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    RefWorks and Legacy RefWorks - RCA – May 12th, 2020


    TThis document serves as a Root Cause Analysis for the legacy RefWorks service interruption experienced by Ex Libris customers on May 12th 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 lnew) RefWorks and legacy RefWorks during the following hours::

    May 12th, 2020 from 8:35AM until 8:50AM Central Time.
    During the event the SSO service was unavailable.


    Root Cause Analysis

    Ex Libris Engineers investigated this event to determine the root cause analysis with the following results:

    After an upgrade of the legacy RefWorks server some RefWorks Shibboleth service (SSO) stopped working for 15 minutes.

    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

    • We are working to fix the issue and to add monitoring to the service, so it won't happen again

    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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