Self Service Kiosk Connectivity Problem at Local Authority


IT Contract Manager, Local Authority


The local authority was in the process of deploying self-service kiosks across the region to allow citizens to make payments to the council. During testing the users reported that intermittently they could not make payments using credit or debit cards. The kiosks could not be made available to the public until this problem was resolved. The kiosk software and Internet based web services that it connected to were developed and supported by third party software vendors. The application log reported a loss of connectivity but it was not clear in which environment the problem was occurring.


Using our standard structured approach, we devised a Diagnostic Capture Plan to capture network data at multiple points in our customer’s network before and during the problem. A precise timeline of the problem could be created from the network traffic which was then analysed to identify the root cause of the problem.


Analysis of the data showed that the problem was caused by a session timeout on a component of the vendors web service which meant that requests from the kiosk were silently dropped without a response.


The problem could only be fixed by the web services vendor. Our findings were put in a report for their attention that clearly detailed the cause of the problem. Subsequently we worked with the vendor to identify the component in their environment that was causing the problem.


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