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Topic Title: Step number -1 failes
Topic Summary:
Created On: 05/18/2018 01:16 AM
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 05/18/2018 01:16 AM
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MaikenRs
n00b (>6 posts)

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Joined: 05/11/2018

After updating from v9 to v11 I have a problem with tasks stopping at "Step number -1" and then needs to be stopped manually. The tasks either up/download from FTP or add/copy files from other servers in the network.

I have tried the solution found in a similar post, to change the settings.
Interactive settings:
When workstation is logged on: Logged on user
When workstation is logged off: Logon specified user
When workstation is locked: Unlock using specified user

Background settings:
When workstation is logged on: Background user
When workstation is logged off: Run as background user
When workstation is locked: Run as background user


Have also tried all other possible combinations but it just wont work. What can I do? It is about 6 different tasks with the same problem.
Tried making a task that without any interaction with FTP or any servers in the network and the task never failes this way.
 05/18/2018 11:12 AM
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HughKenworthy
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Joined: 05/18/2018

We also get the random -1 error. Has anybody got an explanation for this. We also migrated from A9 to A11
 05/18/2018 11:29 AM
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Hamid Noorbakhsh
HelpSystems

Posts: 454
Joined: 07/29/2008

I am just giving you some general explanation which is not going to answer your issue directly but might help you to figure out what could be causing your issue. Since there is no Task shown, no environment mentioned, it is hard to have an answer, BUT...

If the Task is failing on step -1, it 'usually' means that the first step did not even get to run! Now the issue might be that 'first step', less likely, or it might be before the task actually gets to get to running that step; Task Variable creation/ Loading system constants, or other things needed to get the Task ready for execution. It also might include the credentials you are running under among other things as mentioned int eh first post. If you have Task Variables, please make sure they all imported correctly, and that they do not have reserved keywords as their name. That is first place I would look into, so if you can post the Task for further investigation on our end, I would be happy to look into the issue. The best is to export the Managed Task and add as an attachment so all information is included.

-------------------------
Thank you for choosing AutoMate

Hamid Noorbakhsh | Senior Software Engineer
AutoMate | A Division of HelpSystems
HelpSystems, LLC | T: +1.213.738.1700

Edited: 05/18/2018 at 01:29 PM by Hamid Noorbakhsh
 05/23/2018 07:36 AM
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RobertFarkas
n00b (>6 posts)

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Joined: 06/25/2014

I've experience the same issue, and it has nothing to do with the task. Running v11.0.2.22 with even a light load would create -1's AND tasks with the step field blank in the EXECUTION STATUS window; -1's wouldn't start, and blanks would never 'exit'. This created issues for all the routines that leveraged Priority to avoid multiple concurrent instances as the zombie's would get in the way.

We made two changes so I'm not sure which one helped: upgrading to 11.0.5.8, and disabling ALL the Indicators in System Settings. Due to issues with both 11.x versions we are back on 9.x, so haven't had a chance to try 11.0.2.22 with all the Indicators disabled to confirm if that is a valid workaround / helps.
 05/23/2018 08:41 AM
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BrianG
Apprentice (20-49)

Posts: 24
Joined: 09/08/2016

We have the same issue on a few of our jobs.
The strange thing is that the job does actually run because it sends an email notification we have set up at step 45 to tell us a file wasn't available for download. But then the next step 46 is to "Stop this task and throw an error using custom error text". We then subsequently get the system email with:

Task name: (edited)
Function:
Step number: -1
Time of error: 5/22/2018 8:03:18 AM
Error message: Fatal execution exception: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Computer name: (edited)

If the task does find the file, it send the success email and the task ends normally.
So it possibly has to due with the "Stop this task" step?
 05/23/2018 11:24 AM
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Hamid Noorbakhsh
HelpSystems

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Joined: 07/29/2008

Brain,

I was actually looking at an issue similar to this yesterday. First things first, make sure you are on the latest version. Also it was reported that Error Code 0 was causing similar issue of 'Object reference not set to an instance of an object' and in next release, it will properly throw a run-time exception of something inline with 'Invalid Error Code (Error Code 0 is reserved). Are you using Error Code 0? This ErrorCode 0 will reset all Errors and hence when the engine goes to report the Error, it does not exist. The reason it is step -1 again is because your Stop Task step executes successfully and passes the Error code to the engine. At this point the engine clears the error codes and goes to report an error code passed to it, and can't find it (of course). So this is an internal engine error and it has no reference to the step since a reset signal was sent.

