Part Three: Special Areas of Feedback: Content, Quality, and Performance

Back to Summary
Part One: Gathering Feedback from Recent Usability Research and Studies
Part Two: Actual User Feedback

In the previous post, we talked about general feedback to the product and showed examples of the feedback customers provided and how we worked to resolve those issues. In this part, I want to focus on a few key areas which get a lot of talk; Content, Quality, and Performance.

Content Issues
Content is the information inside of My Oracle Support. It is the "text" of your Word Processing document, the image in your photo gallery and for My Oracle Support the knowledge-base, the questions asked in a Service Request, the health or patch recommendation and so on are content. It is not the user interface per se. My Oracle Support, the software relies on a variety of back-end services to provide this information. Let's talk about these content issues and what can be done to improve them.
Content issues and bugs are super important, but they tend to not be something that the design or front-end development team can fix. They require many teams across Oracle, and tend to take a long time to fix compared to the fixes we can typically do in the UI or in the database. Content issues customers reported include;


  • Knowledge returning poor results

  • SR templates asking the same questions over (and over, and over) again

  • Patch or Health Check recommendations not being correct

  • The list of products is different when searching Knowledge, filing an SR,searching for a configuration, or finding a patch. Ouch!

 

This is not an excuse. But the team I work with need to work with many other teams to resolve these issues. Darn right these issues need to be fixed!

For example, tuning the knowledge engine behind the knowledge articles is a challenging task. And long-time Oracle customers probably got used to the old search results. The new engine does things differently, and it should be better for most searches. The knowledge team is dedicated to continuously improve the search and browse experience of our knowledge base. They continually mine the search logs to learn and identify ways to improve search.

 

Tip: If you have trouble finding an article, is to go to the Knowledge page and use the product search in the top left. Once you have filtered down to the specific product, THEN type in a search in the search field in the middle of the screen to further refine your search. And try using the filters provided on the right side of the screen to also filter down to a manageable list. Now see if you can find your article. This product filter is also available from the Knowledge advanced search link to the right of the search field.

 

 

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There some usability issues with first time users of the knowledge search, especially with the use of facets (the drill down options on the right of the search). Some design improvements are being worked right now for an upcoming release in that area. Also look at the short training video on how to get the most out of the knowledge search available in the Video Training Blog entry.

I know the knowledge team is constantly working to provide more precise results, faster queries, and improvements to the user interface. So continue to provide feedback. Tell them what you were trying to find and tell them about your search via the Feedback mechanism. This can help them improve the results from knowledge search. And when you can, try providing feedback on the articles you read. Recently viewed articles on the Knowledge page have a link to provide a review.

I can attest that some issues in the Service Request templates are being fixed, but I think that the templates are the same coming from Classic MetaLink as they are in the new user interface, and they would need to be modified to take into account the new UI. This has not happened yet, which is partially why you see the same question being asked over and over again. I do know your complaints about the process being too long for "simple" problems, is being addressed.

Patch and Health recommendations went through a big over-hall in early 2009 and that should have resulted in customers seeing much better results with less "silly" recommendations. Sometimes a recommendation is tagged for applying to say 30 or 40 releases of a Database, but gets "over-tagged". Then we wind up with a recommendation on one release which just doesn't make sense. Typically those should be fixed quickly, and I have noticed a large reduction in issues in that area in the last few months. If you find that a recommendation just doesn't make any sense on the system you are looking at, let us know! Improvements and fixes to the recommendation engine are done frequently.

And finally my personal pet peeve is the naming of Oracle products. In one place you look for "Oracle Server - Enterprise Edition", in another "RDBMS Server", a third is "Oracle Database". So each part of My Oracle Support is asking you for the same product, but using different terminology. I am so sorry! In addition, when Oracle changes the product name you get stuck because even though you are on an "old" release which uses the old name, Oracle wants to refer to it by the new name, no matter what release. We saw this in early user testing and created an alias list. So that, you might type "Database" and our UI would find the product. We added aliases to E-Business Suite products (so you could type "GL" for General Ledger" and find that product). This shipped with the 3.0 release of My Oracle Support. And we are working for a release in the future to have this alias list used everywhere and base it on a single common table of product names. This feature is not available yet in the MetaLink3 (support.oracle.com) site and will not be available when the Oracle customer migration occurs in Nov '09. But we know this is an issue and are working to get all of the development and support teams to work from a single list of products. By the way Oracle has more than 5000 products, and with each new company we buy this list grows. We are also working on ways to hide the 95% of this which you don't want or typically need to see. If you have some thoughts on this, do post to the blog! We would love to talk about it.

Quality
What is quality to you? For me quality has many dimensions. Does the product crash? Run slow? Provide me accurate results? Can I do what I expect when I expect it?

All of these probably matter to you, they certainly matter to our team. When doing usability research, or testing with early code, we tend to not deal with most quality issues, because we expect to fix them prior to production. And typically we are not running on the typical high-performance hardware, so it hard to gauge actual performance in the field. Like how fast a query returns. And even accurate results we don't necessarily catch in usability sessions. We might have just test or sample data, so again this type of information is not captured. So how do we capture this information? A special environment is setup to mimic real-world settings, but even then we don't always have the right data or real data in the environment. It is a combination of our quality engineers to find these issues. But even today we don't have all of the tests in place to verify every possible situation you would experience. Are you seeing a slow down when you PowerView, do a Group by, and then filter by name? Humm... sometimes we can only catch this on a case by case basis, so file a bug! But when it comes to user experience quality, we can find the issues typically in our tests. The real question comes, if we can fix them before you see them. Not everything you see goes through the same quality filters. Health Checks might be reviewed by one team, while the knowledge article about the issue and service request questions for that product are from two other teams. And sure enough all of these are for the same issue! So we do have some work to do to provide you a consistent, accurate and quality product. Inconsistency like this is a quality issue, a usability issue, and a problem worth solving.

