Need help? Following are guidelines for finding the answer, in order of action.
On-line Help & Training manuals
Your first line of support should be the Biotics on-line Help (from the Help menu in Mapper or Tracker, select Biotics Help)
and the installation training manuals (Biotics 4 Getting Started Guide
and Biotics 4 Hands on Training Guide). Biotics help was greatly expanded for version 4.0 and it is comprehensive. The training manuals cover information that is also covered in the online help, but it is set up in a different format.
Bridgeweb Knowledge Base
If you cannot find answers to your questions in the published documentation, the Bridgeweb Knowledge Base should be your next source of information.
All frequently asked questions have been converted into subjects in the Bridgeweb Knowledge Base that can be browsed by all users of the system.
Each time we learn something from one of your support tickets that we feel is universally useful, we add it to the Knowledge Base.
You can browse the Knowledge Base by subject area or search on keywords.
The Knowledge Base includes a section on "Known problems" with which each Biotics user should become familiar.
Your Biotics Administrator(s) should be aware of all problems that occur on your system. This will establish at least one person in your program with a complete picture of
your system, and will enable that person to recognize and diagnose recurring problems. Your Biotics Administrator has had administrator training as well as user training.
Our goal is for your administrator to become an expert on your Biotics configuration.
You can help by making sure your administrator has a chance to resolve all problems before you submit them to the support database.
Bridgeweb Support Database
For problems that you cannot solve locally, NatureServe has established an online Help Desk support database. All support requests made to NatureServe should originate from you by creating a ticket in the support database.
The Bridgeweb Help Desk will help you:
Since the Biotics support personnel work as a team to address your support issues, you are strongly encouraged to follow these procedures for initiating a support request.
Support issues submitted to the Help Desk are accessible to the full support team and are assigned to the most appropriate and available person.
Therefore, rather than directly contacting a support team member, we recommend that you submit an issue to the Help Desk.
This will ensure that your issues are assigned to the appropriate person and that an e-mail or voicemail does not go unanswered because someone is out of the office or working
on another project.
The Biotics ListServ was originally created in response to Biotics users' request for a forum in which they could talk to each other.
As the use of Biotics grows within the network, we are developing a great resource within the network for helping each other.
While the support team can provide support in troubleshooting technical problems in your system, as users, you may encounter issues with which we have only limited experience. Many programs have created new data management methods in response to migrating to Biotics. Examples from various programs include new field forms, data flow checklists, methodology cheat sheets and Biotics Mapper input forms. Many programs have also put a lot of thought into how the revised methodology changes the way they conduct environmental review and share data with conservation partners. We encourage you to use this forum for these types of inquiries.
Guidelines for submitting an informative Support issue
When you encounter a problem using any of the Biotics applications, please review the following questions before opening an issue in the Help Desk support database. Having this kind of information included in your product support item will help us to understand your problem without having to pester you for more details. You may even be able to solve your own problem!
General information to include:
The exact error message that you get
Any screen shots that you can provide
The chain of events that led up to the unexpected result.
Specific information about the records that are affected, such as ids, names, locations, values in affected fields, etc.
Any other thoughts or ideas you might have as to what might be causing the problem. Your observations are helpful and often put us on the right path to solving it.
Is the database up and running?
Is the application server up and running?
Is the network up and running?
Can I ping the server using the server name?
Can I ping the server using the IP address?
Has the user's password changed recently?
Is this happening to every user or is it just me?
Is this happening just in Tracker/Mapper/Administrator/Exchanger or are all Biotics applications equally affected?
Did the system crash, send an error message, or do something unexpected? If so, please provide the following information:
Does this happen every time I do this same transaction or just intermittently?
Does this happen to all users that do the same transaction or is it just me?
Does this happen to any kind of record (EO, EST, MA, etc.) or just a specific type of record?
Does this happen with every record of this record type (every EO, every EST, every MA, etc.) or just with one or a few specific records?
Does this happen with every field in that record or is it just a particular field that is causing the error? Example: updates to EO gen_desc field cause an error, but other fields are okay.
If it's just a few specific records, what could be special about these records? Note the record ids.
Were they newly created?
Were they newly updated?
Is this happening just with plant, animal, or community records?
Is there anything that these records could have in common? Example, all records have something in the eo_data field; all records are S1 ranked; all have areal - estimated locational uncertainty, etc.
What actions did I perform just before this result happened? The exact workflow that led up to the problem is one of the most important pieces of information we can have (e.g., I clicked the Details button in the Find window, I edited field xxx, I saved the record using Ctrl-S, etc.)
What other windows did I have open?
Is this a known problem or something new? Check the Knowledge Base to see if there is a workaround for this problem. It's still helpful if you open an item even if it's already been reported, especially if you can provide us with the above details.
Is my Biotics Administrator aware of this problem?
Am I following the correct procedure for what I'm trying to accomplish? Check the online Help if you're not sure.