Since the error code can be input dynamically, we can only deal with this during run-time unfortunately all internal errors not related to any step (in this case it is a step execution that is resetting the errors ironically) will not have a step number and will be reported as -1.

I hope this explanation explains why the Stop task might show a step -1 Fatal Exception in the current build.

-------------------------
Thank you for choosing AutoMate

Hamid Noorbakhsh | Senior Software Engineer
AutoMate | A Division of HelpSystems
HelpSystems, LLC | T: +1.213.738.1700

Edited: 05/23/2018 at 01:23 PM by Hamid Noorbakhsh
 05/23/2018 12:29 PM
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BrianG
Apprentice (20-49)

Posts: 24
Joined: 09/08/2016

Originally posted by: Hamid Noorbakhsh

Brain,



I was actually looking at an issue similar to this yesterday. First things first, make sure you are on the latest version. Also it was reported that Error Code 0 was causing similar issue of 'Object reference not set to an instance of an object' and in next release, it will properly throw a run-time exception of something inline with 'Invalid Error Code (Error Code 0 is reserved). Are you using Error Code 0? This ErrorCode 0 will reset all Errors and hence when the engine goes to report the Error, it does not exist. The reason it is step -1 again is because your Stop Task step executes successfully and passes the Error code to the engine. At this point the engine clears the error codes and goes to report an error code passed to it, and can't find it (of course). So this is an internal engine error and it has no reference to the step since a reset signal was sent.



Since the error code can be input dynamically, we can only deal with this during run-time unfortunately all internal errors not related to any step (in this case it is a set execution that is resetting the errors ironically) will not have a step number and will be reported as -1.



I hope this explanation explains why the Stop task might show a step -1 Fatal Exception in the current build.


Hi Hamid,

We actually leave the "Custom Error Number" field blank.
Do you think that may be the same issue as setting it to 0? I can try testing with different number.
 05/23/2018 01:11 PM
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Hamid Noorbakhsh
HelpSystems

Posts: 454
Joined: 07/29/2008

You are correct Brian,
Blank converted to a number will be zero and that is what the issue is. Good catch! I can enter this in our tracking system to make sure there is an entry there from the UI. This of course will not fix Tasks created prior to this fix, BUT going forward will help alleviate some pain!

Thanks for your time and further helping us identify this.

Edit: Well that validation already exist in the UI, maybe you have imported an older version?

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-------------------------
Thank you for choosing AutoMate

Hamid Noorbakhsh | Senior Software Engineer
AutoMate | A Division of HelpSystems
HelpSystems, LLC | T: +1.213.738.1700

Edited: 05/23/2018 at 01:18 PM by Hamid Noorbakhsh
 05/23/2018 01:32 PM
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BrianG
Apprentice (20-49)

Posts: 24
Joined: 09/08/2016

Originally posted by: Hamid Noorbakhsh

You are correct Brian,

Blank converted to a number will be zero and that is what the issue is. Good catch! I can enter this in our tracking system to make sure there is an entry there from the UI. This of course will not fix Tasks created prior to this fix, BUT going forward will help alleviate some pain!



Thanks for your time and further helping us identify this.



Edit: Well that validation already exist in the UI, maybe you have imported an older version?


Yup, these are imported from V10 Automate. So that is why it wasn't requiring us to input one.

Thanks for your help! These error notices were baffling us but since the jobs were running as intended, we left it alone.
Is there a good range of error numbers we should use that aren't being used by Automate?
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