Latest PatchSet Redesign: Give us your feedback on Quick Links

Update!
We are working on patch recommendation improvements and support for other features concerning patching of EBS/Fusion and the use of Enterprise Manager. We completed the survey, over 450 customers responded. We will look at sharing back some of the key findings with the community. You might have some insight to further our understanding of you, our customers. Thanks so much!


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We are incorporating the latest patches pages (aka, "Quick Links") into the new My Oracle Support user interface. The Quick Links pages contain the latest patchsets/packs for E-Business Suite and Oracle Server/Tools products. You can get to this page from your Patches and Updates tab in My Oracle Support, and clicking on the "Latest" links in the "Patching Quick Links" region. (as shown below). We want to make it better, if you think it could be improved.

This is ONLY to discuss the "Latest" Patch PAGES as shown below, NOT for the first region called "Patching Quick Links".

 

quicklinks_example.png

 

Copy and paste these questions into a comment for this blog entry and use them as a guide to give us feedback. Feel free to forward to others on your team for their input. We are listening!

1) How often do you use the Quick Links page (daily, weekly, monthly, rarely)?

2) Do Quick Links help you do you job? Do you still need to add or refine the search after clicking a Quick Link?

3) Could you briefly describe your last visit and use of these pages? Is there something it should be doing, but it doesn't?

4) How many different products on a Quick Links page do you ever use (i.e., do you ignore most of them and find yourself using the same 3 or 4 all of the time)?

5) Other feedback, or questions.

Please note: We understand that you may have other feedback concerning My Oracle Support, but please focus your comments on THIS post to Quick Links.

Thank you, Ajay and Richard

Comments:

As an Oracle ACE Director my profound disappointment with MOS continues. The community grows angrier and angrier that problems we point out are ignored and at meeting after meeting, led by Oracle employees, we are told that everything is fine and satisfaction has never been greater ... lightyears away from the reality. Here are just two current examples: Example 1: As the result of an SR in which I indicated that I had data centers where I could not use Flash I was referred to: https://supporthtml.oracle.com/ep/faces/index.jspx where under the "Patches & Updates" tab there are three broken links and no contents. But where I found all of my missing SRs none of which show up when I use the Flash interface at http://metalink.oracle.com. Example 2: This morning I sent Sherm and Dave a screen shot demonstrating that MOS drop downs list versions of the Oracle database that not only do not exist but which will never exist. Listed version include 11.1.1.00, 11.1.0.4 and 11.1.0.5. And I could easily post a dozen or more additional examples all equally frustrating. Now to your five questions: 1. How often do you use the Quick Links page (daily, weekly, monthly, rarely)? The answer would be "rarely." The reason being that the interface is frustrating. If I click on the link for "Oracle Server/Tools" the response is a page that lists the exact same links again plus what I asked for. If I click on Oracle Database I get a list of operating systems ... I choose Linux x86 ... It shows me a list of database versions none of which I have ... I have 11.1.0.6 and 11.2.0.1. I guess there aren't any patches for these products yet. A good interface would ask me three questions: 1. What product do you have? 2. What version do you have? 3. What operating system do you have? And then would present me with a list of available choices. 2. Do Quick Links help you do you job? Do you still need to add or refine the search after clicking a Quick Link? I find the quick links good at generating the DBA equivalent of road rage. I would gladly trade the current website for the legacy metalink site. I had warts but I least it wasn't bloated and painfully slow. 3. Could you briefly describe your last visit and use of these pages? Is there something it should be doing, but it doesn't? What it should be doing is facilitating me doing my job. It should not be slow, it should not make me wade through an inefficient interface, it should not make me work my way through irrelevant choices to find what I want if I am not using some obscure version of an obscure Oracle product. 4. How many different products on a Quick Links page do you ever use (i.e., do you ignore most of them and find yourself using the same 3 or 4 all of the time)? I always look for the same thing ... a currently supported version of the Oracle Database. I suspect that is also what 80% of your user base does too. 5. Other feedback, or questions. Well I think I addressed this up top. But as long as you ask ... the issues we have today with MOS are the exact same issues we had 5 years ago except that the interface is slower and violates a lot of data center security rules. Two weeks ago I took a tour of the Usability Labs in Redwood Shores. The labs are fantastic. The #1 question asked by people on the tour was ... "Why doesn't Oracle Support use the labs?" And it is an excellent question. Of course the answer is that you do: So where is the disconnect? Do you get good feedback and ignore it or do you get your feedback from people that are not real production DBAs with 10+ years of experience.

