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Author's profile photo Troy Cronin

EP: Portal Runtime Error – The “Old URL is Null”



Portal Runtime errors can on occasion be more commonly encountered than we would like as Portal end-users. Often upon being presented with a Portal Runtime error we are baffled by its occurrence and actively seek its root cause and subsequently its resolution. If you have had experience with the Enterprise Portal for some time the likelihood of you being involved in such a scenario is high. This blog posting aims to look at a specific Portal Runtime error and will touch base on the steps to follow in the quest for a quick and straightforward resolution.


Portal Runtime Error – Popup Principles


When a Portal Runtime error occurs the primary troubleshooting hints are normally provided to you as an end-user within the error exception details. From a high level perspective Portal Runtime errors can occur for a wide array of reasons e.g. invalid system configurations or application discrepancies. However troubleshooting Runtime error exceptions should always begin with labeling the “Exception ID” as the core point of interest.



If you match the Exception ID to the trace file and application log you are already on you’re way to finding a resolution. Often breaking the issue down into small steps is the best means of troubleshooting analysis.


Example – Portal Runtime Error


We are going to take the principles above and apply it to a sample problematic scenario and follow a troubleshooting resolution approach. Let us firstly imagine that you have recently performed a system change of some sort. This can be related to upgrades, system migrations, data transfers, SP implementation etc.


Reproducing the Popup:

  1. Login to the portal from desktop.
  2. http://<host>:<port>/irj
  3. Perform some navigation across the Portal Role menus which will prompt the issue to occur.


You find an Error in Trace – The “Old URL is Null”, what does this mean?





If you proceed to analyze the default trace file based upon the Portal Runtime error Exception ID  you will have seen the following reference


  • “NavigationService.redirect.recieved exception when calling to redirectors with URL”.


The NavigationRedirector provides a method to retrieve redirected node names. A re-director must be registered in a means that recognizes the prefix of the navigation target. In this case the exception is occurring due to caching of the NavigationService.redirect recieve request when calling redirectors with the defined URL.




The Navigation Cache is responsible for caching the navigation of the Portal, starting from the “Entry Point” level. As it caches navigation data like title, merge ID, sort priority:


  • If you make a change to the navigation of the user, the change might not be immediately visible causing subsequent errors.


To resolve this issue you need to clear both the Navigation Cache along with the FPN Cache.


  • Navigation Cache:
    • To clear this firstly login to the portal from desktop (http://<host>:<port>/irj).
    • Go to System Administration > Navigation > Navigation Cache before clicking on the Clear Cache button.
    • Clear the cache for the ROLES connector.


  • FPN Cache (if applicable)
    • Login to the Consumer Portal wherein the federated portal cache needs to be synchronized.
    • Navigate to System Administration > Federated Portal > Myself as Content Consumer > Cache Management.
    • Under Clear Cache followed by the Synchronize Content, click on ‘clear the federated Portal cache’.
    • Select “Synchronize all content (if you have consumed large amounts of content, this may take a long time to complete).”
    • Select the “Synchronize with a selected producer” option.
    • Select the federated Portal (Producer) from the dropdown list that needs to be synchronized.
    • Click on the “Synchronize” button.
    • Please restart the Portal session by closing all the browser windows before logging into the Portal again.

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