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    New & Legacy RefWorks - RCA - December 24, 2020


    This document serves as a Root Cause Analysis of the legacy RrefWorks service interruption experienced by Ex Libris customers on December 24th , 2020.

    The goal of this document is to share our findings regarding the event, specify the root cause analysis, outline actions to be taken to solve the downtime event, as well as preventive measures Ex Libris is taking to avoid similar cases in future.

    Event Timeline

    Service interruption was experienced by Ex Libris customers served by (new) RefWorks and legacy RefWorks during the following hours:

    December 24th, 2020 from 4:00AM until 9:00AM Central Time.
    During the event the Shibboleth service (SSO) was unavailable.

    Root Cause Analysis

    Ex Libris engineers investigated this event to determine the root cause analysis with the following result:

    A deploy of Shibboleth configuration files in the legacy RefWorks servers included an old file with which
    the Shibboleth service (SSO) could not work, resulting in the service being unavailable. 


    Technical Action Items and Preventive Measures

    Ex Libris has taken the following action and preventive measures to avoid such an occurrence in future:

    • The development team worked quickly to bring the service to work
    • Improving the deploy process and adding monitoring to the service, to prevent reoccurrence

    Customer Communication

    ExLibris is committed to providing customers with prompt and ongoing updates during Cloud events. Ongoing and prompt updates on service interruptions appear in the system status portal at this address:

    These updates are automatically sent as emails to registered customers.


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