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How to Prevent Connection Errors

If you experience intermittent errors, that is, while doing the same thing, sometimes you get an error and most other times you do not, you should read this page.

Web-based application systems are quite different to desktop applications in many ways.  The biggest difference is that web-based application does not reside in your computer, it is installed on a server somewhere in cyberspace.  When you want the application to do certain things, you send an instruction to the server by clicking a button or a link.  When the server receives the instruction, it will run the appropriate programs, populate a webpage with the relevant data and send the webpage to your computer.  At no point in time is your computer connected to the server in any way.  It is like communicating with a friend far away by writing letters.  While the letters go back and forth between you and your friend, your house and your friend's house are not connected together.

For an application to be used by many users at the same time, the server needs to "remember" who the user is, the user's IP address (it is like your home address in cyberspace) and a number of application specific variables.  For example, if you are working on a certain incident and you want to write some notes so you would click the Notes button.  When the instruction to load the Notes screen is processed by the server, the server needs to know which company's database and which incident the note is related to, amongst other things.  This information required by the server to do its work properly is stored in "sessions".  Whenever you log into the system, the server will establish a session with your computer and store the necessary information so you can interact with the server.

A connection error occurs when the server "loses contact" with your computer and the session got deleted.  Typically if you encounter an error intermittently, like sometimes it works and sometimes it does not, the error is most likely a connection type error.  Obviously when the data required by the application to process your request is not there, the application cannot do its work and it will throw an error.

Another kind of error is the bug type error where you always get the same error doing exactly the same thing.

For web-based systems, there are certain things you can do to prevent or at least reduce the connection type errors.

  1. Do not log in as the same user more than once at the same time.
  2. Do not log in more than once on the same computer, even as different users.
  3. Do not click the Back and Forward Internet Explorer browser buttons.  Use the application's navigation mechanisms instead.
  4. Do not exit an application by closing the Browser.  Always use the application's log off function to exit.
  5. Delete the cookies from your computer when you notice connection errors
  6. After you have encountered a connection error, close the Internet Explorer browser and restart fresh.
  7. In the Internet Explorer security options, add the application's website to your trusted site list.  For example
  8. If you close the browser and restart it, do not use the restore option to reopen all previous webpages.
  9. It is best not to browse other websites while working on a web-based application.
  10. Ensure that you have a good internet connection.  An overloaded network is more prone to connection errors.  Loose fitting cable connectors and wireless networks increase the occurrence of connection errors.