IUG 2001 Conference Proceedings
Table of Contents
The Fine Art of Troubleshooting WAM Problems with the End User
John Wynstra, University of Northern Iowa
PowerPoint presentation available at: http://www.uni.edu/~wynstra/wam/WAM.htm
This also gives helpful URLs and URLs of web instructions from several sites.
Where to begin
1. Local Expert
2. Local Routine
- Must be technology-oriented.
- Must have good communication skills and
- patience in dealing with users.
3. Local web instructions
- Set up first contact point -- reference desk, email address, etc.
- First contact person fills out form.
- First contact passes on problem if unable to resolve.
- Last stop - the local expert.
- These are an absolute must.
- Placement of instructions must be obvious so that users can locate.
- Instructions must be clear to be effective.
WAM Diagram: On campus users have direct access to the remote databases because they have been identified by the system. Off campus or other remote users must be verified by the WAM process before they are allowed access to the remote databases.
The WAM table (example above) is used to set up which patrons can access which databases.
Troubleshooting Tips -- Questions to ask
- Is the service/database currently working? Test to see.
- What is the user's browser, ISP and platform? Note browser specific problems.
- Did it use to work for the user or has it never worked?
- Is it a proxy authentication problem?
- Is the user valid? (Expiration date, ID, PIN, etc.)
- What are the error messages the user is receiving?
- Was the configuration done properly?
Browser specific problems
Local setting problems
- IE 5 works fine with Service Pack.
- If AOL, use Netscape browser instead.
- Netscape 6 has problems, use another browser.
- Can't use IE on Macintosh.
- OEM specific iterations can be problematic (custom versions of well known browsers usually provided by ISPs).
WAM setting problems
- Conflicting proxies -- the user can set up a second browser with the correct
Database specific problems
- Check if Cookies settings are correct.
- Check if Java settings are correct.
- Is it firewall interference? If user is at a company machine, the company firewall may not allow the III proxy.
Training Your Staff
- Check for redirects.
- Check for URL changes.
Schedule a training session
Use staff as first contact, not the expert
- Show staff how WAM works.
- Demonstrate where the system fails
- Go through troubleshooting steps
- Field staff questions
Keeping your Sanity
- Have staff cover WAM in their library orientation/instruction sessions.
- Do not publish direct number or email to the local expert.
- Have staff be first contact so local expert is not swamped.
- But, in the end, don't hesitate to use the expert.
- Don't hesitate to end a call without solving the problem.
- Tap into other experts.
- Learn to laugh.
Toma Iglehart, Austin Community College