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                                               CMBHS Problems and  Issues


The State of Texas is implementing a new system for service providers who provide substance abuse and/or mental health issues.  Currently it has been rolled out to three regions in Texas, with the fourth region scheduled later in April.

Unfortunately there are some serious problems in CMBHS.  Here are some of them



Problem downloading CMBHS CLient Profile records for selected single dates and single client location

I have been able to download CMBHS data records via the XML/SOAP based web service.  I have been doing this for months now.  Downloads for Screening, Admission, followup and Service Begin/End are almost always successful and run very fast.  I have historically had various issues with downloading CLient Profile data.  For the past few months I have been successful in downloading Client Profiles for a single date and a single client location.  This has worked well.  approx May 22, 2012, I began to encounter download failures for selected date/locations.  Again most date/location downloads worked.  Unfortunately some did not.  The failures seem to happen every day.

6/1/2012 Initially reported to the CMBHS project team.

6/30/2012 CMBHS project team has not yet even considered setting a priority for this bug.  Apparently the business team, which sets the priorities, has lost or ignored the request.

7/2/2012 Problem set to priority 1.  Will be addressed after priority 0.  Was told there are multiple priority 0 and 1 problems.

7/3/2012 "I just wanted to let you know that we are now looking into the issue you reported weeks back"  Garry G.

7/3/2012 "We found the problem while we were testing it....." Garry G.

7/4/2012 - 7/15/2012 Gary G. was on vacation.  Issue was passed on to Ranga L.

7/6/2012 "I will pass the results to developers. There is something wrong between last and production servers. ....." Ranga L.

7/11/2012 "We are still researching why everything works fine in our "test" environment and not in production......"  Chris M.

7/12/2012 "Unfortunately we do not have a short term solution to your download issue.   The long term solution is to change our process to the pull the data from an offline data warehouse instead of the online database.    This will be a change request that will have to go through our prioritization process.    I will not have a target for you on this until this request bubbles up to a number one priority."  Chris M.

7/17/2012 "I thought Bob's issue  was getting his downloads to run.  Seems like he also has an issue with some of them returning data.  The issue may be on the days that NorthSTAR sends all the daily files and a monthly file. "  Chris M.


7/24/2012 The same individual who previously was assigned to this issue without success, is being assigned to it again - after he returns from vacation in two weeks.  No idea what he might do differently the 2nd time around.



Security of users and roles - The system is supposed to have built in security whereby a security administrator at each agency adds users and specifies their roles and privileges that control what system functions they perform.  Unfortunately any user at an agency can change their own security roles - at will.  Further any user, not just authorized security administrators, can change the roles of any other user at that agency.

April 2010 - This has been resolved. 

Data Downloads - The system was designed to provide for downloads of data in the system via a web service.  downloads were to be in XML format.  I tested this in the test system and it did work, at least in terms of being able to request and retrieve XML formatted data.

Upon implementation in the third region, March 28, the downloads did not function.  I was told that there were problems encountered with it when the first region was implemented and it was turned off.  It had not been corrected since. 

Within a few days I was able to send requests and receive XML data for three types of records.  Unfortunately only one type of record was usable.  In several types of records the CLientNbr field was filled with <clientlastname, clientfirstname>.  As it was my intent to relate the downloaded data together, in a relational data, as had been done with the BHIPS data downloads, these records were useless to me.


April 2010 - The problem with downloads has been partially resolved.  I am now able to download Client Profiles, Admission, Screening and Followup records.

I am still unable to download 90 day periods of Client Profiles.  I was told previously that CMBHS would permit downloads of 90 days of data at one time.


September 2010 - I am now able to download 90 day periods of all four above records and the Service begin/End record for all 4 client locations used by my client with the exceptions that

a) I am NOT able to download Followup records for one location.  The request times out after 10 minutes with no response.

    This has been resolved in the October 11 software update.

b) selected client profiles cannot be downloaded based on their creation date and the date range of my download request.

Resolution has been to download Client Profiles for only a single day at a time but all locations combined seems to work.

2/1/2012 Again experienced problems in downloading client profiles for only a single day.  Even downloading for only a single location fails for one location.  It appears that I may currently be the only user using the SOAP/XML download capability (the only download capability) so they are submitting a request, to be prioritized.....


Encoding of XML Data Streams

My request to the XML download process specified UTF-8, the default XML encoding standard.  Unfortunately, the XML data streams I received occasionally contained invalid characters.  Typically this was character 0xBR or Ascii 191.  This caused MS Word to choke when opening up the XML data file.  Windows and Access could handle the invalid character just fine, just not MS Word (which I used to transform the *.txt text into *.xml).

It is my understanding that it is the responsibility of the XML creation process to ensure the data sent in the XML data stream complies with the encoding specified.

May 2010 - I developed a workaround.  After receiving the text data stream reply, I change the encoding specified in the downloaded XML text from UTF-8 to ISO-8859-1.  The problem characters then are processed without further issue.



Problems when Records are Deleted in CMBHS

There appears to be a problem when records are deleted in CMBHS as there appears not be be any way to download that fact.

Recently, after the Value Options conversion, hundreds of client profiles initially converted were consolidated with other client profiles for the same client and the extra profile was deleted.  There was no way for me to find out about such.

October 13, 2010 - I have been informed that the CMBHS project team now provides a new download record type that will identify deleted records.

Such a new record type was created but they omitted including the key of the record which was deleted.  this, of course, makes the download useless!



On July 17, ALL CMBHS downloads quit working.  It is like the web service function just got disabled.  Downloads that had worked with out issue on a daily basis for years stopped working.  Problem continues on July 18.  Two days in a row!

7/18/2012 No reply yet from the CMBHS support team

7/18/2012 12:46 PM "We apologize we forgot to turn the switch on last night."

8/6/2012 This problem has not reoccurred.




The above has been my experience.  If you are experiencing problems with CMBHS and would like to compare notes, feel free to contact me at


bobalston9   AT    yahoo    D O T   com