Houston, we have a problem…

One thing we all have in common is that we have been, at some point, in the same situation and we will end up in it again – troubleshooting. You are trying to get something up and running and for some reason, the system doesn’t do what you need it to do. Now what?

One method to try to get something fixed is using the “try and error” approach. While we have probably all seen cases where we could get something fixed this way, it is probably not the best method and there is usually not much you can learn that way. Besides, how much time have you lost in your life this way already?

As soon as you have opened your firewall completely, enabled all MPRs and put that way you computer into a defenseless state, you have probably bigger problems than the one you are dealing with right now. 

So, what can you do?
Using a structured method is usually the better method. As part of this process, you will at some point be ready to post a message to the ILM forum.

In times where everything has to be as quick as possible, the mileage of what is as quick as possible means varies… It is certainly possible to post a quick message – I got this error, what does it mean. Sometimes, it is even possible to get a quick answer to this question.

However, the vast majority of questions like this end up in a long winded discussions that seem to take forever to come to a point. How can you get faster to the information you are looking for? One option you have is to provide more details about your issue in your initial post.

The editor on this forum does a great job for quick posts; however, some problems may require more details to be outlined efficiently. Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel! This forum gives you all the functionalities you need to provide detailed information.

How so? When you are in edit mode of your post, you will find a little HTML button in your toolbar:

Clicking this button opens the HTML Source Editor that enables you to submit HTML code. In other words, pictures, tables, formatted text and others, here we are! Not to mention a spellchecker... All it takes, to generate the HTML code is a HTML editor such as Expression Web or notepad :-)

You should take advantage of this feature as it can really help you to get what you are looking for.

In some cases, this feature is even indispensible.
In the FIM world, this is true, for example, in case of declarative provisioning related issue. It is almost a physical impossibility to help you with a related issue if your configuration is not known. How can you get your configuration into HTML? If you look at the FIM ScriptBox, you will find tools such as the FIM Object Visualizer and the FIM CS Synchronization Rule Viewer Plus that have an option to copy the HTML code of a configuration to your clipboard. Guess why, this feature has been implemented...

I would like to encourage you to take advantage of these features because I'm convinced that they will help you in the long run. If you want to know how far they can take you, you should take a look at the ILM Greatest Hits articles.

While you can take care of formatting issues yourself, you might wonder what to do in case of pictures. If you need to include a picture into a forum post, please feel free to send an email to ilmforumpics@live.com with your picture attached. In this case, you will get a link to your posted picture back.

If you are in the lucky situation of not dealing with an issue right now, you are welcome to help. You can do this by testing and providing feedback about the scripts in the FIM ScriptBox.

These scripts are a first attempt to make your life with FIM easier. However, there is of course always room for improvements.
Let's do it...

Last but not least, I would like to encourage everybody to leverage the voting feature on the forum. On one side, voting is helpful as it is a very simple way to say "thank you" for the effort someone has put into providing information. On the other side, it is a critical indicator that helps to identify areas you care about.

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To provide feedback about this article, create a post on the FIM TechNet Forum.