RCUG 1 Introducing RootCause

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RootCause User Guide

Introducing RootCause

What Is RootCause?

RootCause is a sophisticated tool designed to help software organizations solve a problem as quickly as possible, ideally from a single occurrence, while simultaneously reducing support costs. Fundamental to this is a tracing capability. We have designed RootCause to make powerful application tracing and root cause analysis as simple as possible.

The fundamental concept is that all of the data needed to debug an application problem is recorded in its RootCause workspace. The RootCause Console Graphical User Interface (GUI) allows you to choose the data to be collected and to navigate the collected data.

When an application problem occurs, the "user" sends the RootCause workspace to the support organization as the problem report. If the support organization has defined the trace correctly, this RootCause workspace contains sufficient information to do the root cause analysis of the problem. There's no need to recreate the problem or ask the user further questions.

The RootCause Console tools are used in the application development and support environments to define what to trace and also ultimately to view the trace data. The application being traced may be run in the development environment as well, of course; or it may be run remotely, on a separate test platform or on a customer's computer, without access to the development environment.

You can choose to deploy the RootCause trace to the application environment after a problem occurs, or you can include RootCause as part of your shipped application so that any time a problem occurs you can immediately examine the data collected by RootCause to perform a root cause analysis of the problem.

Note that RootCause is designed to work on shipped applications. No change is needed to your application or your build processes! The traces will be automatically inserted into your application when a copy of it is loaded into memory; the traces remain only while your application is running, and they vanish afterwards.

Java, C++, or Both?

RootCause is packaged as RootCause for Java and RootCause for C++. This is the user's guide for the C++ version only. You should read the documentation and do the demos that correspond to the version of RootCause you're interested in.

The differences in features between RootCause for Java and RootCause for C++ are determined solely by the license key(s) you are issued by OC Systems. If this isn't the version you want, or you want to use RootCause on native code libraries loaded by Java, or Java run as applets or beans from a compiled application, you will need licenses to enable both the Java and C++ features. For more information see "Licensing", and "Tracing Java and C++ In One Program".

About This Guide

This User's Guide describes version 2 of the RootCause product for C/C++ on the Unix platform. Your feedback is desired, both on problems that you encounter and on suggestions of how the product could better accomplish its goals of solving problems from a single occurrence and of reducing support costs.

Please e-mail feedback to support@ocsystems.com and indicate what version of RootCause you are using. The version number can be obtained with the command rootcause help.

If you are evaluating RootCause, or you are a first time user, we suggest that you install RootCause in a local directory (no special system administrator privileges are needed) and do the demonstrations outlined in CHAPTER 5 - "RootCause Demo".

Then return to this manual to get specific questions answered. If the information is not clear, let us know.

CHAPTER 2 - "Installing RootCause" discusses the installation of RootCause.

CHAPTER 3 - "Terminology and Concepts" introduces some terminology and concepts that RootCause users should know to make best use of the product. This chapter also contains a Glossary.

CHAPTER 4 - "Getting Started" discusses how an individual user would set up to use RootCause after it is installed and gives a quick description of getting started with RootCause.

CHAPTER 5 - "RootCause Demo" demonstrates how to apply RootCause to a simple program.

CHAPTER 6 - "Deploying the RootCause Workspace" explains how to define a RootCause trace session at your local site and then send it to a remote site to do remote debugging.

CHAPTER 7 - "RootCause Files and Environment Variables" discusses the environment variables and files that affect RootCause.

CHAPTER 8 - "RootCause GUI Reference" describes the RootCause Graphical User Interface in detail, briefly describing each dialog, menu item, and button.

CHAPTER 9 - "RootCause Command Reference" describes the rootcause command line.

CHAPTER 10 - "Selected Topics" contains technical discussions for issues of interest to RootCause users.

Problems and platform-specific issues are discussed in the Release Notes for the current release of the product.

Check our web site at www.ocsystems.com for white papers and the newest version of the product.

Copyright 2006-2018 OC Systems, Inc.

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