Thursday Apr 04, 2013

Know What Changed

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Find Configuration Changes with My Oracle Support’s Configuration-Based Services

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When customers log technical Service Requests, one of the first things we want to know is, “What changed?” Changes in a configuration are often the cause of newly reported issues.

Some of the most powerful uses of configuration data are the capabilities to view a configuration at a point in time (Snapshot), view a list of configuration changes between two points in time (History), and view a side-by-side comparison of a configuration at two points in time (Compare). You can use these capabilities to quickly identify and recover from issues directly related to a configuration change or a patch introduction. This information is available for proactive usage as well. The ultimate goal is to help you proactively avoid issues and, if they occur, quickly resolve them.

To view configuration data, navigate to the Systems tab in My Oracle Support. Once there, search in the Targets region to view the desired configuration.

Note: The Systems tab is visible only to:

  • Customer User Administrators (CUAs)
  • Users with at least one hardware Support Identifier (SI) and View Asset privileges in their profile
  • Users with active targets associated with the hardware or software SIs in their profile

    Snap1

Clicking on the Detach button, in the target region above, will maximize the region and display additional columns.

Snapshot

Clicking on the target Name hyperlink in the screenshot above will open the target screen below in My Oracle Support. The most current snapshot of the configuration displays in the Configuration region.

Snap3

You also have the ability to view historical snapshots of the configuration at a point in time. Choose one of the displayed dates or specify a custom dates via the Other Date option. Oracle retains one year of configuration detail. The intent is to allow you to use this data for comparative analysis.

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Selecting Nov 26, 2012 from the drop-down displays the data for that day.

Note: If you do not have a collection on the day you selected, data for the closest possible date displays.

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History

The History button displays default dates, just as the Snapshot option above. Additional options are available for custom date ranges.

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Choosing Nov 26, 2012 from the drop-down displays changes that occurred between Nov 26, 2012 and Dec 17, 2012.

Notes: In the Item Name section click on the All hyperlink to see all changes. The check boxes for the Items that changed highlight as well. If you do not have a collection on the day you selected, the closest possible date’s data displays.

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Compare

The Compare button provides a side-by-side comparison of a configuration between two dates. The functionality for this regions works the same way as the History button.

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Choosing Nov 26, 2012 from the drop-down displays changes that occurred between Nov 26, 2012 and Dec 17, 2012 and a side-by-side view of the values. This view does not indicate when changes occurred.

Note: If you do not have a collection on the day you selected, the closest possible date’s data displays.

Snap9

Print or Export Data

Many customers want the ability to analyze this data outside of My Oracle Support. Under the View button, customers have the option of creating a Printable View or Export CSV.

Resources to Learn More

To learn more about how to leverage configuration data and the configuration-based services, please go to the Collector tab in My Oracle Support. For assistance on setting up the collector, please refer to the blog entry from October 18th, 2012.

You can find more information under the Help link in the upper right corner of My Oracle Support. Navigate to the Table of Contents link and select the Systems link from the window that opens. You will see links that provide detailed information on Systems, Targets, and Configurations.


Related articles on configuration-based services in My Oracle Support

 

Tuesday Nov 20, 2012

Find Knowledge Quickly

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Get to relevant knowledge on the Oracle products you use in a few quick steps!

Customers tell us that the volume of search results returned can make it difficult to find the information they need, especially when similar Oracle products exist. These simple tips show you how to filter, browse, search, and refine your results to get relevant answers faster.

Filter first: PowerView is your best friend

Powerview is an often ignored feature of My Oracle Support that enables you to control the information displayed on the Dashboard, the Knowledge tab and regions, and the Service Request tab based on one or more parameters. You can define a PowerView to limit information based on product, product line, support ID, platform, hostname, system name and others. Using PowerView allows you to restrict:

  • Your search results to the filters you have set
  • The product list when selecting your products in Search & Browse and when creating service requests

     

The PowerView menu is at the top of My Oracle Support, near the title

PVS1

You turn PowerView on by clicking PowerView is Off, which is a button. When PowerView is On, and filters are active, clicking the button again will toggle Powerview off.

Click the arrow to the right to create new filters, edit filters, remove a filter, or choose from the list of previously created filters.

PVS2

You can create a PowerView in 3 simple steps!

  1. Turn PowerView on and select New from the PowerView menu.
  2. Select your filter from the Select Filter Type dropdown list and make selections from the other two menus.
    • Hint: While there are many filter options, selecting your product line or your list of products will provide you with an effective filter.
    • Click the plus sign (+) to add more filters. Click the minus sign (-) to remove a filter.
  3. Click Create to save and activated the filter(s)

You’ll notice that PowerView is On displays along with the active filters.

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For more information about the PowerView capabilities, click the Learn more about PowerView… menu item or view a short video.

PVS4


Browse & Refine: Access the Best Match Fast For Your Product and Task


In the Knowledge Base region of the Knowledge or Dashboard tabs, pick your product, pick your task, select a version, if applicable. A best match document – a collection of knowledge articles and resources specific to your selections - may display, offering you a one-stop shop.

PVS5


The best match document, called an “information center,” is an aggregate of dynamically updated links to information pertinent to the product, task, and version (if applicable) you chose. These documents are refreshed every 24 hours to ensure that you have the most current information at your fingertips.

Note: Not all products have “information centers.” If no information center appears as a best match, click Search to see a list of search results.

From the information center, you can access topics from a product overview to security information, as shown in the left menu.


PVS6

Just want to search? That’s easy too!

Again, from the Knowledge Base region, pick your product, pick your task, select a version, if applicable, enter a keyword term, and click Search.

