Posts Tagged ‘support’

Tick, Tock, WebCenter Interaction…

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

While we may eventually see the new version of WebCenter Interaction (code name: Neo) this year, we’ve been hearing about it for what seems like years now. Neo will be more of a patch release – say, 10gR4 or 10.3.3 – rather than a new major revision. Pre-release versions have been out there for some time now; see Jeremy’s excellent post for some idea of what to expect with this build.

Whatever it ends up being called, Neo is largely a refresh to get additional platform support (64-bit, IIS7, Windows 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2010). The pre-release version that we’ve been working with has a couple of interesting new features – especially around Collaboration – but it remains to be seen whether these make the final cut. This will certainly be the last significant WebCenter Interaction release, and it’s time to start thinking about what happens next.

The support clock is ticking:

Oracle wants you on WebCenter suite, but you have choices. At Integryst, we spend a lot of time discussing the “Post-WCI World“, and the choices faced by our clients when deciding whether to remain on the Oracle stack or move to a different platform entirely.

Either way, we’ve got you covered. As always, stay tuned to this blog to read the latest coverage of new and noteworthy tips and tricks for WCI. But, in the coming weeks and months, you’ll start seeing more posts discussing alternate portal-type technologies, including Atlassian Confluence (wiki), Alfresco (document management), Frevvo (forms/workflow) and Drupal (Content Management, Collaboration).

Oracle Support Master Notes and Webinars

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

I’ve been critical of Oracle Support in the past, but recently had a great experience with some of the old Plumtree support buddies that are still around – specifically, Merrick Huang in Oracle Support was able to provide a tremendous amount of assistance on a very thorny search issue I was having at a client site and will be writing about here in upcoming posts.  Before we get into the nitty gritty of that problem, I want to share with you a great resource I didn’t know existed until now: Oracle Support Master Notes and Webinars (login required).

The purpose of “Master Notes” is to “provide the most important links that users will need to install and support the product”, and there are some pretty decent pages in there if you know where to look.  For example, the IDK Master Note is a collection of a bunch of documentation, KB articles, known issues, and bug fixes all in one place.

But what I really wanted to highlight here is the Webinars provided by Oracle Support – with one in particular being the best Oracle Webinar I’ve seen: the Search Webinar, by Eno Gjerasi.  Eno shows that there’s still life left from the Plumtree support group, and demonstrates a level of knowledge of the Search Server that rivals most engineers or consultants.  There was one tip in particular that I’ll focus on in upcoming posts (about how to communicate directly with Search), but I encourage you to check out all three Webinars (Search, Portal / SSO, and Analytics) and the other Master Notes – you may just find a gem in there and wonder how you made it all these years without knowing “that one thing” you never knew you needed.

Keep up the good work, Oracle support!

Plumtree (aka ALUI, aka WCI), indeed, is not dead yet

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

You’ve heard it here before, but yesterday, Brian Harrison, Oracle Product Manager extraordinaire, made it official: The My Oracle Support (MOS) community has been announced!

Any thoughts?  A great step by Oracle to showcase the virtues of WebCenter Interaction?  Too little too late?  I for one haven’t completely given up, and this community shows great promise – even if it’s not for the community itself (which has been around for a while), but a showcase of how the ALUI Collaboration UI doesn’t have to be so bad, and can truly integrate into a social community space.

Don’t count Plumtree out just yet; there are still a few more tricks up its sleeve…

Wall of Shame Rant: Oracle Support and Maintenance

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

In my last Wall of Shame rant, I blasted some shady spammer and had no qualms about it.  But this time is different:  I’m writing this post in a sincere effort to get Oracle to look at some of its policies and procedures, specifically around support.  Oracle has some stellar products and decent support, and in defense of Oracle’s support organization, support people have a tireless, thankless job, dealing with irate customers who think that software should never have problems.  So, while occasionally customers have it tough, customer support often has it much tougher (NSFW for a LOT of language; kudos to that Dell support guy for keeping his cool and staying on the line).

Oracle support, I salute you for the tireless, thankless job you have, but please stop telling clients their problems will be fixed with an upgrade when you’re not sure it will, or worse, know that it won’t.  Also, please honor Oracle’s support policy and don’t withold patches until a client gets to the latest version of the software, knowing that by the time they do, another patch release will probably come out, starting the whole cycle all over.  Of course, it’d be different if the upgraded version actually fixed the problem, but in the below rant, my client couldn’t even submit a patch request that affected the 10gR3 version of Analytics because they weren’t on the “latest version”, which was ridiculous because the latest version didn’t fix the problem either.

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“I’m nawt dead yet!”: WCI getting some love at Oracle?

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Woah, what’s this?  Perhaps rumors of WebCenter Interaction’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.  The Little Portal That Could seems to have gained a foothold – however slight – in an Oracle site at communities.oracle.com.

I don’t really know how long this has been available – or even if it’s an official Oracle site – and maybe you’ve already heard of it.  But I think it’s promising that at least the old AquaLogic User Interaction is getting some mindshare over at the Oracle mothership.

Ironically, this portal is still BEA’s ALUI version 6.5:

alui-6-5

.. and not Oracle’s WebCenter Interaction (10gR3).  It would have been even neater if this was a preview release of the much-fabled 11g, but I’m not complaining.  The site does look pretty interesting in an “Enterprise 2.0-y” kind of way and appears to have some neat social features such as tagging, profiles, and a much more integrated Collab (if it’s even Collaboration Server at all?).  Maybe this will some day replace that terrible flash-based support.oracle.com site?  A person can hope…

Check it out at http://communities.oracle.com/ – your support credentials should work to get you logged in:

oracle-communities

Finally, special thanks to Monty Pyton, Mark Twain, and, uh, The Little Engine That Could for providing the mixed metaphore fodder above…

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