Monday, November 09, 2009

MetaLink, we barely knew ye

But, we wish we had more time to get better acquainted.

If you work with Oracle, you probably know that MetaLink went the way of the Dodo as part of an upgrade to My Oracle Support during the weekend of November 6th, 2009.

And so far it hasn't gone too well, as evidenced by these threads on Oracle-L:

Issues with My Oracle Support
Metalink Fiasco

Many people were lamenting the loss of MetaLink well before its demise, but I don't think any were quite expecting the issues that are currently appearing.

A few have reported that it is working fine for them, but personally, I have found  it unusable all morning.

At least one issue with MetaLink appears to have been cleared up with MOS, that is while I was able to login to it last week.

During a routine audit of who had access to our CSI numbers, I came across a group of consultants that were no longer working for our company, and froze their accounts.  The next day I received a frantic voice mail  from a member of the consulting firm, and he informed me that they had no access to MetaLink because I had frozen their accounts.

I returned the call just a few minutes later, but they had already been able to resolve the issue, as one of their consultants with admin rights had been unaffected, and was able to unfreeze their accounts.

Removing them from the CSI is the better procedure, but in the past when I have attempted to do so, I found that there were still open issues owned by the accounts, and could not remove them. The application owners had been very clear that this access should be removed, so I froze the accounts, so that is what I did on this occasion as well.

This all seemed quite bizarre to me.  This must be a very strange schema in the ML user database, and some strange logic to go along with it.  By granting a user access to a CSI, MetaLink was giving me Carte Blanche to effectively remove them from MetaLink.

How has My Oracle Support fixed this?  Try as I might, I could not find a 'freeze' button in user administration in MOS.  So the fix seems to have been "remove the button"


Rodd said...

I feel your pain, Jared. I have also been unable to get in. I get a nice pretty graphic with the 96%.

--Rodd Holman

Noons said...

GIven the paltry state of any application development at Oracle, did anyone expect a different outcome?

Let's see:
OAS as THE app server - FAIL
j2ee as THE platform - FAIL
ADF as THE platform - FAIL
Fusion - FAIL
MOS with Flash - FAIL

How much longer is this band of incompetents gonna be allowed to dictate what and how Oracle releases apps and their tools, internal or external?

Ah well, forget it: I'm quite sure that a new layer of Ace-dom will be created to justify their existence...

James Morrow said...

Actually, under the Old MetaLink you could create "sub-accounts" (although the process wasn't widely documented). The problem with the "lock accounts" thing is that even if you have 5 CSIs (from various clients), if ANY of the admins decide to lock the account, the entire login was dead (not just the offending CSI). With sub-accounts, locking it only disabled access to that CSI. Unfortunately, subaccounts have gone away with MOS. Along with the FTP server and, quite possibly, tabbed browsing...


Joel Garry said...

Some of the known issues are a little disturbing:

For some customers, the Backspace key intermittently performs the function of a browser Back button instead of deleting text during data entry. This may cause some data entry to be lost

Customers with an expired Support Identifier in their profile are not able to query SR history, even if they still have active Support Identifiers.

The Settings > View Users view is displaying contacts as User Administrators when they are not administrators

Makes you wonder about the unknown issues...

Years ago, I had users emailing me from a large gummint installation that had previously found me superfluous, asking for access to metalink, since I was still the admin. With all the security conscious worry when people leave, no one had thought about the Oracle support. This was pre-9/11.

word: jeturair

Matthias Hoys said...

I really hate the new Flash-based interface.
One of my colleagues needed our CSI number and I couldn't even copy it from the popup window, I had to write it on paper !!! Now is this an improvement?


Anonymous said...

I can't make a bookmark of a metalink note in the MOS. This feature was available in the old metalink. So i had to take note of all my bookmarks on 5th of Nov (a day before the old metalink retired).


Jared said...

If you are having that kind of trouble you may want to use the 'feedback' button on MOS, and detail the problem. This will open an SR.

Bookmarks have actually worked pretty well for me, and I haven't heard too many complaints from others.

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