Performance Issues
I would guess we saved the most contentious issue for last. It is true there are places in My Oracle Support where performance is slow. And we have heard this loud and clear. Not all of the performance issues are from the use of Flash, but we are working them all, when possible. We have heard the following:


  • Takes too long to load - get rid of the loading screen

  • The dashboard comes up but then take a long time to load the content

  • SR details load slowly

  • Memory footprint of my browser grows and then slows the whole experience

  • Delays when loading pages, PowerView, or other features


The development team has looked for any and all solutions. Some of the solutions implemented or slated for releases include the following:

  • Reducing the size of the initial download (deferring the loading of some data)

  • Placing the application on edge servers to allow faster downloading across the Internet from non-US locations

  • Doing more "just-in-time" and server-side queries

  • Allowing collapsed regions to wait until opened to get data (deferred loading)

  • Tuning queries to return data faster

  • Compressing data across the data connection

 

This is a true client application running in a browser. So once the application is loaded it should be very very fast. But when it has to wait on the back-end to return data, and sometimes we return a lot of data, you wait. It is a tough tradeoff. For example, if I took the Inventory report and made it non-interactive, it would be a lot faster. But then you would have to create a new report for the equivalent of every single click or drill down. When you have a 1000 or so collected systems (when using the collector) an interactive report like the one provided can answer tons of questions with only a click or two. But the cost is loading all of that data ahead of time. Maybe this is an ok tradeoff? But for a Service Request, it needs to load quickly... every time. Right? I can honestly say a lot of folks are working very hard to continue to improve performance. And even though the application is probably now at least 50% larger in features and size than at Oracle World last year, I think you will still see performance improvements in the upcoming releases. If you don't use a region, collapsing it will improve performance...

You should notice some performance fixes right now if you have an account on support.oracle.com. For customers using metalink.oracle.com, these improvements should appear when your migration occurs in November.

And one final thought. You might ask, well just do it in straight AJAX, that will solve the issues! I know, that was one of our thoughts too. But the testing matrix for AJAX is huge, and the javascript code can also be quite large to load, and in the end some of our biggest performance hits have nothing to do with the front-end technology per se, they have to do with how we access the content and how much context exists. A list of 5000 products is the same no matter what the technology. How and when we access it still needs to be addressed.

 

Performance Test

Go to the Dashboard and click Reload from the browser. How long did this take? Now collapse all of the regions on the screen so they are just one row tall. Now reload again. Did performance improve? How long does it take you to load the application for the first time from a browser where the application is not in your cache? Click on SR on the Dashboard. How long did it take to load? Click the "next" icon in the top right. How long for the second and third SR? Do tell, post to the Blog, let us know where you are from and how long it takes you. Inquiring minds do want to know!

 

So, in conclusions; we hear you: Performance needs work. Content should be improved, the site should work with all browsers, and don't don't make customers "beta testers" with a buggy site. I don't like the idea of customers filing Service Requests because the Service Request system is not working! And we, everyone on the My Oracle Support team, is working to fix these issues. But don't be shy. Do provide that feedback. And if you can, when asked, do participate in feedback sessions or usability studies. I know I am listening and so are many folks on our team.

I hope this series explained how we gather customer feedback, how we work to resolve the issues, what some or the key issues are, and what we are doing about it. Thanks for getting this far in the blog!


Comments:

On a related (migration to MOS) note, I just subscribed to 'Metalink my headlines' via MOS. But all the links in that email take you to old metalink. so, what happens after Nov 6th ? RJ

Posted by RJ on November 03, 2009 at 11:48 PM PST #

They should correctly point to the knowledge browser in My Oracle Support

Posted by richard.miller on November 04, 2009 at 02:56 AM PST #

Dear Richard, I've read a lot about how Oracle are "listening" to their users. I regret it doesn't appear to be that way to me - after many pleas not to remove "Classic" Metalink, or at least give an ability to access it in reduced format for those of us in a non-Flash environment, it appears that Oracle just went ahead and did what they felt like anyway. In the process of the migration over this last weekend, my SSO details appear to have been lost, so I've wasted all day so far getting a new id created, which now no longer has my bookmarks accumulated over 7 years, and I can't filter my SR's to show just "mine" of course. Hopefully this will be resolved before long. I managed to get Flash installed on the client I use at work, but this might be removed before long, as Flash is not encouraged at our site. In the meantime, although it is stated that there is an HTML option to access the new support site, that isn't accessible if you have Flash on your pc.. So how do I access it to test it, make sure it works, etc? Why isn't the option there?? It's very presumptious to assume that because Flash is available we want to use it! Moving items around the dashboard is cumbersome, slow, and unpredictable at best, and changing font size rendered all the buttons unreadable. All I want to do is read the text articles, search for them, download the odd patch, and maybe raise an SR or two from time to time, none of which requires Flash or animations. Metalink was perfectly adequate for this, and I could guarantee that almost whatever browser or its age, or whatever plugin policies of where-ever I worked were, I could use it. Now, I'm not so sure, and this move seems like a triumph of form over content to me. I know from your blog entry that you separate concerns over the content of the articles etc from the design and implementation of the support site, which is entirely valid - but I don't think I am alone in believing that the time spent in making all these changes could have been used to improve the quality of some of the articles in the Knowledge base; eg the RAV articles that still need fleshing out, better examples, better English, etc etc. Simon

Posted by Simon on November 09, 2009 at 10:39 PM PST #

It is tough to tell what issues belong to the application and what issues belong to the support personnel. I recently had to change the CSI number I support. When I finally get to log in to MOS, the changes were lost and my profile reverted to the job I had three jobs back. Eventually, I'll recover the new CSI number and re-edit my profile ... but I will depend less and less on Oracle support for authoritative, definitive solutions and answers.

Posted by Gus Spier on November 10, 2009 at 12:56 AM PST #

Now would be a great time to tell us how you guys are addressing the most current issues. Granted, I realize you might be a tad busy. =)

Posted by charles schultz on November 10, 2009 at 06:52 AM PST #

I'm not sure about how the rest is using MOS, but in my case, all I need is to do some searches in the knowledge base. I have over 1 minute delays, several clicks, waits, clicks, waits, eye candy bouncing stupidly around the screen, in order to get to any info I need. I also need to download a humongous SWF file that I´m not going to use, be subject to a lot of "alerts" and tons of noise that I don't need and I´m not interested in. Using the old metalink, I used to log in, search, done. Now my experience with the site is totally appalling. The lack of support of browser bookmarks, under supported tabs, is unbelievable at this age. You are dealing with IT professionals here, this is not Facebook. You REALLY need usability tests and figure out the different usage patterns for your users. Your "everything but the kitchen sink" approach helps nobody. It creates a lot of confusion, delays, and unnecessary waste of time : KISS.

