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The Dreaded "Whoops..." Error


Unfortunately, some users will have seen this screen at some point or another, but what does it mean and what should be done about it?

What is this page telling me?

In a nutshell, it means that the application has hit a problem that it cannot progress past so redirects the user to <sitename>

The page name (Error.asp) is generic because, depending on what problem was hit, different verbiage will be displayed, some instructive and some leaving you wondering what happened. For example, the “Whoops…” page will be displayed if:

  • The password reset link is expired or invalid.

  • You go directly to the application URL but your organization requires SSO login via a portal.

  • An invalid request is sent to the application

  • Something went wrong

The last bullet here is what we are interested in for the purposes of this article because the only direction you get is to open a support ticket.

Something went wrong. Why?

The “Something went wrong” screen is pretty cover for an HTTP 500 error, which is code for a server-side problem. It can be caused by a number of things hence the ask to open a support ticket, but whatever it is, it is unexpected and the application does not know how to deal with it, for example:

  • Slow database queries leading to a timeout:

    • We get a server error here because the database has not retuned the requested data within a preset time frame.

  • Broken code or logic:

    • The application tries to do something, but the code it is running returns something that does not make sense. For example, if a particular page calls a function is expecting a certain data type but receives another unexpected type, the application cannot handle it so drops a server error.

  • SQL Exceptions:

    • Similar to the code example, but on the database side where the application is expecting a certain set of data but the database returns something totally unexpected, if at all.


What should I as a user do about it?

As you have seen, there is a range of reasons you may see this screen. So yes, open a support ticket, but support will require data from the user in order to evaluate the problem, determine if it is a known issue or raise a defect. The more information you can get, the faster the problem can be investigated and hopefully resolved.

As a rule of thumb, support (and development) will need the following data points:

Application/User Details

  • Reproduction steps i.e. what exactly was the user doing and how did they get here? For example, “go to page X, open item Y and get the error”

  • Is this only affecting one or a subset of users? For example, is it only one particular Super Admin, or anyone assigned to the Super Admin role? Is it only users on a certain team? Let us know the username(s) if feasible.

  • What does the Tier 1 config look like? Is it only happening in a certain Portfolio for example? Does it still happen if you change the T1?

    • If changing T1 works, how large is the data set we are talking about? Take Epics for example - if we are only seeing an error for the Epics Grid in a certain program, how many epics are in here when compared to others?

  • Often overlooked but also important - what kind of impact is this having to he business other than being annoying to look at?

Technical Data Points

  • A HAR file taken whilst reproducing the problem. Full instructions can be found in the Atlassian HAR file generation KB but in a nutshell for Chrome browsers, open Developer Tools, go to the Network tab, click record if you need to and then start navigating around. Once done, right click on the output and 'Save as HAR with content'

  • With the Developer Tools still open, click on the Console tab. Take a screenshot of any errors displayed here.

  • With the Console tab open still, paste the following script which will reveal any background errors. Please copy/paste the errors in the order they appear in the support ticket. You may also take a screenshot if the errors are small enough, but some are too long to capture everything correctly. (NOTE: you must navigate to the page and trigger the Whoops for the script to work, do not copy/paste the URL):

$.ajax({type : "POST", url: "AjaxFiles/AjaxTag?Type=264", async: false}).responseText.replace("|-|", ",")


Once you have all of the above, put it all in your support ticket and Support will take care of the rest.



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