Archive for the ‘Knowledge Directory’ Category

Bug Blog 2: Give the Guest user access to KD Root

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The Guest user in the Plumtree – and ALUI, and now WCI portal – is a mixed bag.  On the one hand, I usually advise my clients to never give this user – or the EVERYONE group – access to anything in your portal if you don’t want your information showing up somewhere it shouldn’t.

On the other hand, this advice can bite you.  Have you ever gotten an “Error displaying Dropdown menu tabs” error in the nav bar when using the JS drop-down menus?


Well, in at least one case the problem is simple:  Give that EVERYONE (or at least the respective GUEST users) access to the root directory of your Knowledge Directory.  No need to give that user access to any cards or folders – just the root directory itself.  It seems the code in 10gR3 chokes if it can’t read this directory when trying to display the Directory drop-downs.  In fact, this is similar to Bill Benac’s Bug about missing footers in 10gR3 breaking the page (incidentally, I’ve run into the same problem with headers) – it seems 10gR3 isn’t quite as “forgiving” as previous versions were regarding error handling.

This quick fix should restore your menu:


… but there are other reasons you can run into this error.  I’ve got another post pending on some other root causes of this problem (spoiler alert: give SELECT privileges to the EVERYONE group for your headers!); in it I’ll offer some instructional advice on how to diagnose the root cause of problems like this.

Opening Excel Documents from the WCI Knowledge Directory

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I had a client report this strange issue with Excel file handling in IE7 and IE8 (and Office 2007).  Basically, every time someone would open a document, it would get cached by IE.  But the next time the person would try to open the same document, they’d get a “file is locked by user” message.  It seemed IE was caching the file in the Temporary Files folder, then when the user would click the link a second time there was a conflict between the existing file in that folder and the new one IE was trying to bring in.  I found some articles and discussions on the topic, but most came back to making changes on the client-side, which is never easy to do in an enterprise.  Even if it’s a little trickier to execute, you should always try to make changes on the WebCenter Portal side.

In this case, after downloading the Excel file the first time, I confirmed it was in my Temporary Internet Files folder:

 Temp Files

I was also able to verify that the portal was returning a “Not-Modified” header when the user tried to open this Excel document again:


The fix I applied here?  Another BigIP iRule that turns off caching of Excel files – after the jump. (more…)

Fix KD Handling of HTML Docs

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

In ALUI 6.5, and following through to 10gR3 and the latest patches, Oracle changed the way documents are opened in the Knowledge Directory.  This change was to get a little better browser compatibility so that when a user clicks on a document in the KD, the user is always presented with the usual Open/Save Dialog box.

Many WCI clients have HTML files in their Knowledge Directories, whether they’re crawled in from Publisher, Collaboration Server, or uploaded from some other source.  In version 6.1 and before, the behavior of the portal was simply to open these files directly in the browser, but that changed with 6.5.  Unfortunately, Oracle has asserted that this is “expected behavior” and while an enhancement request has been submitted, there are no promises about the behavior changing in 11g. The good news is that there’s a relatively simple fix for this behavior.  Unfortunately, the “relatively simple” fix assumes you’ve got BigIP load balancing requests to your portal, but if not, hopefully this post will give you some ideas on how to resolve the problem in your environment.

The problem is caused by the portal returning an HTTP header called “Content-Disposition”:

Content Disposition Header
Content Disposition Header

The trick is to remove this header for HTML documents.  I’ve tried writing ISAPI filters unsuccessfully, but for the clients that needed the fix, they had BigIP. 

Hit the link to see the BigIP iRule to resolve this issue.