Posted by Guillermo on November 11, 2009 at 12:20 AM PST #

So how is it different now? (maybe you were still trying when migration was happening?) You sign in, type your search in the top right and press search. Does it still take over 1 minute to return results? I can do this with one click (into the search field). It takes me about 10 seconds to sign in with my password, about 10 seconds to load the application, and while loading I typed in my search and it returned in about 6 seconds. Subsquent searches were less than 3 seconds. Try this and let me know what results you get from your part of the world? If you have "lots" of alerts (maybe again because of migration), maybe those are gone now. If you don't really do anything else, collapse all of the regions on the dashboard. So when you come in next time, they won't even try to get any info, and that should shave a few seconds off. And what is not bookmarkable for you? Articles can be bookmarked in the product (the star), you can also bookmark using the browser, or even open an article in a new HTML window and bookmark that. Let me know how you are bookmarking and what is not working! What is an "under supported tab"? Let me know! You have my curiousity peaked!

Posted by richard.miller on November 11, 2009 at 06:44 AM PST #

The interface still seems a little slow. Allow me to elaborate. I type "10.2.0.5" in the the knowledge browser search tool. In the "Refine search" pane on the right, I click "Oracle Database Products"; the "Refine Search" pane scrolls up and then I see a busy signal while my search results are narrowed down. I would prefer that if (and this is a questionable if) the right-hand pane were to roll up, it be much faster. It feels like the actual work of refining my search does not happen until the pane is 100% scrolled. Next I click on the first article that appears - the entire left-hand pane/region immediate reduces the size of the text, then the pane slowly squeezes to the left while a new pane slides in from the right. I prefer that either it simply snap, or that the animation endure a total of .2 seconds (or less). And still the "back" button does not work. It scrolls through the history of URLs, but it does not actually take the visible page back at all. The Product list when creating the SR is better; instead of thousands of products, now I see 30 or 40. Is there anyway to customize that list? What if I only want to see one product? Or 5? What if I only ever want to create an SR on a total list of 2 platforms?

Posted by charles schultz on November 11, 2009 at 09:55 PM PST #

Hello Mr. Miller: I need to use the HTML version, but searches (even advanced search) return no results (IMP-00019) or very limited results (3 records for ORA-00600). Why is the search feature so severly restricting what it returns? Thank you, Laura Sallwasser

Posted by Laura Sallwasser on November 12, 2009 at 02:21 AM PST #

I don't know anything about the HTML version. I will have to check and get back to you. Ok, I checked. I am going to guess that there is a filter on the right of the box which is set to something other than "Oracle Products". Try setting that. Of course there is nothing in the UI to tell you this filter was set, nor any way of changing the filter once the search is completed. But I am guessing this might work for you to fix the issue.. Would also be curious why you "need to use the HTML version". I woudn't mind hearing your issues/reasons. Cheers.

Posted by richard.miller on November 12, 2009 at 02:49 AM PST #

Yes we could speed up the transition a bit. I think it is set to about .5 so you have time to see that your list is persisting, but I do what you mean. It looks like the next query is waiting on the list to scroll up and THEN run the query. I don't even want the thing to go up and down, it should just "change" its contents. But I will check and make sure the query goes first if it doesn't already. Looks like Back when in the article is a bug. I think you should file it (coming from a customer). I am pretty sure they know about it because I see the URL changing to do the right thing (change the article ID), but it is not actually going back. Our thought eleswhere was to just keep track of recently used products, like we do in patching. This can also be extended to platforms, again like we do in patching. Maybe this would be what you needed? Let the list be customized automatically be your use? The platform recent list would also solve this. It would put the recently used items first before the long list of platforms. So you just choose the first or second item. Would this work well for you?

Posted by richard.miller on November 12, 2009 at 03:41 AM PST #

Fair enough. I think we are all experiencing performance and sign in issues at least sporatically. They are working to fix queries, bumping up hardware, and even we are looking to change the UI to limit some queries. For example, the patching engine really doesn't like searching for a bug ID without a platform. This is returning a lot of results, and probably even too many for most customers. The idea was to allow this so that someone downloading a patch for one release could very easily also grab them for other releases. I think we are going to go back to restricting the basic patch ID search to require a platform. This and some other tweaks like that (like making sure that a release is specified in advanced search and not letting "All Releases" be used) would help everyone. But we would also make sure you can still multiple select platforms and keep your recent list, so if you always download a patch on two or three specific platforms, you can still do that. Of course, I would like to hear what customers think of this! please thread!

Posted by richard.miller on November 12, 2009 at 04:04 AM PST #

Richard wrote "Would also be curious why you "need to use the HTML version". I woudn't mind hearing your issues/reasons." I don't know what Laura's reasons are, but mine are exemplified by today's headline over at computerworld.com - http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9140768/Flash_flaw_puts_most_sites_users_at_risk_say_researchers If I can possibly avoid using Flash, I would very much prefer to do so. Many DBAs expressed concerns about this prior to go live. Jared Still's poll was probably the most widely publicized, but there were tons of comments on oracle-l and various blogs, expressing real concern about the security implications of this choice - as well as on OTN, on the Oracle blogs, etc. I have not yet heard the reasons behind the choice of Flash as a development platform. To me the reasons for this choice are not obvious - this system is to support people who are technically literate, who have high levels of access to highly sensitive systems, and who tend to be risk-averse as a function of what they do and what they have to protect. Most of the public comments I saw from actual DBAs had security, speed, and simplicity at their top criteria. Personally, to me, getting those right is far more important than being pretty or cool. Would you be willing to share with us the WHY of this platform choice?

Posted by Lisa on November 12, 2009 at 06:44 AM PST #

bugs are bugs. Most of them (almost all of the ones we see in production) have nothing to do with Flash. It is back-end. We just happen to use Flash on the front-end (and yes there are bugs in the UI, but this not why we are having this migration and stability problems). Read the security article carefully. it is not flash per se, it could be any site with javascript or other scripting. Again, it is not a flash issue. There seems to be a lot of push to "blaim" the technology, but frankly we should put blame in the right places. Right now our fault during the migration - you bet... but not Flash. The choice of flash was partially because we were asked to drive innovation, the choices for shipping development environments which supported the requirments, and had to be compatible with IE 6. And IE 6, even today, is the largest percentage of our customers, and hence limited our options otherwise most customers would have to upgrade. Even today (Nov 2009) with IE 6 as a requirement, it is tough to define a long set of technologies. Older ADF 10 and HTML DB are very limited (or impossible) for Web 2.0 type interactions (and if we can get past the production bugs, I think you might find these new features valuable!). While newer tech stacks didn't support IE 6. Or in one case, like going with straight Ajax/HTML, we would kill outselves with cross platform testing and bugs. And to be frank the original development team was very very (very) small. And it wasn't practical from testing perspecting. Also, historically My Oracle Support grew up from a skunk works project to deal with the more interactive world of managing configurations. And we build this in Flash because we had high developer productivity, fast build cycles, plenty of innovation, plus basic stuff, and flash was found in a much large percentage of customer environments than some of the options (that excluded IE 6). Funny enough, we probed customers about the IE 6 requirement and I do recall one customer telling us not to even ask, because they would have to recertify all (6000) applications in their company for a new platform and that wasn't happening any time soon. But when we asked for a new version of Flash to be installed and would that impact certification? They answered No. Because we are one of the first to use Flash in the enterprise, so some (some, maybe not you ;->) are able to get Flash installed easier than if you had to upgrade to IE 7. But times will change, platforms will change, and hopefully we can deliver on speed and simplicity (I think we are doing pretty good on security, even with that inflamitory article) sooner than later. And to be fair to those who say we don't eat our own dog food. We do! The entire middle tier, back-end, call center, etc... are all Oracle stack products.

