Basic Troubleshooting

In the years that I have been implementing FDM, I have noticed a recurring theme.  Administrators & users sometimes struggle to decipher the often cryptic error messages that FDM presents.  This is not for lack of desire or technical skill but I believe for lack of training.  This has inspired me to write this post and share with you some of the basic troubleshooting approaches.

Think of this post as army boot camp.  At the end of it, you’ll be in better shape and have skills that the layman lacks but you are not going to be an FDM troubleshooting warrior.  This takes months or years of training but this post will provide the foundation needed to embark on your journey.

Have you faced this situation?  You go to Workflow –> Import and select a file to import to FDM.  The file fails to import and you get the following error: Data Access Error. 



If you’re anything like me, you think of the Office Space quote: “PC load letter, what the [censored] does that mean?!?!”  While remembering this quote helps alleviate the stress, it doesn’t help you figure out what’s going on.  So after cracking a little smile here’s my next steps.

  1. Clear the User Error Log: This can be done from the Tools menu (Clear Error Log) or by naming the error log file in the Outbox\Logs directory of the application.  The error log is the username.err
  2. Reproduce the Error: Repeat the steps that generated the error.  In this case, try to import the data file
  3. View and Read the Entire Error Log: Select Tools –> View Error Log.  For each error that is reported in the FDM web browser, there are often a set of errors in the log.
  4. Search Oracle Support: If the error log does not immediately help you identify & correct the problem, search Oracle Support for the description associated with the error.
  5. Search Google (or Bing or Yahoo or whatever engine you prefer): A well-formed internet search may produce the solution or point you in the right direction.
  6. Search & Post to Oracle Technology Network (OTN): OTN is a good resource but approach with caution as the board is not monitored for accuracy by Oracle.  Much like any message board, there is a risk of incomplete or inaccurate information.
  7. Log a Support Case: If your issue is not related to custom scripts (indicated by a lack of a line number in the error description), contact Oracle support for assistance.
  8. Contact a Qualified Consulting Partner: If you have a custom script process that is failing and you need assistance, consider leveraging the experience and expertise of an expert.

Ok, so you have the basic steps.  Let’s pick up at #3.  The error log is cumulative.  This means that the last error reported in the web interface is at the end of the error log file.  However as I said above, there are often multiple entries in the error log.  Starting at the bottom of the error log, scroll up and read the description.  Make note of the time stamp associated with the entry.

Great this tells me nothing is what you’re probably thinking.  Well remember, groups of errors so scroll up to the next error.

Ok now we’re getting somewhere.  This might be a big more useful.  Let’s proceed to step #4.  Searching the Oracle Knowledge Base with the error description (highlighted in yellow) yields several articles.  The first article has a title Importing a Source File In Hyperion FDM Results In Error: “Data Access Error” “You do not have permission to use the bulk load statement”  Bingo!  Apply the fix outlined in the document and your problem is solved.  If it is not, then repeat the steps until your issue is resolved.

As you can see, correctly identifying the error description and effective searching are key to resolving most issues in FDM.  But taking the time to do these steps will make your issue identification & resolution far more efficient.  I hope you have found this post useful and have a better understanding of the steps to follow as well as options available for issue resolution.  I’m interested to hear from those of you that might follow a different approach.  Please feel free to share.

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