Helping developers troubleshoot the GRA


Here are a couple configuration changes that you can make to assist in troubleshooting problems with the GRA software.

Note: these configuration changes are made in the Web.config file and depending on your environment saving that file may cause your App Pool to restart which may log patrons and Control Room users out of the software and interrupt their workflow. You may wish to make these changes outside of typical use hours.


By default, the GRA writes log files with some developer information in them. By default, the Web.config is configured to write the logs up a couple of directories from the GRA installation in a logs folder (i.e. from your GRA installation the logs should be written in ../../logs/log.txt). The system rotates to a new file every day (based on the server’s configured time zone) such as log.1.txt.

The default configuration of this file is that it writes messages that occur at an Info level or above - that should be enough for day-to-day use. If you are seeing problems, you may want to modify the logging level so that it writes more information out to the log file - you can find the line that looks like this:

<logger name="*" minlevel="Info" writeTo="logfile"/>

…and change the minlevel value to Trace, like this:

<logger name="*" minlevel="Trace" writeTo="logfile"/>

This will cause more logging to happen so you may want to switch back to Info after you’re done troubleshooting.

Exception Handling

When something goes wrong in the software, often times the code throws what’s called an “exception”. Sometimes exceptions are handled by other bits of the code (they are said to be “caught”) and are not seen, but other times an exception is not caught by the code and can become visible to the user. In an IIS/.NET environment this is sometimes referred to as the “Yellow Screen of Death” (“YSOD”) due to the yellow background displayed behind the detailed error information.

The Great Reading Adventure has software integrated in it called ELMAH which can email those uncaught exceptions to an email address. In an ideal world, you and your patrons wouldn’t see these errors. If you are seeing them or are worried about seeing them, you can configure the system to email you the YSOD error page and then you can forward it on to GRA developers (like me) to help troubleshoot the problem.

If you’d like the system to email you these uncaught exception errors, locate this section in your Web.config file:

      See for 
      more information on remote access and securing ELMAH.
  <security allowRemoteAccess="false"/>

Add the following inside the <elmah></elmah> tags, below the <security .../> tag:

<errorMail from="your-email@address"

For the smtpServer and smtpPort information you can talk to an administrator or look at how your GRA installation is configured (look for the <smtp> tag in the file).

Application Error for all Reports, Stats
Main URL taking users to GRA configuration page
Lost Password Button
Login Page instead of Configure Page
Initial Login Screen


@bcunningham, if you have time. :smile:

(I just showed our GRA to staff and couldn’t stop talking about the amazing Brice!)


I noticed the redirect issue is happening again. I logged into the control room and the master tenant domain was removed. Holly, was that you? I know I didn’t make any changes since setting that last. Anyways, I set it back to our domain, left the other two organizations domain name blank, and it is no longer redirecting.