Using the Diagnostics tool to troubleshoot conversions

Both the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint On-Premises and the PDF Converter Services ship with a handy Diagnostics Tool that can be used to troubleshoot problems. Some people use this tool for production work (e.g. to carry out individual or even batch conversions), but as  its main audience is System Administrators it doesn't look as polished as the professional user interface that ships with our SharePoint product.

From time to time the Muhimbi Support Desk may ask you to carry out some tests using this tool. It can be found in the Start Menu / Muhimbi Document Converter / Diagnostics Tool and looks as follows:


What is important to remember is that this tool uses the exact same Web Services API that is exposed by our Conversion Service and SharePoint front-end. In other words, if the converter works correctly in this tool then the Conversion Service is configured correctly and works as expected.

The user interface is fairly straight forward and exposes about 90% of the object model provided by our web services interface. Most of the available options are self-describing, but the following features require further  explanation.

WS Convert tab

  • Selecting a file: Paste the full path, including file name, in the Source field or click the '...' button to browse for a file.
  • Selecting a folder: When executing an operation that works on folders, e.g. the Convert Folder or Merge Folder options, then you must specify the path to a folder in the Source field. The '...' button will not work in this case as it can only be used to select individual files, not folders.
  • Open Password: The Open Password field next to the Source field can be used to specify the password for the source file, e.g. to open secured MS-Word files. This is different from the Open Password in the PDF Security sub-tab, which is used to secure the generated PDF file.

HTML Conversion tab

This tab can be used to convert URLs as well as HTML fragments. By default the URL is converted using the account the PDF Converter Services runs under. If you need to authenticate using a different account when converting a URL then you can optionally specify it on this screen.

When working with our Support Desk, never specify a username or password unless specifically instructed to do so.

WS Configure tab

  • Service URL: If you wish to execute a request against a remote Conversion Service then you can specify its Service URL here.
  • Parallel Conversions: When converting a folder the diagnostics tool will issue multiple requests in parallel. The number of parallel requests can be specified here. This is ideal for performance testing ( results here), but don't go overboard and specify a value higher than 16.
  • Verbose Logging: When carrying out a performance test then you may want to disable logging in the Diagnostics Tool as the logging overhead is measurable. This doesn't disable the PDF Converter Services's internal logging, just the logging carried out in the Diagnostics Tool.

WS Diagnose tab

This tab has one big button. Press it to check if the individual converters, and all prerequisites, have been installed correctly and as described in Chapter 2 of the Administration Guide. If any of the converters unexpectedly display False behind the Valid field then please check out this Knowledge Base Article.

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