Posted by richard.miller on November 12, 2009 at 09:45 AM PST #

Hi Richard - You're not hearing me, and I would guess probably not hearing most of the DBAs expressing concerns. First, yes, Flash really is the issue. I did not have Flash enabled on my work PC AT ALL until you indicated it was required for MOS - and it required special dispensation to get permission to load it. It is a vulnerable technology. Many DBAs cannot get permission to load it because its use is forbidden in their organizations. Flash security risks are published weekly. I cringe every time I get one, because I now don't have the option of turning it off. I gave you one example of a Flash vulnerability - I could post a hundred here. Vulnerabilities are a huge issue with DBAs - a compromised DBA computer is handing the keys of the kingdom over to the bad guys. If you asked 100 DBAs their design criteria for their support portal, from 0 to 10, where 10 was vitally important and 0 was who cares, I would be willing to bet large sums of money that security, speed, and simplicity will be near 10. Web 2.0, for me and I believe for most DBAs, would be ZERO. What a lot of us are saying is that we don't care about the Web 2.0 stuff. We'll live with it if we have to, but it doesn't provide us with benefits and we really don't want Flash or any other vulnerable technology. Most Web 2.0 technologies are quite vulnerable re security AND ARE THUS INAPPROPRIATE FOR DBA PORTALS. I don't care about or need the special features. I have no idea who drove the requirements for the bells and whistles, but it was not from feedback from the organized DBA groups, chats, email lists, or blogs. I'm not sure who pushed the configuration management feature, but again, it doesn't appear to have come from DBAs. It has pretty darn limited value, which limitations Oracle could have found out if they'd talked to a wider cross section of DBAs. From the outside, it appears to be the boy scout dragging the little old lady the wrong way across the road. DBAS HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS. FLASH DOES NOT MEET THOSE NEEDS - IN FACT, IT COMPROMISES THEM BY BEING AN INHERENTLY INSECURE PLATFORM. I am hearing that over and over again, louder and louder, from my peers - but it's like you all just can't hear what we're saying because you have a preconception of what we want. If you'd like to see more Flash vulnerabilities - 48 pages of links to them - you could check at http://search.securityfocus.com/swsearch?sbm=%2F&metaname=alldoc&query=flash&x=0&y=0

Posted by Lisa on November 12, 2009 at 08:42 PM PST #

Lisa, I do hear you. And you have plenty of good thoughts. But I do think some of this is unfair to flash. First the link you sent is very cool, but a) almost all of those are for old versions of flash which are fixed, and b) javascript has twice as many of those postings, java 3 times as many!. If security is really your issue for the web support site (which is not the same as security of your database), we should be pushing for a desktop version of the application. And funny enough, with Flash we could do a desktop version of the app. This would elminate the javascript issues (which I assume must apply to you?), and flash/browser issues - since we are in a protected space. Would this be an option (putting asside your dislike of Flash, just for a moment and focusing on security?) We do know that a few My Oracle Support administrators (recall we support more than just DBAs) have had to get the same special dispensation that you had to request. Sometimes it is because it is "new" or "different", sometimes it is because the perception of Flash, is well just because it is flash (and has a history of being used for annoying ads and such), and sometimes folks are truely concerned with security, in which case we expect they don't allow javascript to run on the machine either (and becomes a real problem for pretty much every web application in and outside of the company). And we do see the final kind - which is the "bunker" folks, who run their DBs inside of a closed environment with no Internet connectivity at all. And obviously we can't run there no matter what. But in 95% of cases, we start off "ok". And this was and still seems a smaller barrier to entry then if we had requested IE 7 as a minimum platform (but I don't want to discuss that thread again! ->) I totally agree speed and simplicity should be a 10. But I can only push others on speed, and hope that those get fixed so we can focus on better usability. We generated an action plan of over a dozen performance improvements (beyond the obvious SQL tuning and query issues), and many of those are in production. Almost all of these have nothing to do with Flash - that is they are not issues with the front-end. When we do find front-end issues, we also fix those (and typically those are easy to fix). Maybe you can explain why a "concept" like providing feedback from other DBAs around issues with a patch, or validating that a patch will install before downloading the file, or providing a merge patch for a conflict between an installed patch and needed new patch with one click are "special features". We have talked to DBAs (not you, obviously) and they almost universally bent over backwards around these features. All of this goes beyond the basic search, type, and download. I assume you don't use configuration manager. But even with these "rants" - I would appreciate why the value is not there (one click compare, priority handing of SRs, patch recommendations, merge patch validation, etc...)? Again a seperate issue... but one I still would be interested in hearing from you (or others who are following the blog). But I would like to say I am personally sorry for all of this headache. I do feel your pain (otherwise I would not be spending this time listening to you). I am NOT on the services team, and my job is to learn from customers. And Oracle did listen and provide an HTML version for those "basic" use cases of search, SR and download.

Posted by richard.miller on November 13, 2009 at 01:19 AM PST #

What I mean by under supported tabs should be totally unsupported tabs in modern browsers. There are no HTML links at all in the site that can be bookmarked/shared with coworkers/saved for the future/opened in new tabs. That alone makes the site a pain to use and unpractical. Bookmarks in the site itself are slow, and don´t integrate with my daily workflow ( browsers features such as bookmark organization and tagging don´t work at all). You assume a totally linear way of using the site, which constantly slows the user down.

