Archive for the ‘Support’ Category

Outlook 2010 PDF Handler

May 8, 2015 1 comment

For several months I have been getting the message in Outlook 2010 that there was no PDF Handler.  I decided to do something about it today. I tried for about an hour.  One of the steps I took was to “repair” Office.  That required me to restart my computer, something I seldom do because of  how long it takes to do so, even with a Core i7.  The repair didn’t solve anything.

One thing I read online was to go into Adobe Acrobat reader and make sure some check-box was unchecked.  When I opened it up from the start menu, it starting going through some finalizing installation steps.  That seemed strange since I have been opening PDFs for some time now. I guess opening it directly is slightly different than opening the program by double-clicking a PDF file.  I got to the check-box and it was already unchecked.

I opened Outlook again, and my PDF Handler worked!  Apparently all it took was opening Adobe Acrobat Reader XI from the start menu.  What a crazy simple fix!

Oracle Support Quality

March 25, 2015 1 comment

I have had an Oracle Service Request (SR) open for 3 years now. The request has to do with how slow several security based objects are to be displayed when a user is set up using Oracle’s newer RBAC (Role Base Access Control) security structure.  Right now we are working on is the list of concurrent requests.

The SR was originally opened as a severity 2.  About a year into the SR, one of my DBAs had some work to do on it and was getting poor response from Oracle support, so he raised the severity to 1.  It has been at severity 1 for about 2 years now.

I have gotten several patches from Oracle.  The first one we applied showed no change in performance at all.  When they released the second patch, I insisted they provide details of what the improvement was so I could confirm A) it actually did improve, and B) they have actually replicated the problem internally.  I didn’t want to waste our DBA team’s time applying an alpha stage patch that has been untested.

I never got the proof that the patch was tested.  I gave up and had the patch applied. The patch broke the security all together; a user would have no access to concurrent requests at all.  Yes it was fast, but it didn’t work.

A third patch was released; it fixed the security, so at least the user would get access, but the performance was 50% slower than an un-patched system.

For several months I have been asking for updates on the SR every week or so, and it get the standard “we are working on it” or “requested status from development” response.

I have poked the bear, per-say, this last week by asking for some manger interaction.  Take a look at the latest response I got from them:


Note in the title of the SR I mentioned “W/RBAC.”  The first question in this SR update is “Are you using RBAC model to define security?”  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

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.


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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


  • “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


  • 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.


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


  • 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(
at oracle.xml.parser.v2.NonValidatingParser.parseRootElement(
at oracle.xml.parser.v2.NonValidatingParser.parseDocument(
at oracle.xml.parser.v2.XMLParser.parse(
at oracle.apps.fnd.cp.request.Run.main(


  • 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


  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


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.