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Purpose

The purpose of this Wiki is to provide a clear understanding of how to identify the root cause of any issues affecting Knowledge Management as well as where to check first, how to identify the relevant exceptions in the trace and how to locate the relevant solutions.

This document takes a look at the initial troubleshooting steps available when encountering problems within KM. It will provide clear guidelines regarding the capture of information relevant to the issue, how to check the default.trc file for further info, and how to use this information to perform an efficient search for relevant documentation to resolve the issue. It should be beneficial both when attempting to identify and correct issues occurring within KM and when simply collecting relevant information when opening an incident with SAP.

Section 1 – Collecting the relevant Information

The Component Monitor

Due to the wide range of functionality and services within KM, it can be hard to know exactly where to look first when you encounter an issue but the first step should always be to check the component monitor. This single resource provides a real time view of the current status of all KM repositories, repository services, KM services and filters as well as the general KMC status.

Navigate to the component monitor through System Administration > Monitoring > Knowledge Management > Component Monitor

Green flags indicate that everything is running without error whereas, the yellow flag indicates that one or more objects in this area are currently in an error state. Clicking on the link to this area dives into the specific objects and you can see the problematic one indicated with the red flag. For example, if I click on ‘Services’ in the screen above, this will take me to the following screen – 

I can see from this, that the various services shown are all green (running) but there appears to be an issue with a scheduler task (scheduler in yellow). Clicking on this then returns the following – 

This shows us that there are 2 CM systems configured in the System Landscape (8153050 and 8153051) but crucially, many of the scheduler tasks are in status ‘Startup Failed’. Therefore, if you were encountering an issue with, for example, Indexing (IndexServiceTaskQueueService), or subscriptions (DailySubscriptions, MonthlySubscriptions), this would be the obvious reason why.

One of the reasons the component monitor is so useful is that if an object is in an error state in the component monitor, it will also display an error message indicating the reason for the error. More often than not, this will point you to the exact cause of the issue. In cases where the issue is due to a misconfiguration, this can be invaluable. In the case shown in the screenshot, we can clearly see that the reason these scheduler tasks are not starting up is due to ‘No CM system assigned to this task’. Accessing the configuration of these tasks, assigning a CM system and restarting the portal will result in them starting up successfully and now being displayed with a green flag in the component monitor.

It should also be noted that if you are unclear as to the exact cause of the error or how to resolve it, in many cases using the SAP ONE Support Launchpad to perform a search for the error shown in the component monitor will return a useful note or KBA with steps outlining how to resolve it –

If you are encountering an issue with a specific repository or service, the component monitor should always be the first port of call when attempting to determine the cause of the issue. It is vital that the relevant service or repository is error free in the component monitor if it is to work correctly.

It should also be consulted in cases whereby the entire KM is returning errors or is unavailable. While the repositories and services might be ‘running’, if the ‘SystemInfo’ entry is in an error state, this means that the KMC is down and requires urgent attention. This would look like the following – 

Often, this can be due to Hot-Deployment but this can be confirmed by clicking on the ‘properties’ link for ‘SystemInfo’ and then by clicking on the ’Miscellaneous’ tab. If it’s Hot-Deployment, this page will indicate which service(s) caused it and at what time it was triggered. A restart of the system would ordinarily clear such an issue.

Error Messages

In many cases, if an error is being encountered in relation to a KM functionality or service, the system will display an error message. This error message is often specific to the scenario you are having an issue with, and in many cases will indicate a possible reason for the error. Case in point, you may receive an ‘Item not found’ error similar to the following – 

This error message literally advises you that the link shown cannot be accessed and advises that either the link is incorrect or perhaps the repository is not accessible. In this case, you could check if this location does indeed exist or using the component monitor, check if the /~system repository is indeed running. Failing that, perhaps the end user does not have permissions to access the resource.

Not only do error messages often give some indication as to the root cause of the issue but they are often specific to the scenario in which you are encountering them. In that case, even if you are unsure of what to check from the error message alone, performing a search for the error message will likely return a SAP Note or KBA which is relevant to the scenario. For example, in the case above, performing a search for the phrase ‘Item not found’ in the EP-KM component area returns two KBAs –

The second of these, KBA 2401420, actually addresses this exact issue.

The Trace Files

While many issues may involve a specific error message being returned, there are also cases where only a generic error message is returned or perhaps no error message at all – just a failure of something to operate in the manner expected. In these cases, it may be necessary to take a closer look at the logs to examine any exception which is being generated in relation to the error. For KM, the log file which is relevant to troubleshooting issues is the default.trc file. This would be especially useful when investigating a generic error such as a ‘Portal runtime Exception’ within which an exception ID is provided – 

Performing a search for the term ‘Portal Runtime Error’ on its own will likely return many hits as it is a very generic term, even when only searching within a specific component area. However, by checking the default.trc file and searching for the Exception ID, we can locate the exact exception at the root cause of the issue and perhaps this may yield more information.

