How to Post a Request for Help That Will Most Likely Get a Response

Discussion created by community-support on Jan 17, 2014
Latest reply on Sep 22, 2015 by MrWhammy MrWhammy
Dear Fellow Sugar Community Members,

It can be frustrating to post a request for help in a forum and not receive a reply that helps the issue at hand or not receive a reply at all. To alleviate some of the frustration, there are a few guidelines that can help elicit a response more quickly. There are plenty of Sugar experts that monitor the forums daily and many are more than willing to lend a helping hand if they know how to help. What follows is a guideline for forum posters seeking help so that the others that monitor the forums can more easily assist.

Check the search results
for a conversation or knowledge base article that may help solve your issue. The Knowledge Base contains valuable content gleaned from community topics, support best practices and technical documentation. This resource are being continually updated so be sure to check them regularly.

If your search proves fruitless, then consider starting a new topic for your issue. Start by choosing a proper title for your new thread. A good example would be "Uploading patch for SugarSuite 4.2.0 error: Please specify a file and try again" because it has some of the error message text and a clue to the situation that surrounds the issue. A not-so-good example would be "Problems upgrading to 4.2.0" because although it specifies a version number, there is not much of an indication to what is the issue and therefore might attract stray posts that do not address your problem at hand.

In addition to title, please select the most relevant categories for your topic.

A proper thread title and category will help people identify the issues quickly and may even help others identify that they have the same problems. Plus, once you choose a thread title you cannot change it so people will always identify with the thread title once you create it. Note: Moderators will modify the subject, tags and related categories of conversations to ensure quality search results and limit duplicate topics.

The next step would be to supply as much information surrounding the issue as possible. Listed below is an example of what type of information that would greatly help others try to address the issue. Granted, one may not be able to gather all of the information but what can be gathered would be of help. And it is always not a bad thing to deliver too much information rather than too little.

Sugar Version (e.g. 4.0.1d, 4.2.0)
Sugar Edition (e.g. SugarSuite, SugarPro, SugarEnt)
Category (e.g. Accounts, Opportunities, Upgrade, Install)
Operating System (e.g. Windows XP, Fedora Core 5, Mac OS X)
PHP Version (e.g. 4.3.11, 5.1.2)
Database (e.g. MySQL 4.0.25, Oracle 10g)
Web Server (e.g. Apache 2.2.0, IIS 6)

Steps to reproduce
1. Clicked on the "Upgrade Wizard" link in the Administration: Home screen.
2. Clicked on "Browse..." button, selected the file as the file to upload.
3. Clicked on the "Upload" button and received error message at the top of the page.

Error message or issue presented
e.g. Notice: Undefined index: module in /var/www/html/sugarcrm/data/SugarBean.php on line 87
Error message was at the top of the page.
Can still see the tabs but no other text fields or buttons on the page.

In closing, the original poster should confirm the issue is solved/answered. It helps in two ways: 1. it boosts the egos & reputations of whoever helped solve the problem, 2. people stop losing sleep over the issue with the comfort of knowing that the issue has been closed. If you had found a previously unmentioned solution in the thread, please post that too if you have the chance so we can use your experience to help others.

To summarize:
1. Check your search results to see if your issue has already been addressed.
2. If you don't come up with any useful results after your search, start a new thread and be conscious of the title you choose for the new thread.
3. When describing the issue you have, provide as much info as possible and give a clear list of steps to reproduce.
4. When you have received a resolution on the thread, confirm the topic solved/answered.

And remember: common courtesy is not wasted in the forums. A gracious acceptance of contribution to the solution can make one's day. A simple "Thanks, that worked!" reply goes a long way especially in encouraging people to help you again if you come across another problem in the future.


**This post was made on the previous forums by user andrewshu. Updated 1/17/2014 by FAQ