Check the System Activity Log!

Last week, I had a client contact me because a simple Visual Integrator import into the General Journal was hanging. This client is on a very old version of Sage MAS 200 – version 4.05. Testing revealed that the import was writing to the General Journal, but the job was not finishing.

The problem began to snowball: additional Visual Integrator jobs, both exports and imports, were hanging or freezing; users were unable to perform period end close, and task windows were freezing while users attempted to perform data entry tasks. Because the version is no longer supported by Sage, we were on our own to figure out the cause and resolve the issue.

Our first thought was that there was a corrupt system file that was causing the issues, but we could not pin down which file it might be. We tried renaming SY_Workstation and SY_Console, and that resolved a couple login issues, but the VI jobs, period end, and posting issues continued. I asked the client to run one of the imports at the MAS 200 server to truly identify that the problem was with the software and not a change in the network environment (client accesses workstations via Citrix). When the import hung at the server, I attempted to view the System Activity Log to determine whether an error was being generated. The Log just hung and did not display.

After waiting about 10 minutes (it does take awhile for a larger System Activity Log to print or display, and this one was 64 MB), I realized that all of the tasks that were affected – VI jobs, period end, period roll backs – wrote an entry to the System Activity Log. Was it possible that 64 MB was the size limit on this file? Documentation indicates that Sage M4T or SOA tables have a 2 GB limit in the ProvideX database, so we had not considered this to be an issue. When I could not open the Log after copying the SY_SystemActivityLog.M4t file to my laptop, we realized we may have isolated the problem.

Purging the System Activity Log requires all users to be out of the program, and, for MAS 200, shutting down the application server. We also had some hanging pvxwin32.exe processes on the server, so those needed to be forced closed. We then renamed the SY_SystemActivityLog.M4T file and manually reinitialized the file to recreate it.  All tasks that were hanging or unable to complete were now functioning normally. The issue was resolved!

What did we lose by renaming the SY_SystemActivityLog table? Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200 (now Sage 100 ERP) writes the following information to the system activity log: system errors, information regarding completed Visual Integrator jobs, changes to module setup options, including period end procedures, and, if designated, user login information. So, we lost information pertaining to these items up to the time that we renamed the file. To the best of my client’s knowledge, the only persons who ever viewed the log were my partner and I, so they were unconcerned. We also have a backup of the file, and if we need to look back in time for a specific event, we can always access that via Data File Display and Maintenance.

Bottom line: the issue was fixed and the client is happy. And, if we run into a similar issue with hanging tasks, we know to check the size of the activity log.

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One Response to Check the System Activity Log!

  1. “Check the System Activity Log! Another
    Day in Paradise” ended up being a very good article and therefore I
    was indeed very satisfied to discover the blog. Regards-Mel

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