The default.trc file should be accessed and viewed through the SAP Netweaver Administrator (NWA). Provided you are an admin user, you can access this by simply typing the fully qualified domain name of the portal (hostname+port) and appending /nwa to it, eg. –

http://<hostname>:<port>/nwa

To access the default.trc file click on the ‘Troubleshooting’ tab, then ‘logs and traces’ and finally ‘log viewer’. This will bring you to the ‘Log Viewer: Overview’ page. Click on ‘View > Open Expert View’. Then, in the ‘Display Log File:’ dropdown menu, select ‘defaultTrace_00.trc’. This will display the most recent default.trc file –

Entering the Exception ID into the ‘Message’ text field and clicking the filter icon on the left will display only the exceptions containing this ID (and are therefore related to this issue) –

The exception being generated in the trace file will be more indicative of the root cause of the issue rather than the term ‘Portal Runtime Error’ and a note search should instead be performed using the error in the trace.

Section 2 - Searching for Solutions

By now, you might have an error message or exception which can help you find a solution to the issue but it’s no good if you don’t use it in the proper manner. This section will outline the dos and don’ts when searching for a possible solution. First, you should access the SAP ONE Support Launchpad and perform a search on the SAP Knowledge Base. This can be accessed at https://launchpad.support.sap.com/

Not only will this return Notes and KBAs which may assist you with resolving the issue but you can also access SCN Forums, SAP Community Wikis and SAP Help documentation relating to the issue via the tabs along the top of the search results – 

If the issue is returning a specific error message, I would recommend starting with searching for this. Remember to use quotation marks around the term to ensure the search is for the phrase rather than the individual words, ie. Search for “No CM System assigned to this task” –

This returns just two notes, one of which will likely outline how to resolve this issue.

Searching for this same error without the quotation marks would return many more hits (92 to be exact). This would make locating the relevant note quite difficult –

The same applies when searching for an exception from the default.trc. If there is no error message being returned but the issue concerns some specific functionality within KM, then you should tailor the search accordingly. For example, if you are encountering an issue with the Lifetime properties being ignored when using Time Based Publishing, you could perform a search for the terms ‘Lifetime Time Based Publishing’ (18 Notes/KBAs). Alternatively, you can search for the phrase “Time Based Publishing” (21 notes/KBAs) or the terms TBP and lifetime (5 Notes/KBAs). These results may be narrowed down further by confining the results to the EP-KM component areas. In fact, when searching for possible solutions, I would recommend always using the ‘component’ field to ensure that only Notes relevant to KM are being returned.

To restrict the search results to notes only belonging to the relevant application, you must first perform the search as outlined above. When the search results are returned, click on the ‘component’ tab. In the screenshot below, we can see the 18 notes returned for the search for ‘Lifetime Time Based Publishing’. When you click ‘component you see a list of the various component areas the results have been taken from –

Type EP-KM into the ‘Search field’ on this popup and the only components displayed will be those starting with EP-KM

Ticking the checkbox next to these will result in only the 6 Notes containing these search terms and belonging to the EP-KM component area being displayed. Looking through 6 Notes rather than 18 will be a much easier task!

When searching for solutions related to the Knowledge Management application, I recommend restricting the search results as follows – 

  • KM in general – restrict results to EP-KM
  • Web Page Composer – restrict results to EP-PIN-WPC and EP-KM-WPC
  • KMC WIKI – restrict results to BC-COM-WIK
  • KMC FORUMS – restrict results to BC-COM-FOR
  • Portal Drive – restrict results to XX-PART-XYT-PDR and EP-KM

Finally, one of the most common reasons for relevant solutions not being found is the use of customer specific terms being used in the search. Do not include any of the following in your search terms –

  • System IDs
  • Portal address, ie. The hostname of your portal
  • The name or ID of any custom applications
  • The name of any custom created repositories
  • User IDs

To sum up, when performing a search for possible solutions, make sure to use an error message (or exception from the default.trc) where possible, but omit any content which is specific to your system. If no error message is being encountered, search for terms related to the service or functionality being used. Always restrict the search results to the component area in which the issue is occurring.

Hopefully the above information will help you to locate the solution for, and resolve, any possible issues you may encounter in relation to Knowledge Management and Web Page Composer. However, if you require assistance from an SAP expert and wish to contact SAP Support, please provide screenshots of the error message (if there is one) and the default.trc file if possible, as well as the exact steps to reproduce the issue. This will ensure that we can provide a solution as soon as possible.

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