IBM Support

MustGather: Sessions and session management problems in WebSphere Application Server

Technote (troubleshooting)


Problem(Abstract)

Collecting data for problems with the IBM WebSphere Application Server sessions and session management component. Gathering this MustGather information before calling IBM support will help you understand the problem and save time analyzing the data.

Resolving the problem

Collecting data for problems with the IBM WebSphere Application Server sessions and session management component. Gathering this MustGather information before calling IBM support will help you understand the problem and save time analyzing the data.

To improve the accuracy of complete data collection, IBM recommends you use the automated data collectors within IBM Support Assistant. Not only will the automated collector gather the equivalent of the manual process, it will also provide a secure file transfer of the collection to IBM.

Collecting data using the IBM Support Assistant Data Collector

    Beginning with WebSphere Application Server V8.0.0.6, the IBM Support Assistant Data Collector (ISADC) tool is bundled with the product and is automatically installed. As a result, you can run the  ISADC tool directly from the app_server_root/bin directory. Note: ISADC is not bundled with the WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile. For more details, see Using the IBM Support Assistant Data Collector.


  1. Using the ISA Data Collector:
    • To run ISADC from command line, go to your app_server_root/bin directory and run isadc.[sh|bat]

      • To download, install and run ISADC locally:
      • Obtain the IBM Support Assistant Data collector online ISA Data Collector site for WebSphere Application Server.
      • Select the option to collect from this or another system using a downloadable utility.
      • Download and extract the zip file to your WAS_HOME directory. From a command line, run isadc.[sh|bat] or launch index.html to use the web interface.

  2. Select the Runtime > Session Management Problem collector and click Start.

  3. Follow the prompts to automatically submit the collected data to IBM Support.

Collecting data manually


Sessions and Session Management specific MustGather information:
The first step in solving a problem with your HTTPSession in Application Server is to reproduce the problem with session tracing enabled. Adding debug code to the application simplifies the task of identifying the problem.

Instructions for setting up the trace:

  1. In the WebSphere Application Server administrative console, expand the Troubleshooting section and click Logs and Trace.

  2. Click the link for your server.

  3. Click Diagnostic Trace.

  4. Make sure Enable Log is checked, Maximum File Size is 100MB, Historical Files is 10, and specify a File Name. You may have to select different values for Maximum File Size and Historical Files as per the frequency of the problem or as suggested by support team.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Click on Change Log Level Details.

  7. In the text box for Trace Specification, enter the following string (type without spaces) depending on the method that you persist session data:
    • Trace strings for V7.0 and V8.0 releases
      • If you do not use any persistence:
        com.ibm.ws.session.*=all:com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.srt.*=all

      • If you use database persistence:
        com.ibm.ws.session.*=all:com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.srt.*=all:WAS.j2c=all:RRA=all

      • If you use memory-to-memory persistence:
        com.ibm.ws.session.*=all:com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.srt.*=all:com.ibm.ws.drs.*=all

    • Trace strings for V6.0 and V6.1 releases
      • If you do not use any persistence:
        com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.httpsession.*=all:com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.srt.*=all

      • If you use database persistence:
        com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.httpsession.*=all:com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.srt.*=all:WAS.j2c=all:RRA=all

      • If you use memory-to-memory persistence:
        com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.httpsession.*=all:com.ibm.ws.webcontainer.srt.*=all:com.ibm.ws.drs.*=all

  8. Click apply and save your configuration.

  9. Stop the Application Server.

  10. Enable a plug-in trace by changing the LogLevel attribute from Error to Trace in the plugin-cfg.xml file. This file is located in the following directory:

    install_root/profiles/profile_name/config/cells/cell_name/nodes/
    web_server_node_name
    /servers/server_name


    For more information on capturing plug-in trace, refer MustGather document for plug-in.
  11. Stop the Web server.

  12. Clear all logs for the Application Server:
    • trace.log
    • SystemOut.log
    • SystemErr.log

  13. Start the Application Server.

  14. Start the Web server.

  15. Reproduce your problem.

  16. Capture the cookie information from the browser by typing the following text in the address bar:
    javascript:document.cookie

  17. Collect the following:
    • Trace file from the diagnostic trace.
    • All files in the following directory:
      install_root/profiles/profile_name/logs/server_name

    • All files in the following directory:
      install_root/profiles/profile_name/logs/ffdc

    • The server.xml file located in the following directory:
      install_root/profiles/profile_name/config/cells/cell_name/nodes/
      node_name
      /servers/server_name

    • The http_plugin.log file.

    • The sessionID that encountered the problem or was captured in step 16.

    • historyReport.html generated by running the tool genHistoryReport.bat or genHistoryReport.sh, located in the install_root/bin directory; historyreport.html is generated in the working directory of where the genHistoryReport tool is run.

  18. Follow instructions to send diagnostic information to IBM support.


For a listing of all technotes, downloads, and educational materials specific to the Session and Sessions Management component, search the WebSphere Application Server support site.

Related information
Submitting information to IBM support
Steps to getting support for WebSphere Application Server
MustGather: Read first for WebSphere Application Server
Troubleshooting guide for WebSphere Application Server

Exchanging data with IBM Support

To diagnose or identify a problem, it is sometimes necessary to provide Technical Support with data and information from your system. In addition, Technical Support might also need to provide you with tools or utilities to be used in problem determination. You can submit files using one of following methods to help speed problem diagnosis:


Read first and related MustGathers

Related information

Recording your screen to share with IBM Support

Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Application Servers WebSphere Application Server - Express Java SDK AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, Windows
Application Servers Runtimes for Java Technology Java SDK

Document information

More support for: WebSphere Application Server
Sessions and Session Management

Software version: 6.0, 6.1, 7.0, 8.0, 8.5

Operating system(s): AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Software edition: Base, Express, Network Deployment

Reference #: 1192604

Modified date: 03 July 2014


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