“Please send us a sample project.”

If you have contacted Telerik support before, chances are that we asked you to send us a sample project. This is not always necessary, but there are cases when we simply cannot move forward without a project. We usually ask for an isolated sample when we cannot reproduce a specific behavior locally by:

  • following your instructions;
  • running standalone code snippets;
  • predicting or guessing where the problem might be;

We understand that your production application may be large, or include confidential information and complex logic. However, our experience shows that the time invested in isolating a problem before opening a ticket is well paid off. Such tickets require less time for investigation and are usually closed with only one or two replies. The reason is simple - the support engineer focuses on finding a solution fast, instead of trying to find a way to reproduce a particular behavior first.

In almost all cases, a problem can be easily isolated by following a few simple guidelines. Here they are.

Database

Most often, the issue is not database related. It is best to use hard-coded dummy data that allows a data bound component to appear on the page. UI components can work with a variety of data sources, so pick the easiest one to use.

Select the right page

If the issue occurs on one page only, work with that page. On the other hand, if it exists on multiple pages, then it is better to use the simplest one with the least number of components.

Isolate the reproduction steps

Identify the steps that trigger the problem and make a list. Make sure that the steps reproduce it every time.

There are cases where the problem appears from time to time only - these scenarios can be tricky and throw you in the wrong direction. In such cases, make sure that the isolated steps reproduce the issue if repeated a few times. Watch for console errors, as they can provide hints in such cases.

Remove the surplus

The less code, the better. Determine which components are not used in the reproduction steps above. Remove or comment them and try the steps again. If the problem still exists, go to the section below. If the problem does not occur, start bringing back the controls one by one and see when the problem starts appearing again.

Once you remove all components that are not needed to reproduce the problem, you may find out that you can skip the unnecessary steps from the reproduction scenario.

Move to a separate project

Once you have minimized the number of components and business logic that reproduce the problem, copy that page to a new project. Make sure the project builds, runs and that it still reproduces the problem. The project should not rely on data services or dependencies that we have no access to.

There are cases where the reasons for the problem might be in the project settings (web.config, app.config, Startup.cs, etc.), so if you cannot reproduce the problem in the new project, try copying your configuration files as well.

Send the project

ZIP the project and attach it in a support ticket along with the following information:

  • Reproduction steps
  • OS / Browser / Product version / Framework version (all that is relevant)
  • Description of the unexpected or desired behavior. Saying that something “doesn’t work” may not provide all the details we need.
  • In addition, sometimes it helps to send some screenshots or a video that shows the problem on your side. Fiddler Jam logs can help with issues related to network requests.

That's it! Now, our award winning technical support will take over.


About the Author

Iana Tsolova

is Product Manager at Telerik’s DevTools division. She joined the company back in the beginning of 2008 as a Support Officer and has since occupied various positions at Telerik, including Senior Support Officer, Team Lead at one of the ASP.NET AJAX teams and Technical Support Director. Iana’s main interests are web development, reading articles related to geography, wild nature and latest renewable energy technologies.

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