Posted by Daniel A. Morgan on February 10, 2010 at 07:51 AM PST #

Dan, hard for me to respond to everything in your email here. But we are planning a session offline to review your concerns. Some highlights. But I am only going to focus on the MOS flash UI. 1. We should find the details of these "missing" SRs. Typically it has to do with a filter in the client setting or a CSI issue. But if it is a MOS or UI issue, I can help get it resolved. I hate to see missing data, it is one of the worst kinds of problems for customers. 2. The listed version issue is being worked by the patching team. We had a meeting following your email and it is being addressed. the listed versions includes version of products like Oracle Text which ARE in the Oracle Database family. And the list includes those. But we think (and maybe you agree) that they should not be shown there unless you specifically choose the "include products in this family" checkbox. 3. We should gather your other dozen or more additional examples. Because, if we know about them, then we can try to fix them. Of course, I agree we probably shouldn't have had those issues in the first place. But a lot of times the issue is blamed on the UI (and sometimes it is the UI!), but if your problem has been around for years, then a) it is not the UI, and b) we should figure out why Oracle is not hearing you. Finally. For QuickLinks. We are trying to "design" QuickLinks. Which means we are first asking the questions to customers about their use and how well they work. And THEN we want to find a solution to the use case of why a customer would even use a Quick Link, so we can design a better solution. The labs that you toured, in a sense, are a proxy for usability and user research. Well this blog is an extension of that user research. And if you look back at the recent posts you will see some of the reseach that went on. But if you want to be truthful, I would have done three times as much research than we did for My Oracle Support before any release went out the door. But frankly, the design team is not staffed for that. I wish we were. We don't ignore it, we just don't get enough of it across all of the features in the product. So thank you for your candid feedback. I hope to get more in person. And for your input on Quick Links. Maybe you can get some other folks to comment on Quick Links? You say you would go back to the old site, but Quick Links IS the old site. It hasn't been touched. And yet you hate it. So give us a chance to improve it. Or get rid of it in leiu of something which would make your life easier. And one tip: Use the community posting for general ranting. I know Oracle folks are listening. And file even non-technical SRs if you can (I know this takes time). ;->

Posted by richard.miller on February 10, 2010 at 09:37 AM PST #

Here are my comments but I doubt they will be helpful to you, since I use a mac I try to use the supporthtml.oracle.com site as much as possible. I do end up at support.oracle.com more and more lately because I'm pretty lazy and after I type in the first few letters "sup" in the URL section of my browser I hit return and it goes to support.oracle.com. 1) How often do you use the Quick Links page (daily, weekly, monthly, rarely)? Daily 2) Do Quick Links help you do you job? Do you still need to add or refine the search after clicking a Quick Link? Yes because it gets me to the old patch search page as quickly as possible. Can't stand the flash version of it. 3) Could you briefly describe your last visit and use of these pages? Is there something it should be doing, but it doesn't? Works fine for me but still prefer the supporthtml site 4) How many different products on a Quick Links page do you ever use (i.e., do you ignore most of them and find yourself using the same 3 or 4 all of the time)? I use "Classic Patch", "Latest 11i Packs" and "Recommended Patches for 11i" 5) Other feedback, or questions. Nothing really other than until you fix the Mac version of Flash (oh ya its not yours to fix), I will continue to use the supporthtml as much as possible.

Posted by Mike Charchuk on February 10, 2010 at 10:58 AM PST #

I am on a Mac too. Maybe you can ping me offline why that is the problem you need fixed? But I will clarify, We are asking about the specific Quick Links as shown in the image above. We are asking all of these questions concerning the Latest 11i Packs, the Latest 12 and Oracle Server Latest Patch pages. Not about the region used to get to those pages. And would also be interested in what you don't like about the new search. Maybe we can work on that too. ;-> richard.miller at oracle dot com

