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Avalara Help Center

Support Case Required Information

 

 

This document applies to all license types.  Content last updated 06/25/2018.
Help Center documentation is confidential and proprietary to Avalara clients.

Gather as much information as possible when first opening the case to expedite the resolution. 

High-level information

This is critical user information that we need in every case opened to Support.

  1. Start a word processing document and create a Description heading and a Details heading. Then copy & paste the following information into it. When finished, you will attach that document to your case after you create it.
  2. Copy & paste the Web address (URL) ProductionUAT (test), or self-hosted (deployed) into the Description section of the word processing document.
    SnagIt0810.jpg
  3. Select the affected company (some customers have more than one) and then copy & paste the Company Name from the dropdown in the upper left corner into the Description section. 
    SnagIt0839.jpg
  4. Copy & paste the user name from the upper right corner into the word processing document.
    Note: If this problem does not affect you, provide the user name of the person experiencing the issue. 
    SnagIt0801.jpg
  5. In the image above, this customer is subscribed to both Returns Excise Enterprise and AvaTax Excise. Use the name of the service you are using to select the Product Category when creating a support case. For example, this customer would choose Returns Excise or AvaTax Excise, depending on which they were using when the question occurred. 
  6. Copy and paste the Tax session, if applicable.
    • Click the Tax Session in question and choose Schedule Transactions from the context menu.
    • Below the menu, copy & paste the tax session (highlighted in yellow, below)  into the Description section of the word processing document.
      SnagIt0846.jpg

From here forward, unless otherwise specified, copy & paste into the Details section of the word processing document.

Self-hosted (deployed) installations

Self-hosted (deployed) installations need to include detailed information on the environment, since Support does not have visibility to it.  A back-end user login is needed to retrieve this information.

Important: Include this information for all application and web servers.

  1. From each web server, copy & paste a full-page screen shot that includes the version in the lower right corner of the page.
    full_page_with_version.png
  2. Services
    • Go to Admin > System Diagnostic > Services and Queue Tables.
    • Attach screenshots that include the entire grid on the Service Heartbeats tab.
    • Are the services running?  If any are not:
      • For any service not running (grid row with a red X in the first column), attach an export file from Admin > Audit Log filtered to the last heartbeat time.   
      • Filter the Event Name to 100.Exception and click on the grow row with an error.
      • Click once in the large field at the bottom.
      • Select all (CTRL+A), copy (CTRL+C) and paste (CTRL+V) the entire text of each error exactly as it appears on your screen into the word processing document.
        SnagIt0850.jpg
  3. Database
    • Go to Admin > System Diagnostic > Database Version.
    • In the Database Name dropdown select each database in turn (ZMSAudit, ZMSClient, ZMSControl).
      Note: It is possible, but uncommon, for the names to be slightly different.
      SnagIt0851.jpg
    • Scroll down until you see the Database Table Versions tab.
    • Select the most recent version from dropdown display.
      Tip: They may not be sorted in the order you expect.
      Database_Table_Versions.png
    • Export the grid results to Excel.

Reproducing the error

Checklist of questions to answer before opening a case to Support:

  1. Can the user reproduce the error? 
    • If so, list the steps.
    • List any troubleshooting steps taken, and the results.
  2. What was the user's expected results?
  3. Does it occur in Production or UAT test environment?
  4. When was the last time it worked? 
    • What changed since it worked last?
      • Example: software release, new computer, firewall upgrade
  5. Does it happen for more than one user? 
    • If no, what is the username affected?
  6. On what browser and version is the error?
    • Do you have the same problem if another browser is used?
      • Supported browsers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Self-hosted (deployed) installations

Include this additional information.

  1. Have there been any recent network or server changes?
  2. If it only happens for one user, note the roles assigned to working and non-working users.
  3. How is a working vs. a non-working user configured?
    • Include a screenshot showing Jurisdiction access and Company access.

Information from specific filing steps

Return generation

Gather return generation information in addition to the high-level information.

  1. Affected Product Codes.
  2. Specific line on the return.
  3. Export and attach the return history log.
    • The log is located in the Session Details of the return generation.
       SnagIt0804.jpg
  4. Copy of the PDF return, if one is created.
  5. Screenshot of the manual entry screen of at least one affected record, if applicable.  
    • Click the grid row of the tax session and select Schedule Transactions.
    • Choose the Schedule Code from the dropdown to find the actual transaction record.
      SnagIt0828.jpg
  6. If taxpayer preferences are overridden, a screenshot showing the new values.
  7. If applicable schedule validation rules are overridden, a screenshot of each of the overridden rules.

Self-hosted (deployed) installations

Deployed clients should provide details about their technical environment.  A back-end user login is needed to retrieve this information.

