How to Maintain Track-It! Help Desk install in Tip-Top Condition!

We have all experienced the dreaded Track-It! application slowdown – the Help Desk server that just gets slower and slower as time goes on. What causes this condition and how to get the database back into tip-top running order will be explained in this article. For starters, the Windows environment is partly to blame for the sluggish behaviour. However, a lack of database preventative maintenance is as much a culprit. Taking care of your Track-It! environment is a necessity and fortunately, fairly straight forward. So, why aren’t you doing it?  🙂 

Many of the performance issues are directly related to the database back-end. By doing regular maintenance to re-index the tables, reducing the log file size and reducing the database size helps to make the Track-It Help Desk application perform in tip-top condition.

help desk

Configure Track-It Help Desk Health Status

Firstly, let’s have a look at how Track-It! can inform you that it’s time to check on itself.

  • Press F9 to open the Administration Console
  • Go to Configuration → Administration → System Health Monitor  Monitored Items
  • In this view, you’ll see three tasks that may or may not be enabled.
  • I would first right-click on the Column Headers and select Customize…
  • Add the Status column to the right-hand side and click OK
  • Now, you will see a Status column with either ‘Healthy’ or ‘Unhealthy’ in it
  • You can Enable or Disable the tasks by clicking the tick mark under Enabled.
  • You can read more about each function if you click on the Description Link

Now, under…→  System Health Monitor → Work Order Generation

  • Ensure that at least one person will be notified should a status change to Unhealthy

Under… → System Health Monitor → Automated Schedule

  • Set up a schedule for Track-It! to run and check its own schedule

Two ways to perform a Track-It Backup

As the designated technician, you’ll receive a ticket in Track-It! Help Desk stating that a database backup is overdue. Remember, this will only happen if you are not performing regular backups.

Track-It! informs you that it’s not happy with the Database Backup.

There are two backup options available to perform a backup of the Track-It! database.

  1. Backup the database with Track-It!’s own TI.exe command line tool
  2. Backup the database using Microsoft’s SQL Server Management Studio

Option 1 – To use TI.exe

Stop the Track-It! Service(s):

sc stop TIPasswordReset > NUL

sc stop TIServiceManagement > NUL

Look at this command line example:

“C:\Program Files (x86)\BMC Software\Track-It!\Track-It! Services\ti.exe Backup SystemRoot=”%TISystemRoot%” DatabaseAdminUserName=<< DB Admin Username >> DatabaseAdminPassword=<< DB Admin Password >> BackupOption=”Full” ServerBackupOption=Full Destination=<< path where you want to store the backup files >>

All entries between << and >> should contain your environments details.

Here, we’re telling TI.exe to back up the contents of the Track-It! installation folder as well as the database. In this instance, we want a ‘Full’ backup.

Start the Track-It! Help Desk service(s):

sc start TIPasswordReset > NUL

sc start TIServiceManagement > NUL

Option 2 – To use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

Stop the Track-It! Service(s):

sc stop TIPasswordReset > NUL

sc stop TIServiceManagement > NUL

  • Open SQL Server Management Studio
  • Log in with your credentials
  • Expand the Databases
  • Right-click on TRACKIT_DATA
  • Select Tasks…
  • Select Backup…
  • In the Backup dialogue window, ensure that the ‘Backup type’ is set to Full
  • Set ‘Backup to’ to Disk.
  • Just beneath that, you can either remove the default / previous backup location and add a new location or use the default.
  • If you select a new location, remember to include ‘.bak’ at the end of the backup file name.
  • Click on OK
  • Once completed you will have a backup copy of your Track-It! database

Start the Track-It! service(s):

sc start TIPasswordReset > NUL

sc start TIServiceManagement > NUL

Everyone knows how critical backups are. Not everyone does the right thing, though. Don’t let the unthinkable happen to you.

