclient-config key.

myApps running in Edge or Firefox (Windows)

  • when in the myApps client, press F12
  • a new split-screen with developer tools is shown
  • select the Storage tab
  • select Local Storage / http://yourlocation.yourdomain (e.g. http://hq.dvl-ckl2.net)
  • copy the Value of the key appclient-model to your myAppsLocalStorage.txt file and save it

myApps native running on iOS or Android

currently not possible
     

Collecting myApps traces

As opposed to myApps native, myApps web does not write trace files. Therefore, it is always better to reproduce an error with myApps native (either on Windows or iOS/Android).

myApps native (Windows)


To video2.png collect the trace files from myApps native on Windows:
  • right-click on the myApps taskbar icon
  • select Open trace file
  • a new explorer window is opened
  • in this window, select all .txt type files
  • also, if present, select all .dmp type files
  • copy the files to your local ticket directory

myApps native running on iOS or Android


on your mobile phone,
  • open the myApps burger menu on the upper right
  • unfold the More section on the bottom of the burger menu (next to the three dots)
  • switch to the tab with the exclamation mark in the magnifying glass
  • send the trace file to yourself by E-Mail and save it to your local ticket directory
     

Collecting Events

  • Open the Events App in myApps
  • screenshot.png download all events to your local ticket folder

Collecting Alarms

  • Open the Alarms App in myApps
  • screenshot.png download all events to your local ticket folder

Composing the E-Mail

Now that you have all the information at hand
  • video2.png zip all files from your local ticket folder (Further Hints) except for the files of type .txt! It is important that you do not zip the .txt files as our ticketing system does some automated analysis of such files
  • delete the files you have zipped before (that is, everything except the .txt and the .zip file)
  • compose a new E-Mail to mail.bmp support@innovaphone.com with subject ITConnect sample issue
  • attach all .zip and .txt files from your local ticket directory to this E-Mail
  • add the following information to the mail body (as discussed above)
    • Your identification
    • Problem description
  • send the E-Mail
(Further Hints) In some cases, there will be one or more huge files of type .dmp (e.g. myApps#131983#2019-07-16#16-18-06#1.dmp) in your ticket folder. You can not send those by E-Mail (not even if zipped). So make sure you upload those separately as explained in fish-help.png FTP upload!
     


(Further Hints) Do you always use support@innovaphone.com?

In fact, no. There are a number of other mail addresses you can use and using them properly certainly will save you some time. However, if you are in doubt, you can always send to support -- they will dispatch your E-Mail to the right queue, although this may take a little extra time.

Here are some more destinations:
  • support@innovaphone.com
    Use this if your innovaphone product does not behave as specified although it is configured correctly
  • presales@innovaphone.com
    Use this if you are not sure how to configure your innovaphone product so that it behaves as intended
  • license@innovaphone.com
    Use this if you have issues with any of the licenses used or required for your innovaphone product to behave correctly (including proper use of my.innovaphone.com)

So what was the issue here?

Support will eventually determine the root of your issue and let you know how to fix. In this case however, you might have guessed it, there is nothing wrong.

(Further Hints) The behavior is by design!

The reason for this is that the phone app tries to keep your work space as tidy as possible. So it hides all calls from or to one of your buddies (in your favorite list) in the call list. It is shown along with the favorite entry anyway wink

If you need to see the full call list, use the Callist App!
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