  1. Data load file for the applicable session.
  2. For each server, web, application, or DB: 
    • What is the OS Version and when were the latest patches installed?
      • For web servers, what is the IIS Version and when were latest patches installed?
      • For DB servers, what is database version and when were latest patches installed?
    • Gather the disk space, memory, CPU usage information
    • How many instances are installed on each machine?
    • Which authentication method is used to sign in?
      • Example: Forms based, AD, SSO
    • Has any new software been installed on any of the servers, or changes made to:
      • load balancer
      • virus scan
      • firewall
      • network
  3. If the issue is in UAT:
    • Where did the data originate – copy from Production or another source?
    • When was this data last used?
    • Was the date manipulated to reflect current filing session?
      • If so, how old is the data?
  4. The Support team may request various configuration files from one or more of these locations:
  5. Application Services:
    • Website:
      • Website config files are at the root of the website, named web.config.
      • All other config files are 1 level deeper in the folder named Configuration: appSettings.config, connectionStrings.sql.config, email.config, logging.sql.config, membership.sql.config, sessionstate.sql.config.
    • Application Services:
      • Application service config files are at the root of the Service folder, named Zytax.ZMS.Services.<servicename>.client.exe.config.
      • All other config files are 1 level deeper in the folder named Configuration.  This includes AppSettings.config, ConnectionStrings.sql.config, email.config, logging.sql.config, sessionstate.sql.config.

eFile

Gather eFile information in addition to the high-level information.

What step of the eFile process:

  • Generation
  • Extract
  • Transmission 
  • Rejection by the jurisdiction
  1. Screenshot showing the eFile create options when you clicked Add New Record.
    • eFile Version may have more than one option that can be selected, varies by jurisdiction.
    • eFiling Option may have more than one option that can be selected, varies by jurisdiction.
      SnagIt0802.jpg
  2. If taxpayer preferences are overridden, a screenshot showing the new values.
  3. If schedule validation rules are overridden, a screenshot of each of the overridden rules.

Self-hosted (deployed) install

Include this additional information.

  1. The eFile, if one is created.
  2. Export the eFile history log.
    • The log is located on the eFile Viewer page.
      SnagIt0803.jpg

Import

Choose your import method and click it to determine what information we need to help you.

Transactions Import on the website:  Home > Schedule Transactions Import

  1. Gather this in addition to the high-level information.
    Where this says, "copy & paste", paste the information into the Details section of your word processing document.
  2. Go to Home > Schedule Transactions Import.
    • Copy & paste the User, Load Date and Description from the Schedule Transactions Import widget on the home page.
      STI_widget_error.png
  3. Click the row for your import, select the Process Jobs tab and at the bottom, click the Last Page button.
    STI_widget_error_Process_Jobs_last_page.png
  4. Start at the bottom and working up, click on the first row with an Error status.
  5. In the Job Process History Log, click the Filter icon.
  6. In the Status column, filter to Critical. Copy & paste the error message(s) to your document Summary section.
    filter history log.jpg
  7. Self-hosted (deployed) customers only:
    • Include the data import settings.  Filter on 'settings' in the Message column and export the results.
      SnagIt0792.jpg
    • Create an Excel file with a few of the affected records you were trying to import and attach that file to your case.
    • Export and attach any scenarios and/or profiles that affect the data sent.
      • Use Express View > Scenario Details and choose Company Specific, Country and Jurisdiction. You'll also want to use filters to display the scenarios used, and export it to Excel.

 

Data File Upload: Tax Filing > Tax Sessions > click an existing session. Returns Excise Pro's only import method.

  1. Gather this in addition to the high-level information.
    Where this says, "copy & paste", paste the information into the Details section of your word processing document.
  2. Go to Admin > System Activity and find the row for your import file.
    • If the Status is "Passed" and you still think you have a problem with that import job, go to Transactions Validation and continue investigating.
    • For any other status, click the row to view more information.
  3. In the Job Process History Log, click the Filter icon.
  4. In the Status column, filter to Critical. Copy & paste the error message(s) to your document Summary section.
    filter history log.jpg

 

Schedule Transaction Importer (STI): A Windows application separate from the Avalara Excise website.

The Schedule Transaction Importer (STI) application can be downloaded and installed to run on a local PC separate which imports data to the Avalara Excise Platform. It is primarily used only by companies who need custom extensions (data mappers or special functions) for importing their data. If you are interested in having us program a custom extension for you, contact your Customer Account Manager to get a price quote.

  1. Gather this in addition to the high-level information.
    Where this says, "copy & paste", paste the information into the Details section of your word processing document.
  2. Compare the versions in the lower left and lower right corners of the STI application (example). They must be within 2 versions of Avalara's current version
    • For example, if 5.29.xx is current, you can use version 5.29, 5.28 or 5.27 of the Schedule Transaction Importer application.
    • The current version is recommended and may be required for certain features.
    • Custom mappers and special functions have a version that must match the STI application's version.
  3. Copy & paste a screenshot of the entire STI application (example).
  4. Save a copy of the transmission log, located on the third tab of the Importer and attach it to your case.
    STI_app_logfile.png
  5. Create a ZIP file copy of the Configuration folder.
    • Right-click on the shortcut used to start the STI application and click Properties.
    • The STI application's folder is in the Target field.
    • Browse to that folder and you will see the Configuration folder underneath.
    • Right-click on the Configuration folder and click Send to . . . > Compressed (zipped) folder 
      zipped folder.png
    • Attach the Configuration.zip file to your case.
  6. If you are using a custom extension (*.dll)
    • Look for a file ending with .dll in the same folder as the Schedule Transaction Importer application.
    • Right click on the .dll file and choose the Details tab
    • Copy & paste a screenshot of the Details tab into the details section of your word processing document.

 

 

excisehelpcenter@avalara.com

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