Inductive Automation
News Room

News / February 14, 2012

How to Expedite Answers on the Forum

Getting help fast is easy on the Inductive Automation Forum. If you’ve got questions about our software, need help getting through a tricky part of your project, or think you may have found a bug, you’ve come to the right place. Please take a minute to read through this guide to get the most out of our forum.

Who Uses the Forum
Our forum sees a broad mix of users and integrators, ranging from brand-new users evaluating our software for a project, to engineers with many projects under their belt. The forum is also frequented by both support staff and development staff of Inductive Automation. Don’t be surprised if your question gets answered by another user instead of Inductive Automation staff; oftentimes they chime in to lend a hand, and provide a valuable perspective.

Before You Post ...
First off, you’ll need to sign up. Don’t worry, we won’t share your email with anyone. Next you’ll want to do a brief search of the forum for similar questions. If someone has already asked the question, you’ll get your answer instantly!

When you’re ready to post, you need to pick which forum to use. Most likely, your post will fall under Ignition Design Help, Ignition Feature Requests, or Ignition Problems. The purpose of these forums is fairly self-evident; take a moment to consider which forum best fits your question.

Do’s and Don’ts
Sometimes forum topics require a bit of back-and-forth to arrive at a resolution. Each time we have to post back for more clarifying information, the longer it takes to answer the original question. Following these do’s and don’ts will help you get a quicker turnaround.

Do provide version number and operating system.
Including the Ignition version number and your operating system will help us understand your problem in more detail. Especially if you’re posting a problem, including the Ignition version number will let us determine if your problem has already been fixed in a later version.

Do post the full text of the error message.
If you post “I’m getting an error when ...” and you don’t actually post the error message, you can be sure that all you’ll get in response is someone asking you to post the error message. Make sure you copy-and-paste the full text of the error message, and don’t paraphrase. If there is a stack trace, post it too.

Do include screenshots.
Screenshots are often helpful to show an issue you’re having or describe a design you’re attempting to make. If you want you, can go one step beyond and record an error using screencast-o-matic.

Do put your code in a code block.
There isn’t much technical know-how to using the forum, but this one is important. If you’re copying-and-pasting code into a forum post, surround it in [code] [/code] tags. This is applicable for Python scripts, SQL queries, and Expressions. If you don’t do this, the formatting (indentation) of the code will be lost, and it will be very hard to read.

Do include a SSCCE.
This is perhaps one of the most powerful tools to ensure your question gets prompt attention and minimal back-and-forth. A SSCCE is a Short, Self-Contained Correct Example. Basically, give us something like an exported project file that we can load up here and will let us observe the behavior you’re describing.

Now, this is often easier said than done. We don’t have your PLC(s) or database(s), so making a SSCCE is sometimes not feasible. But if you can, then please try to do this. Put yourself in our shoes: if you’re describing an issue with the software, we’re going to need to replicate it in order to fix it. A good SSCCE will help us replicate your issue much faster.

Do provide context and background.
This tip is most applicable for design help. If you’re asking how to do something, take a sentence or two to step back and tell us what you’re trying to accomplish. Often you might be going down a path that isn’t the easiest way to accomplish something. We can only put you on the right path if we understand your end goals. We need to be able to see the forest, not just the trees.

Don't use the forum for an emergency.
If your plant is down and you need urgent help, please use the phone: (916) 456-1045.

Don't resurrect old threads.
If you find an old, resolved topic that is similar to your question, please don’t reply to that topic to ask your question. Start a new topic, and link to the old one. It helps us stay organized if each topic has one issue.

Be a Part of the Ignition Community
Our team is working hard to make sure you have a great experience when using Ignition, and the forums are one more tool we use to help us accomplish this goal.

We encourage you to use the forums to get answers to your Ignition-related questions, as well as help others with theirs. By being an active member of the forums you provide valuable feedback about what you’re doing with Ignition and how to make it better, helping us to align the future of Ignition alongside user needs and requests.

We look forward to seeing you on the forums. Happy posting!