6 Sure-Fire Tips to Finding Solutions in MOS

Oracle’s knowledge base has 520,000+ active and 500,000+ archived documents – it’s no wonder it’s hard to find solutions.

Each month we search about 5.3 million documents and read about 5.8 million – WOW - there’s a lot of activity going on but still 50% of documents that will solve issues are NOT found.  O-M-G!  Does that mean every time we search we only have 50% chance of finding our solution?  I sure hope not.  Use these 6 sure-fire tips to search like an expert to find answers quickly and efficiently.

1. Search Using Complete Sentences, Error Codes or Message Descriptions and be specific.

Now this is a complete U-turn in thinking.  Searching on keywords has been driven into most of us since birth however MOS has had some major changes over the last year and now the Knowledge Base, Knowledge Base Archive and Community searches use the Oracle Knowledge search engine where natural language work best.  Basically, the more grammatically rich a phrase the better.  That means entering full error codes, full messages descriptions and specific details of the issue or information you’re after.  You can also make use of exact matching by highlighting important terms using “double quotes”.  Vague terms such as Error in Form or APP-SQLAP-10000 isn’t going to cut it anymore, searching is no longer a case of less is more.

For example:  you’re getting an ORA-01403 no data found error when trying to open the transaction details form.

  • Good search: Cannot open the Transaction Details Form
  • Better Search: Cannot open the Transaction Details Form getting ORA-01403 no data found.

2. Refine Your Search

Although we’d like it to be, the search engine isn’t a mind reader.  It doesn’t know exactly what you’re after when you enter your search string – it’s making a best guess.  After you’ve performed the initial search, you can easily let the engine know what you’re thinking by using refinements.

  • Knowledge Source Filter:  Click to display results from other sources.  If you’re using a prior release, the content you’re after may be archived or you may want documentation on a feature.  (The Knowledge Base and Community return by default.)
  • Product Filter:   Enter a product, product area or product group OR click on the product under a document to limit your results to the documents for that area. 

3. Use Powerview

Let’s be honest, you don’t really care about ALL of Oracle’s products.  So why would you want to search on them all?  Using the Powerview functionality allows you to create filters that confine searches into defined areas of the Knowledge Base.

PowerView is available next to the My Oracle Support heading and are quick and easy to setup.  Once completed they are immediately enabled.  A search string entered will produce results confined to the values set in the PowerView. 

NOTE: Selecting a recent product in the single product selector takes precedence over the Powerview.  If the Powerview is set to Product = Order Entry but the single product selector is set to Database, the results will be filtered on database.


4. Make use of Community Threads

There is also plenty of information available within the MOS Community and the search results provide easy access to the Community Threads.  Every search will display Community Thread results by default so you don’t even have to do anything extra to get this information. 

Get used to reviewing the results in the Community list and don’t rely just on the knowledge base.  If you are not able to find what you are looking for, try asking your question in a MOS Community.

5. Attend a My Oracle Support Essentials – Finding Answers in MOS Session.

Each month there are several LIVE sessions which takes users through the My Oracle Support Essentials Webcast – Finding Answers in My Oracle Support (Doc ID 1540338.1)

This 45 minute session is great for anyone wanting to gain expertise in the searching options available in My Oracle Support, understand how to select the best searching technique for specific information needs, as well as recommended best practices for participating in My Oracle Support Community to ask questions and find solutions.

6. Celebrate!

Finally, after all that, get searching and CELEBRATE the results.  Soon you’ll become the office hero with all the solutions!

For more information check out:

  • MOS: Find Answers. Resolve Issues - Searching Effectively in My Oracle Support (Doc ID 1622660.1)
  • How to use My Oracle Support - Searching and Browsing - Part 1 of a 2 Part Series [ Video ] (Doc ID 1543724.1).

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