For over 20 years we've been supporting thousands of our customers around the world. One thing that is very inconsistent is the information received when a customer asks for support.
I would like to outline what you can do to make sure we, or any vendor, can provide top notch support as quickly as possible.
First and foremost, do NOT send screen captures or images unless we request them. Especially if they are job logs, commands that were run, or other displays.
It's just as easy these days to copy and paste text from your 5250 emulation software than it is to send an image. This allows us to copy and paste information from the data (which is impossible using screen capture images). It also makes the emails smaller, take less bandwidth. Also, when sending large images they can really mess up the view of the email as it can stretch the end of the lines of text past the end of the screen.
When sending job logs, send them in text or PDF format (more on that later).
Some customers may only use one piece of software and not thing about sending this information. But the name of the software and version of that software is a great start. The name of the software is normally pretty straightforward, but the version can be tricky to find in some cases.
See this new article for instructions on how to find the version for software from BVSTools.
This may seem trivial, but sometimes we can't get all this information just from the your email address.
Providing your machine's serial number and model number also helps us pinpoint who we are dealing with. We can link the serial number back to a customer and find any notes we may have on you, as well as what software you've purchased.
If you are using BVSTools software you should have a command named DSPMCHINF (Display Machine Information) in your software's library. If you use this to send the information that is even better. But as mentioned before, do NOT send a screen capture image. Copy and paste the text from the screen instead.
This one is almost the most important, which is why we saved it for last to discuss.
We get a lot of support calls and emails saying "Software XXXXXX doesn't work. Why?" What's difficult about this is "doesn't work" can mean one of many things. So, providing a detailed description of the problem as well as a complete job log is invaluable to us when we are trying to provide you with top notch support.
What do we mean by "a Complete Job Log"?
This means we want to see the command that was run with all the parameters you used filled in. The CL source or RPG source just doesn't provide us with enough information most of the time. But, if we can see the command that was run as well as the messages in the job log after it, that helps.
What we recommend is this:
CHGJOB LOG(4 00 *SAME) LOGCLPGM(*YES)
If you are asking for support for MAILTOOL (or the SPL2EMAIL command), here is another article with more specific debug information that you can provide:
Keeping these thoughts in mind you should be able to provide complete information to us at BVSTools or any vendor. The more information the better!