How to Re-Index the Track-It Database

From time-to-time, it will become necessary to re-index the database to get the application back into tip-top condition. When this happens, the administrator will receive a ticket stating the following:

Track-it! informs you that it needs a Re-Index

Once again, let’s set this up using Track-It!’s own TI.exe

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel on the Track-It! server, and then click System and Maintenance.
  2. Click on Administrative Tools and then double-click to open Task Scheduler.
  3. Click the Action menu option and then click Create Basic Task.
  4. When the task wizard appears, enter a name for the task and then click Next.
  5. On the next screen, configure it to run at the desired interval (ie. “Daily”, “Weekly”, etc.), and then click Next.
  6. Set the time of day that you would like the task to run and then click Next.
  7. For the action to perform, select the Start a program option and then click Next.
  8. Next to the Program/script field, click the Browse button.
  9. Browse for the TI application (DO NOT select the TI.exe XML configuration file), found under the following directory on the Track-It! server (the exact path may vary depending on how Track-It! was installed):

Track-It! 9, 10.x, and 11.x upgrades

C:\Program Files\Numara Software\Numara Track-It!\Track-It! Services

Track-It! 11.x new installation

C:\Program Files\BMC Software\Track-It!\Track-It! Services

  1. After selecting the TI application, click Open.
  2. In the Add arguments field, enter the following text including the quote characters, making sure that the path is correct for your installation. The default path is shown below.

MaintainIndexes SystemRoot=“C:\Program Files\Numara Software\Numara Track-It!”

  1. Click Next, review the summary of the task that will be created and then click Finish.

As soon as the task has run, the Track-It-TI.log file can be reviewed under the following directory (where %Username% is the login of the user account setup to run the task):

C:\Users\%Username%\AppData\Local\Temp

NOTE:
A common mistake when setting up this command is entering an incorrect path for “SystemRoot=”. If this path is not correct in the command, the following error will be seen in the log:

“Value cannot be null. Parameter name: value”

The scheduled task will now run at the configured interval and will re-index the database tables

Using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

  1. On the database server, open SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Log in to the database server with an SA equivalent account.
  3. Under the database server name, expand the Management folder.
  4. Right-click Maintenance Plans and then select Maintenance Plan Wizard.

NOTE:
If you receive an error in regards to “Agent XPs”, please run the following SQL command in a new query window to enable Agent XPs:

sp_configure ‘show advanced options’, 1;

GO

RECONFIGURE;

GO

sp_configure ‘Agent XPs’, 1;

GO

RECONFIGURE

GO

  1. On the first screen, click Next.
  2. Enter a name for the plan and description if desired (i.e. Index Maintenance).
  3. Click the Change button at the bottom to define the schedule for the maintenance plan.
  4. When the schedule screen appears, you may leave the default of ‘Weekly’ and ‘Sunday’ enabled, or you can change it if desired. It is recommended that the rebuild of the table indexes be run once per week, but you may elect to run it less frequently depending on the usage of the Track-It! database.
  5. Once the schedule has been set, click OK.
  6. Click Next and then enable the Rebuild Index maintenance task.
  7. Click Next, and then click Next again on the Select Maintenance Task Order window.
  8. On the Define Rebuild Index Task screen, open the Databases drop-down, make sure ‘These databases’ is selected, select the name of the Track-It! database from the list, and then click OK.

NOTE:
If you are not sure which database is currently being used, open the Technician Client and click “Help” at the top. Next, depending on the version of Track-It!, click “About Numara Track-It!” -> Session Info, or simply click “Session Info.” The database server and database name will be listed there.

  1. In the Object drop-down, select Table.
  2. Under the Selection drop-down, select ‘All objects’ and then click OK.
  3. Click Next.
  4. On the last two screens, click Next and then Finish.
  5. If the plan was created successfully, click Close.
  6. If you’d like to run the plan immediately, right-click the new maintenance plan and select ‘Execute’. Once complete, click Close.

Conclusion

Many of the performance issues that Track-It! users complain about are directly related to the database back-end. By doing regular maintenance to re-index the tables, reducing the log file size and reducing the database size helps to make the Track-It Help Desk application perform in tip-top condition. Having a well-maintained Database will serve your end-users with a near perfect speed when running Track-It! Now isn’t that worth this little bit of effort to look after it?

You may also want to read the following articles about BMC Track-It!

How to load a Track-It! license file

Embedded images not added as attachments to work orders created by E-Mail Monitor in Track-It! 11.2

E-mail replies cause new work orders to be created even though “RE:” rules are in place

Please follow us on Twitter at @OnsoftSA. Fill in the request form below if you need additional information about Track-It!, or would like one of our consultants to assist you with the license update.

 

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