Hint:
In this example, you’ll notice that PowerView is on and set to PeopleSoft Enterprise. When PowerView is on and you select a product from the Knowledge Base product list, the listed products are limited to the active PowerView filter. (Products you’ve previously picked are also listed at the top of the dropdown list.)


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Your search results are displayed based on the parameters you entered.



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It’s that simple!


Related Information:

My Oracle Support - User Resource Center [ID 873313.1]
My Oracle Support Community

For more tips on using My Oracle Support, check out these short video training modules.
My Oracle Support Speed Video Training [ID 603505.1]

Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

Know Your Service Request Status

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To monitor a Service Request or not to monitor a Service Request... That should never be the question

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Monitoring the Service Requests you create is an essential part of the process to resolve your issue when you work with a Support Engineer.

If you monitor your Service Request, you know at all times where it is in the process, or to be more specific, you know at all times what action the Support Engineer has taken on your request and what the next step is.

When you think about it, it is rather simple... Oracle Support is working the issue, Oracle Development is working the issue, or you are. When you check on the status, you may find that the Support Engineer has a question for you or the engineer is waiting for more information to resolve the issue. If you monitor the Service Request, and respond quickly, the process keeps moving, and you’ll get your answer more quickly.

Monitoring a Service Request is easy. All you need to do is check the status codes that the Support Engineer or the system assigns to your Service Request. These status codes are not static. You will see that during the life of your Service request, it will go through a variety of status codes.

The best advice I can offer you when you monitor your Service Request is to watch the codes. If the status is not changing, or if you are not getting responses back within the agreed timeframes, you should review the action plan the Support Engineer has outlined or talk about a new action plan.

Here are the most common status codes:

Work in Progress indicates that your Support Engineer is researching and working the issue.

Development Working means that you have a code related issue and Oracle Support has submitted a bug to Development.

Please pay a particular attention to the following statuses; they indicate that the Support Engineer is waiting for a response from you:

Customer Working usually means that your Support Engineer needs you to collect additional information, needs you to try something or to apply a patch, or has more questions for you.

Solution Offered indicates that the Support Engineer has identified the problem and has provided you with a solution.

Auto-Close or Close Initiated are statuses you don’t want to see. Monitoring your Service Request helps prevent your issues from reaching these statuses. They usually indicate that the Support Engineer did not receive the requested information or action from you. This is important. If you fail to respond, the Support Engineer will attempt to contact you three times over a two-week period. If these attempts are unsuccessful, he or she will initiate the Auto-Close process.

At the end of this additional two-week period, if you have not updated the Service Request, your Service Request is considered abandoned and the Support Engineer will assign a Customer Abandoned status. A Support Engineer doesn’t like to see this status, since he or she has been working to solve your issue, but we know our customers dislike it even more, since it means their issue is not moving forward.

You can avoid delays in resolving your issue by monitoring your Service Request and acting quickly when you see the status change. Respond to the request from the engineer to answer questions, collect information, or to try the offered solution. Then the Support Engineer can continue working the issue and the Service Request keeps moving forward towards resolution.

Keep in mind that if you take an extended period of time to respond to a request or to provide the information requested, the Support Engineer cannot take the next step. You may inadvertently send an implicit message about the problem’s urgency that may not match the Service Request priority, and your need for an answer.
SupportEngineer
Help us help you. We want to get you the answer as quickly as possible so you can stay focused on your company’s objectives.

Now, back to our initial question. To monitor Service Requests or not to monitor Service Requests?

I think the answer is clear: yes, monitor your Service Request to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Monday Sep 10, 2012

Resolve Instructional Webcast Series

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Catch the Express—Register for an Instructional Webcast

Resolve Issue Oracle Proactive Support’s ‘Get Proactive’ message to customers underscores the benefits they’ll obtain by leveraging the Prevent, Resolve and Upgrade capabilities available across the suite of Oracle Products. Our goal in Proactive Support is to show customers how to ‘Get Proactive’ and achieve success by leveraging the latest tools, knowledge, and best practices available to manage your applications and technology more proactively. Most importantly, we want to ensure that customers are proficient in the use of these proactive capabilities.

To help you gain this proficiency, we’ve recently launched a series of instructional webcasts that we call the “Resolve Series.” This series consists of both live and on-demand webcasts, and features some of the key proactive capabilities that customers can leverage to resolve their own problems. We launched the first phase of the series in July, and focused on finding answers using the My Oracle Support portal. Among the topics covered in those sessions were best practices for searching the knowledge base, leveraging communities to find answers faster, and other proactive features of My Oracle Support

The second phase of the series is set to kick off in September. This phase will include product specific sessions designed to provide customers who use the product with the skills and knowledge required to leverage some of the most important capabilities found under the “RESOLVE” category of our proactive portfolio on My Oracle Support. These webcasts will feature Subject Matter Experts demonstrating how to use the tools and capabilities, discussing best practices, and providing answers to any questions you might have. In addition, hands-on labs will be included in some of the sessions, allowing you to practice applying what you’ve just learned.Man working

Whether you are a new customer or you’ve worked with Oracle Support for years, you’ll discover new information and techniques to help you work more efficiently and keep your systems running smoothly. Leverage this opportunity to learn best practices and get the inside track on finding answers fast by using the right tools at the right time. Make sure to take advantage of these webcasts and maximize the value you receive from your Oracle Premier Support investment.


See the full schedule of events and register for sessions.

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How? By sharing our own best practices, tips, and tricks. Get on the ‘Insider's Track.’

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