Posted by richard.miller on February 10, 2010 at 01:13 PM PST #

I second everything Daniel said. re: your reply to Daniel's #3 - "We should gather your other dozen or more additional examples. Because, if we know about them, then we can try to fix them. Of course, I agree we probably shouldn't have had those issues in the first place. But a lot of times the issue is blamed on the UI (and sometimes it is the UI!), but if your problem has been around for years, then a) it is not the UI, and b) we should figure out why Oracle is not hearing you." Part one 'We should gather your other dozen or more examples...' -> I opened a tar where I sent them screen shot after screen shot of every issue I had every day (and not a day passed when i tried to use the beast (html or flash) and did not encounter a bug). After a month and a half of screenshots, I was told that I would have to open individual tars for the individual issues...For usual tars, I'd say ok. But to me, given that the title of the tar is "My Oracle Support is Bug City" (and yes, I even have a screen shot of it throwing an error when I tried to update said tar..how fitting)...seems to me that all of these errors fit under the umbrella of the fact that whole POS is an issue., And to have me spend my time troubleshooting every bug I encounter on a support site? Well, that would make sense if I WORKED for Oracle..and would make sense if this was NOT LIVE. (As it should Not Be). But..~we~ pay ~you~ a LOT of money...Oracle doesn't pay us anything...and my employer surely doesn't pay me to troubleshoot Oracle's site for them.. So in short (or long as the case may be) - 'if we know about them, we can try to fix them' - this is fine. Dandy. Grand. IN BETA. This is 110% Not Fine or Dandy or Grand when this thing is a production support site! As for part #2 'But a lot of times the issue is blamed on the UI....'- Metalink wasn't slow. This thing is. Metalink didn't make you wade your way through irrelevant choices via an inefficient (and bloated) interface. This thing does. I could go on with the many things he did not list (and I'm sure he could too) - but bottom line - this is 110% the UI. Or rather, it ~is~ the UI and all of the code changes behind it. And as for 'b) we should figure out why Oracle is not hearing you'..you mention it in regard to an issue being around for years..But there wasn't an issue around for years; just one blatant one since November, 2009...Nonetheless, that's still a mighty good question...-> Why isn't Oracle hearing us? Or rather why does Oracle seem to demand that they know what's best for us and ignore anything we say to the contrary? This thing is hideous. Experiment failed. Apologize, bring Metalink back, and be done with it. I know that this is supposed to just be about the patch thing and not about POS as a whole..But you can't have one with out the other. As above, I second Daniel's comments, so there's my input on the patch interface...Other than that, I have a hard time giving specific input on the patch interface as - were it to somehow be reorganized into something that was vaguely helpful - well, it's all for naught when we can't even login to POS in the first place... And note - when Metalink was redesigned a few years back - sure, I made a frowny face..But I gave it a chance and it worked...so I never complained..Thus it is not just stodgy stick in the mud mentality..I gave this thing a chance...It blew it.

Posted by kathryn on February 11, 2010 at 03:05 PM PST #

Thanks. You are so right, you are not our beta tester. You are our customer. Well put. Thanks for you insight. We will do better.

Posted by richard.miller on February 12, 2010 at 06:22 AM PST #

1) How often do you use the Quick Links page (daily, weekly, monthly, rarely)? probably weekly 2) Do Quick Links help you do you job? Do you still need to add or refine the search after clicking a Quick Link? they are a big help, much better than filling out the search first. I'm often looking for the latest patch/psu/cpu for a product though so the default of patchset gets changed. 3) Could you briefly describe your last visit and use of these pages? Is there something it should be doing, but it doesn't? just yesterday I sorted my results for all patches for grid control 10.2.0.5 by release date, then when I realized it was ascending I sorted again -- by clicking on the top. my product choice disappeared. 4) How many different products on a Quick Links page do you ever use (i.e., do you ignore most of them and find yourself using the same 3 or 4 all of the time)? 1 product sometimes 2 releases (eg 10.2.0.4 and 11.1.0.6 for the db) 5) Other feedback, or questions I generally now use the supporthtml interface because it just works so much better.

Posted by Niall Litchfield on February 12, 2010 at 07:15 AM PST #

1) weekly 2) Yes. I hope it, menu *not in* obsolete OSs and *not in* older version. I hope to menu too simple,current use,Accuracy Name and Release Numbers.

Posted by guest on February 12, 2010 at 11:24 PM PST #

Going to have to agree with Daniel and Kathryn. I'll pick on one thing for right now. As I have already logged in, MOS should know several things about me from the get-go. For instance, MOS should know the top 5 platforms I usually file SRs for. MOS also knows all the platforms and services I am licensed for. We do not use and are not licensed for E-Business, so I never (ever!) want to see E-Business. At all! Or Beehive. Or COREid. Or RDB. Or Oracle Applications. Or Wireless. Or..... the list goes on. As far as using the UI, I am finding the massive list of Products hard to use with the oversensitive mouse-over - I often get huge drop down lists as I navigate my mouse over the screen to its final destination, which is unpleasant and unattractive. Perhaps change the mouse-over to mouse-click or something. The blocky presentation style is not really attractive either. What about web 2.0 trees? Rounded corners?

