Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Exchange Server 2013 MP Report Error: Cannot Initialize Report. Value Cannot Be Null. Parameter Name: GroupList

Issue
The Exchange Server 2013 MP is imported and many Reports fail with this error: Cannot initialize report. Value cannot be null. Parameter name: GroupList.
image

And:

Date: 10-3-2015 15:27:18
Application: Operations Manager
Application Version: 7.1.10226.0
Severity: Error
Message: Cannot initialize report.

System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null.
Parameter name: GroupList
   at Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Mom.Internal.UI.Reporting.Parameters.Controls.Monitoring.ReportMonitoringObjectXmlEditorBase.LoadValues(ReportParameterInfoCollection reportParameters)
   at Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Mom.Internal.UI.Reporting.Parameters.ReportParameterBlock.LoadValues()
   at Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Mom.Internal.UI.Console.ReportForm.SetReportJob(Object sender, ConsoleJobEventArgs args)

Reports affected:

  1. Exchange 2013 - Mailbox Database Copy Performance;
  2. Exchange 2013 - Organization Performance;
  3. Exchange 2013 - All Performance;
  4. Exchange 2013 - IIS Application Pool Performance;
  5. Exchange 2013 - Windows Service Performance;
  6. Exchange 2013 - Server Storage Performance;
  7. Exchange 2013 - Server Mail Process SMTP Performance;
  8. Exchange 2013 - Server Mail Process Performance;
  9. Exchange 2013 - Server CPU and Memory Performance.

Cause
This one took me a long time to crack. I contacted my fellow MVPs in order to see they experience the same issues. But all of them had no issues what so ever with these Reports. For them these Reports run just fine.

Since this customer had a brand new Exchange Server 2013 environment I first thought the cause could be found there. Perhaps certain Groups, required by these Reports were still empty, causing these Reports to fail.

But the more I thought about it, the less viable it seemed to be the case. Also the Exchange administrators showed me everything is in place and running smoothly. So back to SCOM it was.

And suddenly it hit me. Could it be that the regional settings on the SCOM Management Servers were at play here? When Reports aren’t programmed that good, they can’t handle it because the decimal symbol, digit grouping symbols and short/long date are different, causing the Reports to fail with all kinds of exotic errors…

Solution
Time to check it out in my own test environment since I could repro this issue there as well.

Okay, the regional settings are set to Dutch (Netherlands) on both SCOM Management Servers:
image

And:
image

As you can see, here in the Netherlands (and many other European countries for that matter) use a comma as decimal symbol and a dot as a digital grouping symbol, exact the opposite as the US does…

So I changed it to English (United States):
image
Also the short/long date are different. In many countries in Europe we start with the day, followed by the month. In the US it’s the other way around…

And:
image

This causes the decimal symbol to become a dot and the digit grouping symbol to become a comma.

I applied these settings, closed the SCOM Console and started it again. And tried to run the same Exchange Report which failed the time before these modifications. Let’s keep our fingers crossed:
image

Tadaa!!!! I tested all the Reports which failed on me before this modification and ALL those Reports run fine now! Awesome!!!

Recap
When you’ve got many of the Exchange Server 2013 Reports failing on you with the error Cannot initialize report. Value cannot be null. Parameter name: GroupList, please check the Regional Settings on ALL your SCOM Management Servers.

Modify them to English (United States) and changes are those Reports will run as intended.

It’s common practice to have your production servers set to English (United States) unless there are strict issues preventing that.

1 comment:

Jasper Van Damme said...

Hey Marnik,

Just wanted to point out regional settings can also have an effect on the topology widget as well. I blogged about it here:
https://dynamicdatacenter.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/scom-topology-widget-blank-issue/