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Working Effectively with Customers on Oracle Service Requests

April 3, 2014 3 comments

Working with Oracle Support is frequently frustrating and difficult.  Very often Service Requests analysts post updates asking for customer’s to refer to an internal document, stating: “The following note can enhance your experience with Global Customer Services: Note: 166650.1 : Working Effectively With Support.”  At this point, I have determined I need to do something similar.

Here is my list to keep in mind to effectively work with customers:

  • Before asking a questions or asking for data, review entire SR and it’s attachments to make sure it has not already been provided. If another SR is referenced, please include that in your review.
  • Consult Oracle internal experts rather than asking customer how a module works.
  • Do not give statements that may be untrue or are assumptions.
  • Test all solutions in an internal, Oracle, instance before asking customer to try the solutions. Video evidence of testing may be requested.
  • Provide all files in an industry standard formats. Customers should not be required to download proprietary software or codecs.
  • Review all files before attaching
  • Video files must be understandable, and easy to follow.  A beginner should be able to replicate the same actions portrayed in the video.
  • Do not constantly indicate that an SR is not responded to within a certain period of time. The same courtesy will be given to you.
  • Development instances will not be cloned onto production.
  • An SR will not be opened per instance.
  • The solution “that is a limitation of the software” or “that is how it works” is not acceptable.
  • If documentation does not match the application’s functionality, only a “bug” will be a satisfactory solution.
  • If configuration requirements are missing from documentation, and assumed, it is inherently irreverent.  And any undesired functionality must be considered a bug.
  • Documents on My Oracle Support are not considered documentation unless referenced in the customers software version’s User Guide or Implementation Guide available at publication/release date.
  • It is Oracle support’s responsibility to coordinate between Oracle divisions/module development teams.
  • Analysts should not expect customer to have direct Unix level access to complete testing or diagnostic work.  SQL Plus is considered direct Unix access.
  • Any dates or times should be expressed in the customer’s time zone.
  • It is the responsibility of an Oracle Analyst to provide a sufficient hand-off of SRs to subsequent analysts.  Questions resulting from poor SR transitions may be responded to in a harsh manor.
  • Please honor the requested communications method listed on the SR. Any communication initiated that does not match the requested communications method may be treated as if it never happened, unless it is agreed that that method may be used by both parties.

All of these are based on actual experiences.

Fixed: Oracle BI Publisher Template XLF Translation File Upload Error

July 3, 2012 Leave a comment

I have been working on BI Publisher templates and the XLF Language Translations at work. I found a nice bug where a user uploads a XLF template translation and Oracle gives an Error that does not match the actual problem that caused the error.

Conditions

  • Oracle BI Publisher or XML Publisher module in Oracle E-Business suite R12
  • XLF Template Language Translation files

Symptoms

  • BI Publisher gives error as seen below
  • Unable to upload XLF Translation file
The uploaded translation file is invalid. It should specify a valid target language and territory. Please verify that the file is in the correct format.

Problem

  • Original Oracle Translation file exported specifying UTF-8 encoding
  • Edited translation files actually use ISO-8859-1 encoding

Solution

  • Change XLF Specified Encoding from utf-8 to ISO-8859-1

Refreshing Oracle Self Service Menus and Home Screen

April 6, 2012 Leave a comment

When implementing our RBAC (Role Based Access Control) security model in Oracle, I found it quite irritating when the self service pages would not update to include the newly applied Roles and granted security functions.  Here is the solution I found to refresh the web based pages so they they reflect the user’s newly applied security.

Problem

  • “XXX is not a valid responsibility for the current user” error
  • Not seeing updates from newly assigned or revoked Roles or Responsibilities
  • Changes in self service pages driven by new or changed configurations

Solution

  • Assign yourself the “Functional Administrator” Responsibility.
    • This is a self service responsibility; it must be assigned BEFORE you have the problem which you are trying to solve.
  • Click the Core Services Tab
  • Click the Caching Framework Menu (top)
  • Click the Global Configuration Menu (left)
  • Click the Clear All Cache Button
  • Click the Yes Button

 

Fixed: Oracle iSetup XML Uploading Error

May 21, 2011 Leave a comment

For the past month at work we have been experimenting with Oracle iSetup as a way to migrate Oracle R12 configurations from instance to instance.  We had been using Rapid Solutions (Rapid e-Suite) in Oracle 11i in the past, but wanted to try something quicker, more robust, and seeded with Oracle.

The iSetup module worked pretty well in our proof of concept testing.  But we ran into a problem when we started migrating our multi organization/business unit configurations. We have multiple business units because we are sharing the instance with another division at our company. Migrating configurations with iSetup brings all the ORGs and sites along with each configuration, however we only wanted our division’s configurations migrated.  To solve the problem, we started editing the exported XML before loading it into the new instance.