Posted by Charles Schultz on February 15, 2010 at 05:33 AM PST #

Good point. We are thinking about two ideas. 1. Should you, if you choose to, tell us or just use the most recently used platform lists we use elsewhere to reduce the options you see. 2. Once you choose something (and we hope to make it easier to use that long drop list of platforms and release), we add it to a most recently used list. Both so you can run that search again, easily, with no navigation and maybe 2) to even "pivot" off of that search easily (say you did DB 10.2.0.4, so it is on your recently used list, but with a click you can do this for 10.2.0.5 or maybe pivot from Linux x86 to Solaris 8? Or in the case of EBS, maybe show you the latest patchset you HAVEN'T downloaded or seen? If you only use a small set of products, PowerView would limit the results elsewhere... maybe this should be applied here as well?

Posted by richard.miller on February 15, 2010 at 08:02 AM PST #

1) How often do you use the Quick Links page (daily, weekly, monthly, rarely)? Monthly 2) Do Quick Links help you do you job? Do you still need to add or refine the search after clicking a Quick Link? Usually, sometimes I am looking for something that isn't there and not sure where to find it. 3) Could you briefly describe your last visit and use of these pages? Is there something it should be doing, but it doesn't? I was looking for Cash Management to see if we on the latest patch. It is included in Financials? Not sure 4) How many different products on a Quick Links page do you ever use (i.e., do you ignore most of them and find yourself using the same 3 or 4 all of the time)? I support Procurement and Inventory so I mostly look at those. 5) Other feedback, or questions. Maybe a help section. If you are looking for Cash Management go to Financials. iSupplier go to Procurement. iExpense go to....

Posted by Marie Staubitz on February 17, 2010 at 06:09 AM PST #

Thanks for the tip. So to make sure I get it. You know the product in EBS you support, but you have to understand the mapping to the parent product which is shown. Which makes it hard to "find" the right product. So if you typed in say "iSupplier" we should show you the right product?

Posted by richard.miller on February 17, 2010 at 06:35 AM PST #

1) How often do you use the Quick Links page (daily, weekly, monthly, rarely)? weekly 2) Do Quick Links help you do you job? Do you still need to add or refine the search after clicking a Quick Link? Yes they help. Yes I still need to add or refine the search. 3) Could you briefly describe your last visit and use of these pages? Is there something it should be doing, but it doesn't? I had a patch that had a pre-req of let's say, Fin_F - that patch didn't give me a patch #. It'd be great if I could go to quick links and find that out. 4) How many different products on a Quick Links page do you ever use (i.e., do you ignore most of them and find yourself using the same 3 or 4 all of the time)? We run family packs of HR, CRM, Manufacturing and Finance. Hence, I'm frequently using most of these. It'd also be nice if you'd actually consistently use the same group name or have an old product name point me to the current group - some modules are no longer available stand alone and are only patched via family packs. Make that clearer. 5) Other feedback, or questions. It's been said over and over and Oracle refuses to fix it - the flash interface and the new support site is horrendous. Get rid of that crap. Have it work fine on my iphone so I can respond to SRs on my phone when I'm out. Make sure your analysts actually put the right supersceding patch info into metalink - CS has a monthly fix patch, but for many months (say, April 09, if you pull up that patch, it doesn't tell you it's been supersceded. Crappy.

Posted by Jay Weinshenker on February 18, 2010 at 02:22 AM PST #

We have had a "plan" to do the Iphone app. Even "Larry" liked the idea... but like you mention with the "crappy" flash UI, we are focused on making MOS better more than going into these other areas. But it is being worked... Oracle is not refusing to fix anything. I can vouch that there are a lot of folks working to "fix" MOS. I am one of them, and our team. But if you read my other threads and comments, you might realize that there were a lot of major changes all at once... So issues are being worked all along the food chain (login, authentication, flash UI, back-end, call center).. .they were all new. And I passed on your meta data comment to the patching folks. Thanks for your feedback.

Posted by richard.miller on February 19, 2010 at 01:21 AM PST #

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