Posted by Guillermo on November 13, 2009 at 02:30 AM PST #

You write that "Older ADF 10 and HTML DB are very limited (or impossible) for Web 2.0 type interactions (and if we can get past the production bugs, I think you might find these new features valuable!)." There is a HUGE assumption about the way we work in that statement. Web 2.0 has it's place. Even with Support. But not all of us need, want, or can benefit from Web 2.0 The problem is that Web 2.0 makes assumptions about the way we want to, or need to, work. And that means the design team is pigeon-holing the user community. Think of it this way - Web 1.0 is command line, web 2.0 is GUI. GUI is 'friendly'. Command line is 'efficient'. There is a significant amount that can be done with Web 1.0. And much of that can be done faster and at a MUCH lower costs to both your side and ours. Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 can coexist, just as command line and GUI can coexist.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on November 13, 2009 at 02:39 AM PST #

In many cases, WE, your user community, have NO CHOICE about whether FLASH is available or not on our systems. Corporate Policy makes that decision. We are risking our jobs by countering corporate policy or risking our positions by 'asking for special dispensation' - you can only ask for favours so often. (You seem to assume it's a small percentage of users. Yet, at least 30% of every Oracle class I teach raises that concern.) The problem is not so much Flash on your site. It is that having Flash installed because of your site that we become more vulnerable to other sites. Which means additional scrutiny or steps or processes. Oracle's decision about the importance of going Web 2.0 is backing us into a corner.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on November 13, 2009 at 02:46 AM PST #

You have the choice to use the html version. It is a small percentage of users (a few %) who at this point do not have flash installed at all, and a very small number who have flash but should be on a more recent version. Granted those who don't want are vocal, and have some valid concerns too! And hence the html version is there.

Posted by richard.miller on November 13, 2009 at 03:24 AM PST #

Yes - funny you mention that. We have discussed something similar. I would think customers would prefer friendly and efficient. Especially given the large number of new customers to Oracle. And we do hear from folks who effectively ask for My Oracle Support to be command line, in one way or another. If it was my choice with unlimited resources, I would probably do a command line UI. We are looking at, for example, allowing one to search for patches on the GUI, maybe stick them all in a plan (collect up the ones you want), but generate a Wget script so you can go into your data center, or on the box, or somewhere else and ge the patches (rather than the GUI which would download to your desktop or mounted drive). Although I think it would be tough to search for articles via a command line (I am sure someone out there will want to prove me wrong!) So maybe some "hybrid" approaches might work for some specific use cases?

Posted by richard.miller on November 13, 2009 at 03:31 AM PST #

All articles, bugs, patches have the option for HTML links. I do see your problem. Some work... like right click on an article and copy URL or open in a new (HTML) window. Copy URL to share with co-workers, and Open in a new window can be bookmarked. The site is supposed to all be working with deep bookmarking (so you can bookmark any page and share it). You can even right click when viewing an article and "Bookmark this page" BUT, I do see plenty of places where bookmarking is not working for sharing purposes. Ouch! Guillermo, Maybe you can email me offline and I can watch your workflow, catalog your issues and file some bugs to get them fixed? I want to see what your tagging is. I totally see some of this issues as being annoying. richard dot miller at oracle dot com

Posted by richard.miller on November 13, 2009 at 03:46 AM PST #

>You have the choice to use the html version Do we? How? I wasn't able to find an option to do so.

Posted by Guillermo on November 13, 2009 at 03:47 AM PST #

If your system doesn't have flash that is what you would be signed into. Otherwise https://supporthtml.oracle.com

Posted by richard.miller on November 13, 2009 at 05:19 AM PST #

Dear Richard, When I use https://supporthtml.oracle.com and click on the Knowledge link, the helpful opening page has a number of embedded links that are either obsolete (point to Metalink3) or not accessible to customers (myorionkm.oraclecorp.com, my.oracle.com, ouweb.us.oracle.com) Fell free to drop this note and simply report it to the people who need to look at this. I suspect that my non-tech SR will be lost in the flood and this specific one has a bad appearance. ('help' links to the newbies that are broken).

Posted by Hans Forbrich on November 13, 2009 at 09:44 AM PST #

I going to leave it in case others see it, so they don't have to report this again. I have a. Send this on to the html folks (I don't know anything about this UI) b. Going to see how we can make sure that this feedback gets internallized into bug fixes (for this comment and the others which come in via a discussion thread). Thanks

Posted by richard.miller on November 16, 2009 at 02:07 AM PST #

Thanks Richard. On the positive side, I have noticed a definite improvement in performance on both the Flash and HTML side. (And I have started comments in my own blog. I'll be concentrating on end-user usability and functionality, with the emphasis on 'acceptance'.)

Posted by Hans Forbrich on November 16, 2009 at 10:10 PM PST #

I appreciate the open consideration. There is a large community here in Oracle who REALLY do want to provide world class service. I think we all know that we did not get off to a good start, but PLEASE do help us learn from all of you concerning usability and functionality. Hans, cross post your blog! I want to follow it!

Posted by richard.miller on November 17, 2009 at 01:24 AM PST #

> Hans, cross post your blog! I want to follow it! http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Hans+Forbrich+Blog yields ... http://hansforbrich.blogspot.com :-)

Posted by Hans Forbrich on November 17, 2009 at 03:40 AM PST #

Posting my comment here, since this is the newest blog posting. I've been having problems with support from one of my computers at work. Through a misconfiguration of one of our internal Microsoft Update servers, many computers wound up getting IE8 installed. So, this computer is running IE8 with Flash 10. When I access a document (in this case the Dataguard 11gR1 Content) and click a link inside it, I receive a "document cannot be displayed" message. So, I posted a non-technical SR about it, and after several days of back and forth explanations, I just received this: "IE might be supported anytime soon, just do not know when, that depends on Adobe. If you cannot downgrade your IE to a supported version (e.g.7) you might try to install another browser like Firefox, if you cannot or are not allowed to install another browser, then you might use html version, just keep in mind that html version is NOT supported so any issues you encounter in the site will not be fixed nor you can report it." So, Oracle Support has 1.) intentionally decided to choose a competitors product to build their new front end (thereby declaring their own software products are inferior for the task), 2.) made themselves completely dependant upon a competitors ability (and/or desire) to quickly fix security and/or compatibility problems, 3.) wound up ignoring the largest installed base of browser on the web 4.) created a HTML version of the support site (to replace a version that was working fine, built with an Oracle product) that isn't supported!!!!! I guess I should really try to make an attempt to circulate this around as many web (and media) sites as possible. This new version (and attitude) of "support" is getting unacceptable, and the more people find out about it before deciding to migrate to Oracle or spending any more money with Oracle, the better it will be for them. As much as I hate to say it, SQL Server and the other RDBMS's on the market are beginning to look more attractive. Oracle Support has always been a pain, but over the last 20 years improvement was made and it at least was working for everybody. Now, more than a week after the mandatory switchover, problems and incompatibilities still exist, and evidently will for quite a long time to come.

