Six Power-User Tips for Searching My Oracle Support

[Editor: This article from Robert Farrington contains some excellent generic tips for searching My Oracle Support, but please remember that concerns or questions about My Oracle Support should be logged as Service Requests; this blog is intended to help EBS DBAs with technical EBS topics, not to troubleshoot MOS issues.]

The My Oracle Support (MOS) knowledge base contains a plethora of information about all of Oracle's products. However, it is not always easy to know how best to locate what you need to solve a problem or make a decision.

MOS2.GIF
This article provides six tips to help you find what you're looking for. All except the last apply to both the main (Flash-based) site at support.oracle.com, and the HTML-based site at supporthtml.oracle.com.

TIP 1: Remember that search terms are ANDed

The key point to remember is that search terms you enter are all joined by a logical AND before the search is performed. So it is essential to choose the terms (and their number) carefully. Too few will result in a search that is not selective enough, and will return irrelevant results. On the other hand, too many terms will result in a search that is too restrictive, and which may exclude documents that would have met your needs.

TIP 2: Understand how the standard search criteria work

When performing a search, knowledge of the following search criteria and options may prove useful, particularly if a simple search does not yield any useful results. (The bold italics are used solely for emphasis in this article.)

  • All searches are case-insensitive. For example: TNS and tns are considered to be the same. So you might as well use lower case.
  • Because all search terms are joined with logical AND for processing, tns listener will look for documents that contain both tns and listener.
TIP 3: Use Advanced Searches to narrow the scope

By default, My Oracle Support performs a simple search. You can perform an advanced search by choosing Advanced Search from the Sources dropdown menu to the left of the Search Knowledge Base box at the top right of the screen:

SearchMenu.gif
Or you can simply click on the Advanced link at the end of the same line, to open an Advanced Search popup window:

AdvSearch.gif
TIP 4: Use special Advanced Search options

As an alternative to using the Advanced Search window shown above, you can enter advanced options with your search terms:
  • Use OR by separating the search terms with a vertical bar (same as the UNIX pipe character, but in MOS you must have a space either side of the character). For example: tns | listener will look for documents that contain either tns or listener.
  • Enclose a search phrase in quotes to find exact matches only. For example: "tns listener"
  • Exclude words with a dash (hyphen), with no space after the dash. For example: tns -listener
  • Do not use the plus (+) character to force a term to be included in the results (for example, tns +listener), because (as already stated) an AND search is performed by default.
  • Group words with (term1 | term2) term3. For example, (adstrtal.sh | adstpall.sh) autoconfig finds documents about AutoConfig that also mention either adstrtal.sh or adstpall.sh.
TIP 5:  Understand the hidden search assumptions
  • Search uses stemming - that is, if you search for start, documents with starting will also be returned. However, greater weight is placed on an exact match.
  • For searches that use multiple terms, proximity is important: the terms must not be separated by more than 100 words. For example, script start application tier services will return all documents containing these five words, provided they are not separated by more than 100 words.
  • The asterisk (*) can be used as a wildcard character, but not at the beginning of a search term.
TIP 6: Use PowerView

The final power user tip is to use PowerView, which allows you to limit your search to a product of your choice. Note that this option is only available with the main (Flash-based) site, not the HTML-based one.

To use this option, you first need to create a new PowerView:

MOSPV1a.gif
In the following example, Application Management Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite is being specified as the product of interest:

MOSPV3.gif
You can then switch PowerView on, and the status will change accordingly:

MOSPV3a.gif
Search criteria will apply now to this product only. In this example, you could enter "3.1" as a search string to find documents about that version of the Application Management Pack.

You can find out more in the PowerView section of My Oracle Support Help - General (Doc ID 733242.5).

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Comments:

Since subject says "power" its good to point out that the recent MOS upgrade also takes now usage of powerview into account when doing the search.. So if you would be OnDemand customer using powerview it limits using the search.

So powerview on/off when doing search :)

Posted by Simo on November 24, 2010 at 06:36 PM PST #

Hi Simo,
Thanks for the suggestion. I've added a tip about using PowerView.
Regards, Robert.

Posted by Robert Farrington on November 29, 2010 at 12:42 AM PST #

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