Editing XML is relatively time consuming and prone to error when editing in a text editor compared to a program designed to edit XML.  We tried to use the free Microsoft XML Notepad 2007, however, loading the exported files was causing iSetup to fail on upload.  I found the problem and solved it as described below.

Conditions

  • Oracle iSetup module in Oracle E-Business suite R12
  • XML Documents edited by Microsoft XML Notepad 2007

Symptoms

  • iSetup reports error when uploading edited XML files
  • Log file as seen here:
oracle.xml.parser.v2.XMLParseException: Start of root element expected.
at oracle.xml.parser.v2.XMLError.flushErrors1(XMLError.java:320)
at oracle.xml.parser.v2.NonValidatingParser.parseRootElement(NonValidatingParser.java:341)
at oracle.xml.parser.v2.NonValidatingParser.parseDocument(NonValidatingParser.java:303)
at oracle.xml.parser.v2.XMLParser.parse(XMLParser.java:205)
at oracle.apps.az.r12.api.BC4JAPI.createAPIEntityItems(BC4JAPI.java:330)
at oracle.apps.az.r12.extractor.cpserver.UploaderContextImpl.validateExtract(UploaderContextImpl.java:170)
at oracle.apps.az.r12.extractor.cpserver.UploaderContextImpl.upload(UploaderContextImpl.java:105)
at oracle.apps.az.r12.extractor.cpserver.UploaderCp.runProgram(UploaderCp.java:74)
at oracle.apps.fnd.cp.request.Run.main(Run.java:157)

Problem

  • Oracle XML files are saved in ASNI text encoding even though the XML header specifies UTF-8
  • Oracle iSetup expects ASNI encoded XML files contained within uploaded ZIP file
  • Microsoft XML Notepad 2007 saves XML files in UTF-8 encoding

Solution

  1. Download extraction ZIP file generated by Oracle iSetup
  2. Extract ZIP file to your computer
  3. Edit and save extracted XML file in Microsoft XML Notepad
  4. Open saved file in Notepad (Text Editor)
  5. Save As ASNI encoding
  6. Replace existing file within original ZIP file
    1. ZIP file compression levels and algorithms must reamin intact
    2. 7-ZIP supports replacing files within an existing file using drag and drop functionality
  7. Upload updated ZIP file to Oracle iSetup as a new extraction.
  8. Load extraction into source instance

Conclusion

It may seem like this is backwards, but from few hours of troubleshooting, this is what I concluded, and this is working for us. I may open a TAR with Oracle to get this bug fixed.  Before it is, however, this is how we are proceeding with our iSetup configurations.

Fixed: Parted Magic 6.0 USB Boot Error

My neighbor is having computer problems so I am preparing to clone his hard drive to an external disk.  I realized my version of Parted Magic is quite old, so it was time to upgrade my USB flash drive to the new version.  After downloading the new ISO from partedmagic.com and the  UNetbootin program from unetbootin.sourceforge.net as the documentation for Parted Magic instructed.  After following the directions and making my bootable USB flash drive, I got an error.  I tried searching the internet and couldn’t find a easy solution.  I finally figured out what was wrong:

Conditions

A Windows XP Professional machine creating a Parted Magic USB Boot drive.

Symptoms

Booting from the Parted Magic 6.0 USB drive, the following error is displayed:

SYSLINUX 3.85 2010-02-20 EBIOS Copyright (C) 1994-2010 H. Peter Anvin et al
No DEFAULT or UI configuration directive found!
boot:

Solution

It turns out the non-zipped ISO is corrupt.  Use the UNetbootin program to download the iso image or download the ISO zip file from Parted Magic’s website.

Norton’s $140 Free Support

January 8, 2010 5 comments

One of my client’s computers recently got infected by several viruses.  She attempted to solve the problem by installing Norton Antivirus 2010.  After the instillation, her computer would not allow her to logon, so she gave me a call.  After doing some research, being unable to solve the problem, which was likely caused by the instillation of Norton Antivirus, I called Norton to receive the “Free Support” that came with the software.   The phone support reminded me of my recent post on foreign call centers; Norton’s support was unbelievable and unacceptable.  Explaining my interactions with Norton’s support team will illustrate how Norton’s “low cost” foreign call centers destroy consumer trust, damage Norton’s brand, and ultimately reduced the company’s profitability.

Before I elaborate on Norton’s phone support, I want to point you to how I solved the problem.  You can see the solution on how to fix a logon logoff loop on a previous post of mine.

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Fixed: Windows XP Logon Logoff Loop

December 31, 2009 11 comments

One of my clients caught a virus on her computer this last week.  In an attempt to correct the problem, she installed Norton Antivirus 2010 before doing a full system scan using the boot disk.  The first time she rebooted the computer, she got into a logon logoff loop; after entering her login information and submitting it, Windows XP would automatically logoff the account.  It was at this point she contacted me and I came to help her solve the problem.  [See the bottom of this post for the solution]

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