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    RefWorks and Legacy RefWorks - RCA - February 9, 2020


    This document serves as a Root Cause Analysis of the RrefWorks service interruption experienced by Ex Libris customers on February 9th, 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:

    Feb 9th, 2020 from 09:30 AM until 09:45 AM Central Time.
    Feb 9th, 2020 from 02:40 PM until 03:00 PM Central Time.
    Feb 9th, 2020 from 04:40 PM until 06:30 PM Central Time.
    During the event the legacy RefWorks was unavailable

    Feb 9th, 2020 from 09:37 AM until 12:37 PM Central Time.
    During the event the (new) RefWorks 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 services stopped working intermittently, including export to RefWorks and login with institutional credentials (SSO).


    Technical Action Items and Preventive Measures

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

    • After several hours of troubleshooting we rolled back the server upgrade and reverted to the original legacy RefWorks server

    • Deeper tests will be done before, during and after the next server upgrade

    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.

    Publication History

    Date Publication History
    17/02/2020 Initial Publication



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