Posted by Bill Ferguson on November 22, 2009 at 10:47 PM PST #

Performance seems to have improved, as long as the underlying bandwidth is enough to handle Flash chattiness and MOS design overhead. Content and quality are still a good goal to achieve some day. That said, both are more subjective than performance. An adjunct to content is 'Useful user experience' ... I still don't understand why a customer with one Personal Edition license would need to be nagged.AT EVERY LOGIN AND EVERY ACCESS TO THE DASHBOARD about using OCM. (Upper case used intentionally to describe the nagging.) Apparently it can not be suppressed. Perhaps this is a way of showing disdain for the small customer? All that said - I am starting to 'accept' the change. Things have been awfully quiet from you and Chris. Hopefully it's just a corporate policy at this moment to let things calm down, rather than something worse. It would be in 'big corp' style to kill the messenger, but hopefully Oracle is above that.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on November 26, 2009 at 10:25 PM PST #

The banner can be suppressed by clicking "No Thanks" but it cannot be removed. Collecting configurations is very important to Oracle and to improving customer service. But I see your point, a customer with one system gets the same banner that large customers see. Another way of making it go away is to upload the configuration for the one licensed product. ;-> But it is only on the Dashboard (not on all of the other tabs). And because new customers join every day and we still see a large uptick in collector downloads, it might not change to a different model very soon. Hopefully the one line collapsed version will be less annoying to someone who doesn't want it and won't use it. --- I am also a user of MOS, and do see much better performance this week. Some of the performance and bug fixes are making into production. I would personally say thank you for your patience.

Posted by richard.miller on November 30, 2009 at 02:29 AM PST #

IE 8 is a supported browser (so our own website says, but obviously something is not working). And this is very important, as we see a large and quickly growing minority of customers on IE 8. Obviously we can do better.... And we are investigating. Drop me an email with the example case, so I can check it on all browsers, to see if it is just a missing document or other issue. In fact, if you have 15 minutes lets do a web conference so I can record the issues and pass the video onto development. richard dot miller at oracle dot com And Orace, like pretty much all but two companies in the world use a product where we are dependent on fixes - that is all but Microsoft and the Firefox foundation. Because we do use the browser. We did find that the number of bugs and issues with javascript seemed to be even more problematic that say Flash 10. But I think most folks tend to ignore that fact because everyone uses Javascript. While Flash has a bad rep from being the annoying platform for animated banner ads. There are plenty of folks who have heard the outcry and are working hard to resolve the issues. The folks I work with do not have a bad attitude towards customers. They are working the system to get issues resolved and get you a platform which is better than what was there before, and support the large throngs of new customers which have different needs than the database admins who are foundation of Oracle. All I would say is, to everyone is if you want to complain, do it. But complain to us in a productive way, so that we can actually take actions based on your input (Like Bill is doing with the IE 8 issues)

Posted by richard.miller on November 30, 2009 at 02:40 AM PST #

To everybody reading this blog, it does appear that there was some internal miscommunication about IE8 and the HTML version of the support site. I received a very apologetic update on my SR this morning, basically re-iterating what Richard stated above. Things still may not be working correctly, but it does appear that they are aware (and on the same page), towards getting those rectified.

Posted by Bill Ferguson on November 30, 2009 at 04:05 AM PST #

You write The banner can be suppressed by clicking "No Thanks" but it cannot be removed. Collecting configurations is very important to Oracle and to improving customer service. --- However, there are many situations (think partners and education) where collection information is a waste of time or useless due to changing license platforms. We can legally switch and reinstall on a regular basis. Collecting is not helpful. (Ever looked at the Oracle University setup docs?) Reducing that nag to one line would be fine, except that it assumes that the user is logged in to the system all day long. It expands EVERY TIME you long in. Assumptions are the basis of rules of thumb. When assumptions are violated, Rules of Thumb devolve to ROT. Unfortunately every time I look at MOS, I feel the assumptions about the way I work (and many of my colleagues) have been violated. I am in the process of establishing a permanent PC to host the Personal Edition. And you will give me feedback that I neither want nor can act on. What a waste of time, resources, energy and money ... which Oracle purports to help us save. I'm still not sure what part of 'improve customer service' this is supposed to be. If 'you' wanted to be helpful it would be possible to land on another (user selected) tab instead of the dashboard. In my environments the dashboard is a waste of code. MOS is not a pleasant system to work with. The GUI is neither useful nor helpful. It is, however, the only choice I have.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on November 30, 2009 at 09:52 AM PST #

I will verify that it is expanding every time, that is a regression and a bug. Sorry to be THAT annoying. If you have a support contract for that server, the collector is to provide you patch recommendations, file service requests (and get priority handling), and validate the configuration (providing health checks) in addition to being able to to do comparison of the configuration over time (to avoid drift). I would think some of this over the life of the machine would be useful to most DBAs? If you are reinstalling all of the time, of course, collections are not meaningful. But if you are doing this, do you not have "real" DBs for staging and production? If you find other bugs, we should fix them! And this is supposed to be a product which is pleasant to work with. Give us more details on why it is not useful or helpful.

Posted by richard.miller on December 01, 2009 at 02:02 AM PST #

FYI. I verified the banner not staying collapsed and filed a bug and am working to get it fixed for an upcoming release. Sorry about that.

Posted by richard.miller on December 01, 2009 at 02:19 AM PST #

Hi Richard - If these services are so useful, why isn't OCM voluntary, rather than something that it appears we're being pressed to use? If we want and need a tool, we'll use it. If we aren't uploading the configs, we probably are comfortable with our current patching, monitoring, and maintenance strategy. Why not respect that not using OCM might be an intelligent and deliberate choice that works for our particular environment?

Posted by Lisa on December 03, 2009 at 07:04 AM PST #

OCM is voluntary (for those who didn't read the whole post). That doesn't mean Oracle can't encourage its use (to speed service request process, understand issues in customers enviornments before they become issues, etc...). But I appreciate your position that you might be happy with exactly what you are doing today and don't want to change. My Oracle Support can be used 100% without OCM. The only downside is the 1/3 of an inch banner on the one screen. (And yes, I am making sure that once it is collapsed it stays collapsed).

