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Strategies for Troubleshooting Actions

The ability to tailor so many aspects of EcoSys is incredibly powerful and unlocks so much value for our customers. When creating or modifying a configuration however, sometimes you don’t get the results you were initially expecting. Then, some troubleshooting is in order.

Let’s look at how this applies to troubleshooting EcoSys Actions and what tools are available to assist in resolving issues. When troubleshooting a configuration issue, the more the issue can be isolated and narrowed down, the more likely that the issue can be resolved quickly. Sometimes the issue is minor in nature and very easily solved. Sometimes it can be more complex. Following these best practices will help to resolve them quickly and efficiently, whether on your own or with the help of EcoSys Customer Support.

Starting the troubleshooting process:

  • Has it ever worked in the past?
  • What stopped working?
  • When did it stop working?
  • Are there cases where it works, and cases where it doesn’t work?
  • Is it affecting every user or isolated to a single user?
  • Always make a copy! Copy configuration objects in question to use for troubleshooting and testing various test scenarios to isolate the issue. This way the original configuration that is being used for troubleshooting can be preserved and any enterprise screens or modules with the Action will not be affected.

The definition area for Actions should be analyzed for correct configuration when troubleshooting. Actions perform various tasks within the application in an automated way per the rules that have been defined and configured. The configuration will vary greatly according to the Action type and task the Action is to perform. The following bullets help identify common configuration issues to check when troubleshooting.

  • Check if the correct Action Type selection was made on the General tab. The Action Type defines what the action is going to accomplish, such as Updating, Deleting, Copying, etc.
  • Check if the correct Subject Area (Cost Object, Task, Transaction) is selected for what type of Data is being worked on.
  • Check that the correct Fields have been added to utilize the desired data in the Action.
  • Check the configuration syntax and data type in the Parameters tab.
  • Check if Parameters are plugged into the correct fields and the operators are correct.
    • Check in Row Filters for correct fields and operators.
      • Do you want an “equals selection” operator instead of “equals or under” to target specific data?
    • Check in Column Filters to verify if Parameters are set within Cost, Unit, or Formula fields that require filtering based on User input.
  • If there are Allowable Values being used, verify where it is being utilized and that it is filtering correctly.
  • If there are Default Values reports used, the Report’s Field IDs must match the Action’s Parameter IDs and resolves to the correct format (internal ID, ID, Name, etcetera).
  • Check to validate Parameters have been applied correctly to a Looping Report if the Option is enabled.
  • Check to make sure the Update Logic has been configured correctly (if applicable). Check that the correct field has been selected for the appropriate logic and then check that the correct logic selection was configured.

The Update logic tab is available based off of the Action Type selected, such as Update or Copy, which require that we specify how the data is modified by defining rules.

  • The logic selections are explained below:
    • Use original value = keeps the field the same
    • Set value to blank/empty = erases value. If using as a reversal Action, should a value be  set to blank/empty or to the prior value?
    • Set value to constant = sets to a new value, as selected. The user must select the value or have a constant. If using a parameter as a constant value, check the ID syntax.
    • Lookup value from constant = allows users to specify a string value as a constant, used to look up the hierarchy path id/id matches to make the assignment
    • Lookup value from field = allows users to specify a string value by picking from a dropdown that is then used to make the match

The field must be added in the Fields tab in order to be available for use in the Update Logic tab.

  • If using a Looping Report, the radio button and report must be selected on the Options tab.
    • The Looping Report’s Field ID must match the Action’s Parameter ID.
  • When troubleshooting Actions, recreate the Action as a spreadsheet and see what happens when the spreadsheet performs the same events as the Action. If the issue cannot be recreated from a spreadsheet using the same scenario as the Action, there may be a flaw in the approach being taken with the Action configuration.

Record & Review the Action Progress in Batch Job Log

In the Actions definition area, in the Options tab, we have the ability to enable “Record progress in Batch Job Log”. This enables tracking of the data being updated by the Action and display the progress in a batch job log. This is an important option for troubleshooting, but must be enabled on the Options tab.

Once this feature is enabled, the Batch Job Log can be reviewed during troubleshooting to learn more about the erroring Action. The Batch Job Log screen is where all the Actions that have taken place in EcoSys can be viewed, which are considered to run as batch jobs. The log tracks multiple Actions simultaneously. Progress of these Actions, or batch jobs, can be viewed here and any errors or skipped data will be easily recognized in the log that is generated while these jobs run. The items can be easily identified and then the appropriate Actions can be taken to resolve any issues.

The batch job log can be used to view all batch log events. For details on using the Batch Job Log see the topic View Batch Job Log in the Hexagon PPM Documentation website.

Email Notification Type Actions

Email Notification Actions have unique configurations which contain an Email Settings tab. Many common issues with Email Notification Actions, including error messages or problems sending or receiving emails, can often be resolved by checking and correcting the fields in this unique tab.  Follow the troubleshooting tips below to help identify and resolve common Email Notification Action configuration issues:

  • If the Action is an Email Notification type Action and using system fields, check to make sure the fields used are entered correctly. System fields are case sensitive and cannot contain spaces.
  • If workflow email notifications are desired but not working or vice versa, check that the ‘Send email notifications’ box is checked or unchecked on the General tab of the visual workflow.
  • The Email log should be checked to verify email sent success. If there is an error it will indicate if it is an issue with the mail server, the user’s email address/email security, or the Action itself.

Save Actions

If an Action is being used as a Save Action, troubleshooting involves analyzing not only the configuration of the Action but the configuration of the object that the Save Action is plugged into. Action types that can be used as Save Actions are: Copy, Email Notification, Execute, and Update. To troubleshoot Save Actions, the Save Action itself should be run to verify that it runs correctly. If the Action does not successfully run, the troubleshooting step outlined above should be taken to correct. After troubleshooting the Action and confirming that it runs correctly, the configuration element the Save Action is used in can be run again. If the desired result is not successful, the issue is with the configuration element.

When troubleshooting Actions, there are many screens and configuration details to analyze.  Actions have different definition tabs and purposes which need to be tested and fixed differently. Being aware of these differences/areas and the best practices can help. Troubleshooting Actions can be challenging but using these tips can help in the process of elimination to narrow down and find the issue.


If you are interested in learning more about Actions, the TECO2200 Advanced EcoSys Configuration course provides training on Actions and has several Action and Action Batch exercises, which aid in the understanding of the configuration and running of Actions. Or if you are interested in exploring troubleshooting further, the NEW TECO3100 Advanced EcoSys Admin & Troubleshooting course focuses on admin troubleshooting, including looking at Default Values reports in Actions, Reversal Actions and Action Batches for control configuration, using Advanced Commands in troubleshooting, and  troubleshooting an Action using Update Logic.  Check out our training page for more information or to register today!