Exception Manager

Capture, Organize, Prioritize and Resolve Business Exceptions

Owl™ Exception Management is designed to facilitate collection, analysis, and resolution of Application produced Exceptions. Exceptions are individual instances of noteworthy situations. They are based upon the Application’s evaluation that a Business Process, a transaction, an Application component, or a system, has encountered an error, Exception, or other important status change. Exception Management provides a conduit for uniform treatment of Exceptions over a network of distributed Business Services and Applications.

Exception Management can be used in a Project, Business Unit, or Enterprise setting. Centralization of the Exception handling Business function can be at any appropriate level of the organization. It can effectively be used by business users, application support groups, or by infrastructure support groups.

Exception Information — Exceptions carry information about the situation that caused the Exception. Rich Application defined information is used as a key for further problem determination and resolution. Owl supplied information assists in the routing and organization of Exceptions. Owl tags the Exception with the business unit, region, business process, system, and program information from whence the Exception came. Additionally, the Application can define any relevant information that can be useful in resolving the Exception such as the transaction identifier, name of customer, reason for failure, and the name of a processing function that can be used to re-introduce the transaction back into the processing stream.

Exception Life Cycle — Owl manages the life cycle of an Exception from detection to resolution. An Exception can move through the life cycle based on user input or the actions of the Application.

Collection of Exceptions — Exceptions are collected via any of the methods enabled by the Blackbird™ data collection network. This includes directly from Applications written in C, C++, C#, VB, Java (Blackbird™ or JMX instrumented), or Perl, from log files, or from any Application defined Exception reporting mechanism. Collection points are discovered by Owl automatically.

Rule Based Processing — Upon arrival in Owl, Exceptions are evaluated by Rules that examine the content of the Exception. The Rules determine the style and level of alerting that is required. Alerting can result in color changes on Status Maps, and if the Exception requires user intervention, a Problem of appropriate severity is created.

Routing of Exceptions — Exceptions can be routed to other systems for resolution via the Owl Management Platform’s standard publish/subscribe mechanism. The mechanism allows for fine grain filtering of Exceptions, routing different Exceptions for resolution to different organizations, systems, or people. Owl™ can be the focal point for management of Exceptions or can be an Exception collection and distribution point.

Visual Presentation — Exceptions are presented in Status Maps, Exception Lists, and Monitored Entity Displays; as the Exceptions occur and change state. Owl™ displays are organized by what View of Business Services and Applications the user needs to see. Exceptions can be viewed side by side with the Application health and performance data. Access to Blackbird Controls to remediate the Exception are available directly from the same displays.

Business Impact — The Business impact from an Exception is immediately visible in Status Maps based on the organization of Business Service and Application Views in Owl™. Context sensitive features such as showing all open Problems, showing related health and performance metrics, showing all connected components and their health and performance status, showing the associated components and their dependencies; provide a context for seeing Business Impact.

Work Force Management — Users whose job it is to resolve Exceptions for specific Business Services or Applications have organized displays to work from. Exceptions that need user resolution trigger Problems, Problems are organized by View, Severity and Age. Users are alerted immediately to Problems using visual popup displays as well as an audio cue. Users utilize Owl™ as a bulletin board for working Problems by claiming Problems, specifying Estimated Time To Repair (ETTR), and posting informative notes.

Resolution — Blackbird Controls work hand in hand with Owl to enable users to resolve Exceptions. Controls can be used to provide additional knowledge of the Exception, retry transactions, change configuration, or whatever other action is necessary for the process of resolution.

User Access — Exceptions are accessed based on the access control system provided by Owl Management Platform. Access to information is based on the user entitlements in Owl.

Notifications — Users can be notified of an exception via email, fax, beeper or any other form of external notification. Notifications contain the information needed for Exception resolution or routing for further handling.

Reports — Exception Reports provide information about the history of Exceptions. Such information is necessary for Business Process auditing.

Business Process Improvement — Utilization of History information can be used to evaluate the causes of Exceptions as well as a source of Business Intelligence data. For example, Owl™ Exception Management can provide information that describes the state of Data Quality for Business Reference Data, or sources of breaks in transaction processing. In time, as process improvements are made, the changes in the defect rates can be tracked.