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Salesforce Gacks and Troubleshooting

Salesforce Gacks



In the world of Salesforce, “gack” is a term informally used to refer to an unexpected error or exception that the platform might throw. A gack usually comes with a long error code, which Salesforce internally uses to track, diagnose, and fix unhandled exceptions. This article aims to shed light on the nature of gacks and how Salesforce administrators and developers can troubleshoot them.


Salesforce Gack


Understanding Gacks

  1. Origins: The term “gack” is believed to have come from an internal Salesforce meme, and it has stuck around in the Salesforce community.
  2. Nature of the Error: Gacks are unhandled exceptions that Salesforce didn’t anticipate. This is different from handled exceptions where Salesforce provides a readable error message, explaining what went wrong and often how to fix it.

Identifying a Gack

Gacks are usually identified by:

  1. A generic error message like “An unexpected error has occurred. Your development organization has been notified.”
  2. A long numeric error code. This is essentially a reference number for the specific occurrence of the error.

Why Should You Care About Gacks?

  1. User Experience: Gacks can disrupt user workflows, leading to decreased productivity and user satisfaction.
  2. Data Integrity: In rare instances, a gack might result from or lead to data corruption.
  3. Debugging Challenges: Unlike regular errors, gacks don’t provide informative feedback, making it difficult for developers and administrators to understand and address the root cause.

Troubleshooting Gacks

  1. Document the Error: When you encounter a gack, capture the following:
    • The exact error message.
    • The error number.
    • Steps to reproduce the error.
    • Any recent changes in the org (e.g., deployments, configuration changes).
  2. Check Salesforce Trust Status: Salesforce’s Trust website ( provides real-time information about the health of Salesforce instances. If there’s a widespread issue, it might be listed here.
  3. Review Known Issues: Navigate to the Salesforce Known Issues page to see if the error you encountered is a known platform issue. If it is, you might find a workaround or an estimated fix date.
  4. Search the Salesforce Community: The Salesforce community is vast and active. Sometimes, other users have faced similar gacks and might have solutions or workarounds. Platforms like the Salesforce Stack Exchange, the Trailblazer Community, or even the Salesforce Developer Forums can be helpful.
  5. Debugging & Logs:
    • Developer Console: If you’re working in a developer or sandbox environment, the developer console can provide more detailed logs that might contain clues about the gack.
    • Apex Debug Logs: Generate and review the Apex debug logs. These can provide information about what operations were occurring at the time of the error.
    • Event Monitoring: If your organization has the Event Monitoring add-on, you can access the EventLogFile object to gain insights into system events around the time of the gack.
  6. Isolate the Issue: Try to reproduce the issue in a different environment. If you can reproduce it in a sandbox, it can be easier to debug without affecting users.
  7. Engage Salesforce Support: If all else fails, create a case with Salesforce Support. Provide them with all the information you’ve documented, including any patterns you’ve noticed. Remember, the error number is crucial as Salesforce can use it to look up specific details about the exception.

Gacks in Salesforce can be puzzling due to their unhandled nature. However, with a systematic approach to troubleshooting and the vast resources available within the Salesforce community, you can address and overcome these challenges. Always document and approach such errors with a mindset of understanding the root cause, which will not only help resolve the immediate issue but also prevent potential similar occurrences in the future. Here is publicly available information on the structure of a GACK by Josh Kaplan.


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