My Oracle Support Community ("mosque") to replace
30 October 2008
According to Justin Kestelyn of
Oracle Corporation, a
new Metalink is soon being released. Instead of announcing
a new and improved Metalink, the Oracle marketing geniuses' graced
the upgrade with its own name, the My Oracle
Support Community (MOSC). I wonder, is this pronounced "mosque"?
According to Justin, the MOSC will be
much, much more than just first-line support, the place for filing service requests and reporting
emergencies. For some unknown reason, Oracle
thought that it was a good idea to entice their under-employed
and unemployed population of Oracle forum posers and neophytes to work for
free, answering questions from equally ignorant beginners, and
reward them with Brownie Points!
Eddie Awad, MOSC will include features commonly found on social
networks like Facebook and MySpace, useless features such as member profile pages
(where people post unverifiable experience and credentials), discussion forums
(where pretenders and weirdo's insult you as they attempt to answer
private messaging for secret communications.
What could possibly go wrong?
The new Metalink (MOSC "mosque?")
Source: Oracle Corporation's
My Oracle Support Community Primer
Oh Boy! Get valuable points (3) for helping Oracle do their job!
In order to cut-down on their labor costs(1), the extra cost
MOSC will allow any metal-level member to post responses to
others members questions, and be evaluated on the quality of their
responses! It also has a point-based user reputation model
similar to the OTN forums, which have not been well-received (2).
Still no word yet if the MOSC forums will allow anonymous
people to contribute to technical discussions and Justin does not say
if his new MOSC will require
verifiable credentials and experience. For obvious reasons,
most Corporate sites are very strict about requiring proof of
experience before allowing any professional to act as a content
Praise be, to Larry . . . Amen
The article also makes no mistake that MOSC will have
"evangelical overtones". It appears that Justin hopes that the
quality of the answers on his OTN forum will be evaluated and
judged, apples-for-apples with the MOSC forums (where paid
Oracle Analysts are paid to answer service requests and questions).
"we will have to sharpen our commitment to evangelism, and
make our differences with formal support even more stark.
I would also like to think that people will tend be more
active in and committed to a free and transparent community, vs.
one behind a firewall. "
This should be fun to watch. The MOSC forums have a
reputation as unimpeachable, due to the dedicated efforts of
analysts (such as Melissa Holman), paid professionals, dedicated to
supporting their micro-community (e.g. the Fortune 500 Corporations
who typically purchase metal-level support contracts).
Is newer better?
In other recent news, MOSC was re-written using "flex" a
flash-like feature. There was speculation that Oracle would
re-write MOSC using Oracle's
Faces remote client, and that flex is a temporary
implementation until they cut-over to a MOSC based on ADF Faces. According to the sign-on screen, the new MOSC will
require Adobe Flash Player 9 to be installed on every PC that
connects to MOSC, unless you choose the old-fogey "MOSC Classic"
(which uses ancient HTML coding).
"My Oracle Support requires Adobe Flash Player 9.
Having trouble with Flash? Try these tips:
If you can't or don't want to run Flash, sign in to the
Classic (HTML) version."
What about performance?
Nothing says "incompetent" more than a performance-oriented
Corporation that has a slow support site! There are reports
that some MOSC users have been complaining of clumsy functionality and
bad response time, and the OTN forums have a less than stellar
reputation, sporadically plagued with response
times up to 30 seconds.
MOSC will retain the same URL (metalink.oracle.com),
and will be available only to "metal level" customers, those who
purchase the bronze, silver and gold level support packages.
(1) " it's plain common sense to accept that the community
peer-support model can help defray support costs." - Justin Kestelyn
(2) The new OTN point system (part of the Jive forum software) has been
a dismal failure, with original posters (OP's), rarely taking the
time to mark whether their question was answered, and which post was
the most valuable. As such, less than 10% of completed threads
are closed and attributed. More disturbing to me, the OTN forums have become quite unreliable,
with "members" spewing folklore and myths. Because of their
open enrollment policy, OTN is plagued
with anonymous self-appointed experts who proffer questionable credentials
and claims of expertise.
This is one reason why the BC Oracle forum (dbaforums.org)
has become so popular because credible experts are there to answer
(3) The existing point system is largely worthless and