Posted by richard.miller on December 03, 2009 at 07:11 AM PST #

Yeah! The SR I raised about the 'News' region showing up twice on the dashboard is now closed. The analyst needed to use my login to verify the problem (that the pictures I sent are indeed correct :-)) and reset my dashboard. That took only 4.25 hours of my time over the past 3 weeks. I have set up a Windows 2003 machine and installed Personal Edition with the collector. After only 6 hours of effort, I now have eliminated the nag screen on the dashboard. Next challenges - in the 'important outages news' region, have it show ONLY the upcoming outages in my preferred language and the regular 'news region' only current news (within the last week or 7 logins) ...

Posted by Hans Forbrich on December 03, 2009 at 11:43 PM PST #

Gee, I could have told you that one. For all of you out there... There is a "bug" which is that if you add a region to the screen when the region is a "required" region, there is no way to remove it directly (you need to Reset Customization). This is annoying and was bugged a long time ago. I think the answer is/was to just not allow a required region to be added a second time or (better) to notice that this is copy 2, 3, 4 of the region and to allow those to be removed. We tried REALLY hard to not have any required regions so this would not happen, but they do exist. We will try harder to get this fixed. Hans, The "News" content is not something the UI controls or has any thought into who you are, so filtering it is not possible. But you can collapse it. ;-> Let us know how News could be better. You are seeing the outage news article which has some asian characters in it? The alerts region was not designed for knowing the language (like the getting started region, which will show links in Korean, Japanese, Chinese or english based on your language perference). But if this is what you are referring to, that could be an enhancement we could file. We have a model for this now (with Getting Started), so maybe the same model could apply here. You can have articles for all languages, or have articles appear only for specific languages. Is that up the right alley?

Posted by richard.miller on December 04, 2009 at 02:45 AM PST #

> Hans, The "News" content is not something the UI controls or has any thought into who you are, so filtering it is not possible. But you can collapse it. ;-> Let us know how News could be better. > You are seeing the outage news article which has some asian characters in it? The alerts region was not designed for knowing the language (like the getting started region, which will show links in Korean, Japanese, Chinese or english based on your language perference). Wrong thinking here ... the News region is part of the MOS package. I don't care WHO thinks they are (or are not) in control of the content. By the time the non-optional news region shows up, it/you/they know who I am and CAN filter appropriately. The Getting Started region can be suppressed or removed. So I do not care which languages it uses to display stuff. The News and Site Alerts can NOT be suppressed, so they better filter for relevance and timeliness. Otherwise *you are training me* to ignore the content. Anything repeated enough will be moved from conscious analysis to muscle memory ... I see the same news items 50 times and note that it is not new, I WILL stop 'seeing' the news items. Basic psych class, which any developer of GUI should have taken if he want to create a usable UI. The Site Alerts are even more important. Yet the second headline I see is "Classic MetaLink ユーザーのMy Oracle Supportへの移行: よくある質問 " And that helps me stay informed about critical events in which way? Make it an enhancement request if you need to, but either let me turn off the news & site alerts (so I consciously go to them) or make them regions intelligent so I don't get trained to ignore them. THAT is what Web 2.0 is supposed to be about, not pretty sliding windows.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on December 04, 2009 at 03:13 AM PST #

Sorry I was agreeing with you. News should be news to you. And it isn't (and hasn't ever been). The difference is it is now a required region. We have communicated your exact thoughts many times about this. When it is filled with stuff which is NOT news to me, you will ignore it - at best. And second. I did want to verify that you were annoyed by the asian site alert. I am going to suggest a new design be based on language. AND to remove them when they truely are no longer site alerts (because they loose their effectiveness). Likely becoming just "news" if still relevant. Site Alerts were intented to warn about downtimes and such. Not as another version of news. And I am SO sorry you spend so much time trying to remove the region. I really wish we had handled that UI better from the start. I will find that bug and see if we can get it fixed.

Posted by richard.miller on December 04, 2009 at 03:42 AM PST #

My thanks. I should avoid responding while in 'interrupt mode'. Life goes on. Having used up one of my licenses to make that OCM Nag screen go away, MOS feels slightly better - more inviting and less 'bossy'. Next major step (IMO) will be converting from 'cute' to 'professional'. That means things like - Remove the little info message that slides back and forth and tells me I did what I just did. Info messages should be optional. Telling the user "You hid a region" after hiding a region is very 'Clippy-ish'. Save that for real errors and important information. - Get the windows to stay the same size, or *only when absolutely needed* snap to a new size. Slithering back and forth to shlow me some new info is cute the first 3 times. Pop up or pop open a new page when giving me a document. Don't slither. - Give the information. Don't tease me with a series needless actions through pages and links. A great example of this is the 'Communities' tab on the MOS home page. I MAKE a decision to go to the 'Communities'. So I click on the tab. Action #1 Clicking on that give me a welcome page that is useless after exactly one access. And that page does really nothing other that force me to click a button, User action # 2 after having made the decision. In my browser, indeed modern tab-based browsers, that button will result in a new tab. So I need to click on that tab to bring that page to the front. User action #3 (although not really your fault.) Wow, I have a new dashboard. And the information on that dashboard is ... old news regions all over the place including a very very large note of welcome. To get to real information in the community I need to leave that dashboard to go to the Discussions page - User action #4. Now, 4 actions and a whole lt of time after having decided to go to the community, I get to a useful are. (I refrain from discussing avatars for the time being, other that to say that I have uploaded my 'avatar image' and it is exactly 1 pixel.) Similar things happen when trying to get patches, get knowledge pages, get documents, and so on. A professional system would start out by realizing that time is money and respect the users from that view point. But that is just my opinion ...

Posted by Hans Forbrich on December 04, 2009 at 08:29 AM PST #

I am a new customer. All I wanted to do is register for support and your site does not properly support IE. Who gives a s**t about FLASH. Why is it so hard to just get registered? Why do I have to spend hours on hold on the phone just to get registered?

Posted by John Carter on December 09, 2009 at 06:12 AM PST #

What exactly does not work in IE for registration? Maybe I can help.

