Write concise error messages. Emphasize what's important. Cut unnecessary text. See the Short sentences unit of Tech Writing One for tips on reducing sentence length.
Unable to establish connection to the SQL database. [Explanation of how to fix the issue.]
Can't connect to the SQL database. [Explanation of how to fix the issue.]
The resource was not found and cannot be differentiated. What you selected doesn't exist in the cluster. [Explanation of how to find valid resources in the cluster.]
Resource <name> isn't in cluster <name>. [Explanation of how to find valid resources in the cluster.]
Converting from passive voice to active voice often makes sentences conciser and easier to understand:
The Froobus operation is no longer supported by the Frambus app.
The Frambus app no longer supports the Froobus operation.
In your enthusiasm to be concise, don't remove so many words that the resulting error message becomes cryptic. For example, don't reduce the preceding error message down to the following:
Multiple choice exercise
How many words can you remove from the following first sentence of an error message?
- The SiteID <SiteID> you have entered is invalid.
Next unit: Avoid double negatives