Kevin Kempf's Blog

March 7, 2010

The life cycle of a bad SR

Filed under: Oracle, Support — kkempf @ 9:58 pm

Overview

As a paying Oracle customer, it’s amazingly frustrating to have to deal with a high level of annoyance every time I open an SR.  I’ve resolved to open SRs every time I get frustrated with My Oracle Support.  Meaning I’m not going to waste my time searching their awful site, I’ll waste some analysts time.  A perfect example is their new certify interface.  It’s wholly unusable as far as I can tell.  Whoever is in charge of it should be fired and publicly chastised.  The kind of thing you would wish only on your worst enemy, except in my case, I’m a paying customer having to deal with this.  So I don’t even try.  I just open an SR and ask if a particular configuration is certified, or I go to a less official channel like Steven Chan’s blog for clarity.

Recently, we started testing some Windows 7 machines for future deployment in our enterprise.  One problem we noted had to do with the focus of reports opened within the professional forms.  Under 64-bit Windows 7 (Windows on Windows mode) we saw a behavior the same as the old 32-bit XP; the report would pop up “in front of” the existing professional form, and you’d know very clearly that the output had opened.  Under 32-bit Windows 7, the report got “buried” in the new taskbar, behind an existing IE8 window.  In the case of a .pdf output, the .pdf would open and at least flash the taskbar, but not come to the forefront of your screen.  This is confusing, and would likely lead to dozens of report outputs being opened before the user might seek help or give up entirely.

Given that we had applied all Win 7 compatibility patches, I thought I’d see what support said about the issue.  I admit, I’m not entirely clear whether this is a Win7 issue or an AOL/FND type issue, but if Oracle has certified this OS, surely they’ve seen this before right?

SR Creation: Where are you AOL?

I go to open the SR, and can’t find my product.  I search the drop down list.  I search the Advanced Search.  No AOL.  I have finally resolved to just work within the awful confines of My Oracle Support, so I open the SR under any random product (in this case, Oracle Application Server Integration B2B).

I opened my SR with this line first:

First, let me apologize, this isn’t a BOM issue, but I could not find the AOL product anywhere on My Oracle Support (which is largely unusable).  Once this SR gets transferred, here’s the issue:

As evidenced by the screenshots attached, in Win7 (32-bit) when running 11i (all compatibility patches are in from the techstack) and running a report, the focus of the report does not come to the screen front like it did with XP.  Meaning, I click view output, and apparently, “nothing happens” because the report (whether embedded in IE8, or in Acrobat) goes to the background “stack” at the bottom of the screen.  This is very counter intuitive, and in our environment will no doubt end with about 30 IE sessions opened unbeknown-st to the user.

Thanks for the spam!

Within seconds of submitting the SR, I get this spam from Oracle.  I don’t use configuration ID’s because they’re all wrong and never have the right selection available no matter how many times I update them.  Thanks for the opinion though!

Dear My Oracle Support Customer

Service Request #3-1000704931 does not have Configuration Id, it is recommended that you provide one to receive a faster solution.

Thank you,

The My Oracle Support Team

Interrogation

You know how in spy movies, someone gets interrogated just for the sake of being tortured?  That’s how I often feel with Oracle Support.  Here’s what my analyst came back with:

Has something changed in the options settings for IE for PDF files? A setting change
Can you open pdf files from non oracle products
Can you test on Firefox if it is installed
Also what is the version of IE and what is the version of JRE that you are using

Has something changed?  No, I told you this was a vanilla, fully certified, Win 7 install.  How is opening pdf files from non-oracle products relevant?  I specifically said .pdf files worked, just went to the background.  My favorite is “test on Firefox”.  Yes, we’re going to change our IT browser policy because an Oracle tech wanted to take the easy way out.  But the best:  What version of IE are you using. Hey genius, I said IE8 when I opened the SR.

The Bottom Line

As stated before, many time, I’m not an Oracle hater, I’m an Oracle skeptic.  When this is my average experience with support, I grow frustrated, weary, annoyed, and wonder why I pay so much for so little.  In the end, I’ve already given up on this SR.  I don’t believe there’s any way the analyst can ever fix my problem, because he’s not even listening to my problem.  This is my experience at least 75% of the time.

*edit* As a follow up, I had a good conversation with some folks at Oracle regarding this post, both in person and via email.   I am satisfied that there is understanding that the complaints I cite are valid, and they are aware of the issues and don’t necessarily dismiss them outright.  In other words, Oracle, or at least some people at Oracle, are aware of the problems with My Oracle Support, and are working to remedy these kinds of annoyances.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi, Kevin,

    I share your concerns about the new MOS interface. I’m forwarding this article to MOS management so that they can get this feedback firsthand and unvarnished.

    I’d recommend that you do two things:

    1. Escalate this with the on-call Oracle Escalation Manager

    2. Send me your SR number (we haven’t heard of any Win7-specific issues, but the latest JRE 1.6.0… ummm… 18, I think, has been a bit problematic). I’d like to ensure that one of our senior engineers works with Support on this one.

    Regards,
    Steven

    Comment by Steven Chan — March 8, 2010 @ 1:37 am

  2. I appreciate your efforts, Steven – I’ll email you the SR number.

    Comment by kkempf — March 8, 2010 @ 9:09 am


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