Posted by richard.miller on December 09, 2009 at 07:38 AM PST #

I note in Patch tab, when selecting database Patches by Family and being required to select the version/release(s) of interest, the list of 45 releases is sorted in ascending order giving the most obsolete (and least likely to be selected) first. The drop down displays a maximum of 13 at a time. Another 'opportunity for improvement' from the user's perspective.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on December 09, 2009 at 09:30 PM PST #

Good eyes. This bug was filed and fixed to change the sort order. We are working to push it to production out of cycle, so you will see it sooner than later. Curious for you or others. There will be a limit on the number of releases you can select. How many do you typically select, how many would you select at most? And why? And I think you are saying with the window being 13 high you would like it longer. Much longer? Thanks

Posted by richard.miller on December 10, 2009 at 12:39 AM PST #

I generally select 1-4 releases. Max seems to be 8. I am absolutely happy with 13 (or even 8) releases displayed in each screen. My comment about 13 releases displayed is related to the total of 45 releases being available, forcing the user to scroll multiple times. The key being - if the system is to be business oriented and supportive, it must be designed to supply the user with maximum information from minimum effort. Minimum effort includes 'no scrolling, or as little scrolling as possible'. Which implies: correct order for user action, no duplicated or extraneous information (such as icons, avatars) taking up space causing useful info to be spilled off screen, etc. (If the application is to be a non-business, fun, community - such as Facebook - then it does not matter. But those communities are not designed first and foremost to provide solutions.)

Posted by Hans Forbrich on December 10, 2009 at 01:31 AM PST #

> And I think you are saying with the window being 13 high you would like it longer. Much longer? Thanks Eight lines is enough for me. I was simply trying to point out how much unnecessary effort was expended by having to scroll through 45 entries, 13 at a time, to get to the useful entries. I would typically select 1-4 IF I could stop at patch sets. For example 10.2.0.4 or 11.1.0.6 . However, since we now also have 10.2.0.4.1, 10.2.0.4.2, etc, and it is not clear whether those are included in 10.2.0.4, the selection count is going to increase.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on December 15, 2009 at 01:11 PM PST #

Thanks Hans. That is helpful. We will also make sure to use the "recently used" list feature. So that once you select a few releases they will be shown at the top of the list, so you can select them again easily. Also note, if you are others are interested, we are looking for customers who deal with E-Business Suite Patching to participate in the design process for EBS Patch Searching and Recommendations feature improvements. Go here for more details... https://communities.oracle.com/portal/server.pt/community/view_discussion_topic/216?threadid=64563&aggregatorResults=T64563T58797T63711T64309T64508T63399&threadAggregatorPage=1&threadAggregatorPageSize=10&documentAggregatorPage=1&documentAggregatorPageSize=10&returnUrl=https://communities.oracle.com/portal/server.pt/community/using_my_oracle_support/221#64563

Posted by richard.miller on December 16, 2009 at 01:45 AM PST #

You might want to post that invitation in the OTN Community forum.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on December 16, 2009 at 07:09 AM PST #

Great idea! Done!

Posted by richard.miller on December 16, 2009 at 08:40 AM PST #

could someone in Oracle just make the damn support site perform. For a world leading in Database, middleware, webware etc technology its a shame that it can't make its own support site perform. Recent experience in logging SR: * 3 minutes to login (after 5 attempts of site crashing) * 2 hours to log SR (after 3 attempts) Even a simple Spreadsheet instead of this horrific support site will be a step in right direction.

Posted by Subhash Agarwalla on February 08, 2010 at 05:21 PM PST #

Subhash, That is totally unacceptable. Sorry for that. I am going to ping you offline, and see what the problem is.

Posted by richard.miller on February 09, 2010 at 07:25 AM PST #

I am having a horrible time. I tried entering an SR. I can't, because one of the screens has a required field. Clicking the pulldown reveals a pulldown list of exactly one blank item. I called it in, and now have an SR open about not being able to fill in an SR. Yesterday, I had a Sev-1 on goldengate -- down down down with people standing around waiting for me to fix. And the site was down! (this was on Feb 9). Now on my laptop, I can't run coz it gives me grief about running a flash blocker, without giving me a chance to actually click the flash blocker and unblock the site. I hope I'm just an unlucky outlier!!

Posted by Mark Harrison on February 10, 2010 at 01:22 PM PST #

Dude! That is horrible. I am sorry you had these issues. One tip though. Oracle Support is NEVER down. If you have a Sev 1, pick up the phone when the site is down. You might hear some on hold music, but someone is there to help. Share the CR number with me offline? richard dot miller at oracle dot com On your laptop. Can't you go to the options for the flash blocker plugin, add *.oracle.com, and just reload the page and it should just appear? If this is not working for you, I would like to see why, so I might get this issue resolved for you or maybe some other unlucky outliers! ;->

Posted by richard.miller on February 10, 2010 at 03:03 PM PST #

Richard, He shouldn't have to go through all of this just to access his **production** support site. And there is more to Oracle 'support' than calling someone - a big part of what we do (or rather what we used to do) is searching the knowledge base while waiting to hear back from someone about the Tar. To sit on hold listening to elevator music...Sure, it's probably better than nothing...I mean he could at least tell his boss he's doing ~something~...And then while he's looking through Google, ~maybe~ he'll be able to explain to his boss why he can't find the notes he needs to fix the issue...and ~maybe~ that will keep him off the unemployment line. Other than being disgusted and furious about POS, I truly do not understand how we as a group are supposed to have a zillion tars open to troubleshoot each individual issue...Your blog, Chris' blog, etc all have the 'let's go through the issues piece by piece'...The whole time, there is this underlying act that POS is fine, we just have a few minor bugs to work out. When is it going to kick in that it is not a few minor bugs. And we shouldn't have to talk to each of you offline about fixing this and that. And we shouldn't have to spend our valuable work time troubleshooting this and that in order to access a production support site we Need to troubleshoot our production databases...?? This is beyond insane...And it is all the more insane when you consider the fact that Metalink worked fine..it had quirks and wasn't fancy, but it was stable and WORKED...there was no such thing as having to call in to open a tar about being unable to open a tar! Let alone having to piecemeal through bits and pieces in order to just use the thing on the utmost basic level. This thing Is a major bug and it is our **production** support site. A site mind you that we pay you to use...(which at this point, it's more like we just pay you to ignore us)...enough is enough. Metalink needs to come back online.

Posted by kathryn on February 12, 2010 at 02:38 AM PST #

Just an observation: Subhash Agarwalla: Posted on December 16, 2009 16:40 to note serious performance issues richard.miller: Replied February 9, 2010 01:21 On the Sev1 - I encourage Oracle to adjust the login page: the http://Support.oracle.com and http://supporthtml.oracle.com pages should highlight that phone access is a Sev1 alternative (and how to get it). In a crisis and with management hovering over our shoulders, the user community does not necessarily have time to think out 'how to get help'. Please lay it out for us, including where to get the phone-in info.

Posted by Hans Forbrich on February 16, 2010 at 12:49 AM PST #

Good point. I will pass this on to the PMs for that.

Posted by richard.miller on February 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM PST #

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