RE: Quality of Oracle MetaLink Notes

From: Freeman, Donald <>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 14:06:14 -0400
Message-ID: <51327ABA927BEF4B96590554CEA7832C0C214787@enhbgpri05.backup>

Don't they already have a function to rate the answer? A lot of boards have a "star" or "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" rating system. If you can rate the quality of the support analysts answer that might help Oracle management rate their support analysts.  

Donald Freeman
Database Administrator II
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Health
Bureau of Information Technology
2150 Herr Street
Harrisburg, PA 17103    

[] On Behalf Of Gus Spier Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 1:07 PM
Cc:; Oracle-L Freelists Subject: Re: Quality of Oracle MetaLink Notes

Rather than relying on my evaluation of my expertise, how much better if metalink had a set of "rules" to characterize my previous interactions with metalink? The forums on OTN don't seem to have a problem awarding skill levels to contributors. Surely, Oracle can whip up a similar utility.  

FWIW,   R,  


On Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 11:55 AM, Robert Freeman <> wrote:

        I think part of this issue is one of language/culture with respect to the analyst. With a global support organization you are going to get people who's first language is not English (or even American English). Thus, their vocabulary will not be quite as wide as a natural speaker. Additionally this probably makes for more halting and harsh sounding reporting, when in fact that may not have been the intent. Finally I find the first level support at Oracle to often be lacking. If you get a first level analyst making the report (or perhaps they are trying in vain to paraphrase a development response), they may not have the knowledge to accurately write what has been reported. Some of the initial responses I get to SR's are nothing more than the analyst going through the docs and finding something that I already knew a long time ago.         

        I kind of wish Metalink had a set of radio buttons so you could describe your skill set (expert, advanced, intermediate, beginner) so they would not do stuff like that. It wastes my time and I sometimes think that they do it in an effort to just get the SR "answered"..... irrespective of the fact that the answer is about as helpful as fire ants in Florida.         

        It think it falls on us, as openers of an SR, to ensure that the reporting is accurate and correct. Granted, we pay for support and we can complain until the cows come home about how we should not have to do this, or do that, but in the end if we follow-up and ensure accuracy and appropriate grammar, etc we all benefit. That being said, I'll confess that there are times that I'm just so frustrated with the Analyst after working an SR that I just don''t want to have anything else to do with them.         

        Just my opinion, YMMV...         


	Robert G. Freeman
	Oracle Database 11g New Features (Oracle Press)
	Portable DBA: Oracle  (Oracle Press)
	Oracle Database 10g New Features (Oracle Press)
	Oracle9i RMAN Backup and Recovery (Oracle Press)
	Oracle9i New Feature
<> (Oracle Press)         
  • Original Message ---- From: Hemant K Chitale <> To: Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 8:27:51 AM Subject: Quality of Oracle MetaLink Notes

        In the past 1 (or 2?) years, the quality of notes on MetaLink has

	significantly deteriorated.
	Some are outright misleading (and potentially dangerous to
novice DBAs).
	However, in recent months, I have noticed notes that are also
	arrogant or disrespectful
	to the customer.
	One example, one which I did send feedback to Oracle Support is
Note 558846.1.         

        This is the feedback that I have sent :         

	I find the language used in Note 558846.1 :
	1. Unclear
	2. Arrogant or dismissive
	The Symptoms section states

"Running a SQL script that returns a great amount of data on
Windows" while the Cause section, referring to Bug6867504 states
"On Windows if you issue highly recursive or very large SQL
statements you will blow the RDBMS stack" Is the Bug logged against "a great amount of data" OR is it logged against "highly recursive SQL" OR is it logged against "very large SQL statement" What is "a great amount of data" ? 5MB ? 500MB ? xx number of records ? Some figure with respect to a fixed Buffer Size ? What is "highly recursive SQL" ? One that makes 10 recursive calls ? One that makes 100 recursive calls ? What is "very large SQL statement" ? One that has a text length of 5000 characters ? A length of 50000 characters ? A length of
5Mbytes ?         
	Is the langauge "blow the RDBMS stack" one that is used by a
	Technical Support person talking to a DBA/Developer ?
	What does it mean by "blow .. the stack" ? Should it be "exceed
	hardcoded stack size of 1MB " ?
	What is related to the stack size ? "a great amount of data" OR

"highly recursive SQL" OR "very large SQL statement" ?
WHERE is the problem ? Is the solution section
"Note that any SQL statement that has a lot of repeated values
is a poor SQL and will probably cause such problems so it's best never to use such bad SQL and try to tune your queries. If you have a statement that will not work within the 5 MB stack that you have adjusted, you will never know what the correct results are anyway." a REAL WORLD Solution recommendation ? (and, by the way what is "a lot of repeated values" ? how many is "a lot" ?) How does your analyst define "poor SQL" and "bad SQL" in the context of this particular Note and Bug ? If I have an SQL statement that contains a very long INLIST such that it exceeds a certain size (what size ?) is it "poor SQL" or "bad SQL" ? And what does the analyst mean by "you will never know what the correct results are anyway" ? Is THAT the sort of response I expect from an RDBMS vendor ? Hemant K Chitale


Received on Tue Mar 25 2008 - 13:06:14 CDT

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