Kevin Kempf's Blog

November 11, 2009

My Oracle Sucks

Filed under: Support — kkempf @ 9:21 am

Faster Problem Resolution... Slower Site

Well it’s day 3 of the My Oracle Support mandate, and if anything my experience has gotten worse.  On the plus side, at least today I can log in.  That’s about all I can put in the plus column so far.   Instead of making generalized disparaging comments about the new site, I’ve decided to begin citing major flaws in the new version.

The Basics

Everything is slower than Metalink was.  That’s largely because of flash.   But I stumbled across an even bigger annoyance.  You can’t use the “back” button in the browser.  This seriously sucks!  I noticed this when I typed in a series of patch numbers under patch search and got a million results.. you can’t go back.  At least in Firefox 3.5.  Hit it, nothing happens.  Hit refresh, you get the login spinny circle thing pictured to the left here.


Easily accounting for 50% of the reason I’m ever in Oracle supports’ site, I spend a lot of time reading about patches and downloading them.  Just for fun I checked the ftp site:

Connected to
421-*********************** Downtime Notice ************************
421-This service was retired as of November 06, 2009

In administering 11i, I’ll paint a common scenario.  Some rollup or family pack is required, and I have to research all the prerequisites and determine which have been applied, which are not applicable, and which I need to download/stage.  For a typical family pack, this probably amounts to at least 5-10 patches.  With the old ftp site, I could at least log in, have a list of what I needed, change directories to the applicable patches, and “get” what I needed in fairly short order.  There appears to be no simple way to do that in the new patches section.  I timed it, and waited 26 seconds after clicking download before the dialogue box came up to save it to my PC.  Upon completion, I’d have to click back and search for the next patch, apparently.  Add to this that upon completion, I’ll have to sftp the files from my PC to the staging server, and I’m betting this new and improved system doubles the amount of time it takes me to stage a family pack.

Another odd thing I found was the “facebook factor”.  For example, I’m allowed to make comments about a patch, presumably so others can see it.  I don’t know why I would ever do this, but even if I did, what would I say?  “Great patch!”?  “Smooth, but not as good as 3460000”?  “Awesome binaries in this one!”?  I don’t get it.  Being the eternal cynic, I don’t know why I’d trust the opinion of some anonymous MOS user, though they probably know more than the average level 1 tech support guy.  Another facebook feature is “number of times downloaded”.    How do I use that information in a vacuum?  I have no clue how many customers Oracle has on my products, so what value does this add?

Screenshot-My Oracle Support | Patch & Updates - Mozilla Firefox

The patches tab has some kind of  patchset plan to save.  Looks like some kind of logical bundling of patches, interfaced with OCM and EM.  Too bad OCM is required; it never has all the right information from all my servers.  From their own documentation, any patch can be added to a plan.  When I typed in a known patch (and received a result in every language on earth… another step backwards from Metalink) all it let me do was download or rate it:

Screenshot-My Oracle Support | Patch Search - Mozilla Firefox

I see you chose English as your language when you logged in. Would you like your patch in Turkish, Hebrew or Slovak?




Screenshot-My Oracle Support | Knowledge Home - Mozilla Firefox

Melvil Dewey is rolling over in his grave

Apparently DOC ID’s went the way of the dodo.   Now it’s just “ID”.  Just an observation.  When I click on the knowledge tab, there’s so much irrelevant information on my screen, I can’t decide if I’m going to throw up or have a seizure.   After a minute on this page, there’s still a spinny circle trying to render the “recently viewed” pane.  I’m not holding out hope it ever comes back.  How about the tiny search bar?  That’s the #1 most important thing I use in Oracle support, and it’s smaller than the random system error below it!


The only good thing about hitting this tab was that I could see the face of the man responsible for my frustration right now.

Screenshot-My Oracle Support Community - Support - Mozilla Firefox

The future is here! Be very afraid!


I truly did save the best for last.  Somehow, certify fell under the “More” tab.  When I clicked on it, I decided Oracle’s goal in MOS must be to keep people from ever logging in.  It’s just awful.  I have no idea what to click on, or why certain choices are or are not available.  I guess I’ll just call them to confirm certification, because I don’t see how I’ll ever find them in here.  Used to be, Certify was hard to navigate, but all the information was in there if you dug around long enough.  I just don’t even know what to make of it now.  I put in Oracle E-Business Suite for the Product Line, and checked only Application for the Tier.  It came back with no certifications.

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