Wednesday Sep 03, 2014

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).

Friday Aug 08, 2014

Who Else Wants Great Knowledge Articles From Oracle?

How many times have you read a knowledge article and thought 'if only this had more information' OR 'if only there were more articles like this one'?

Well stop thinking and start doing!  You CAN have an effect on the content quality and it's easy to do in just a couple of clicks.

To provide feedback on a document:

1.      Click the +/- button in the upper right of the article.

2.      Make selections from the Article Rating list, enter comments if desired, then click Send Rating.

When you provide feedback on documents, you help Oracle improve document quality and effectiveness.  The comments posted on a document are evaluated and when the feedback points out an error or enhancement the document is flagged internally for maintenance work.

The Rate this Document ratings are used to determine the document's overall effectiveness. This is then used to prioritize the document for additional maintenance activities.

But wait - feedback is not only when you see mistakes or want more information, if you just LOVE some content then letting us know will allow us to focus on creating more content just like it.

But you gotta tell us!

So get clicking and give us your ratings to bump up your favorites or to fix the articles you’re not so keen on.
Together we can continue to improve and provide effective articles that increase knowledge and are easy to use.

Tuesday Dec 17, 2013

Payables Most Frequently Used Knowledge Content of 2013

So how was 2013 for you?  For the Payables Proactive team it was a busy year as we were working on all sorts of wonderful projects, trying to make life a little easier for you.  

Here’s a rundown of some of the major knowledge that we created or improved this year that has had the biggest impact on you.  You keep FINDING it, READING it and most importantly USING it to resolve your issues without the need to log a Service Request.

So what documents made it onto the 'Most Frequently Used Documents' list of 2013?  

The following list shows you the knowledge content that you, the reader, found in My Oracle Support over the last 12 months, ranked by the total number of hits.  Sorry, but there are no prizes for guessing which amazing script came in the #1 spot because, let's face it, that would just be far too easy...  

#1 - R12: Master GDF Diagnostic (MGD) to Validate Data Related to Invoices, Payments, Accounting, Suppliers and EBTax [VIDEO] [Doc ID 1360390.1]

When to use it? Monthly to identify known data integrity issues within your Payables application and learn exactly how to fix those issues – all without the need for a service request.  

#2 - Information Center: Using Oracle Payables [Doc ID 1417577.2]

When to use it?  When you want to quickly see an overview of all our KM content for a particular functional area of the product such as EBTax, Workflow or Prepayments information.

#3 - R12.1: Payables Recommended Patch Collection (AP RPC), Sep 2013 [Doc ID 1397581.1]

When to use it?   This is a one time application which will provide you with all the important fixes since the release of 12.1.3.  Many of these fixes affect Critical Business Processes such as Period Close and are observed as reoccurring very often in the Installed Base. 

#4 - Information Center: Oracle Payables Accounting R12 [Doc ID 1476284.2]

When to use it?  This is a sub-document that can also be accessed from our #2 document, and the use of it would be in the same way, selecting the accounting tab from the Using Payables Information Center brings you directly to this document which highlights the accounting documents that are most useful to you.

#5 - Troubleshooting Assistant: R12 Payables Prepayments (Search Helper) [Doc ID 1559751.2]

When to use it?  Anytime you have a prepayment question or issue and you want to find the solution fast.  This interactive assistant will guide you through to the solutions that resolved issues for others customers experiencing the same symptoms.

#6 - Information Center: Oracle Internet Expenses [Doc ID 1381228.2]

When to use it?  Anytime you want to learn more about OIE, or troubleshoot an issue.  This index of content is invaluable for fnding your way around the OIE content quickly and easily.

#7 - Troubleshooting Assistant: R12 Oracle Payables (AP) Accounting [Doc ID 1573154.2]

When to use it?  Like in #5, troubleshooting assistants are always useful when you have a specific issue, you know the error message or the symptoms that cause the problem and you are trying to quickly find the common solutions for that specific issue.

#8 - R12: Information Center: Troubleshooting Payments to Suppliers and Other Creditors using Oracle Payables (AP) and Oracle Payments (IBY) [Doc ID 1383396.2]

When to use it?  This information center is your central point of resource for all things related to supplier payments.  

#9 - Information Center: Oracle Payables for Suppliers [Doc ID 1363041.2]

When to use it?  This is your central resource for payables supplier issues ranging from issues with employee suppliers to general setup and usage of suppliers. A great resource to use when you have questions or errors related to suppliers.  

#10 - Troubleshooting Assistant: R12 Suppliers (Search Helper) [Doc ID 1410773.2]

When to use it?  Whether you have issues with merging a supplier or you are unable to import or update a supplier, this troubleshooting assistant has your answer.  

Note: Please bear in mind that these might be the top 10 documents that you found when searching on MOS but this is dependent on the volume of incoming searches, so this list is missing some amazing articles in the smaller functional areas.  

For a full listing of all the available Assistants (Search Helpers) please review EBS: Assistant (Search Helper) Index [Doc ID 1501724.1]

For a full listing of all the available Information Centers please review E-Business Suite Product Information Center Index [Doc ID 444.2]

Happy Holidays!


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