Sunday, January 29, 2012

"The keyboard? How quaint."

I was just over on youtube reviewing that famous Star Trek outtake where Scotty approaches a 20th century computer and tries to get it to respond to his voice. "Computer? Commmputer?" Bones hands Scotty the mouse, and Scotty proceeds to speak into it as if it is a microphone: "Hello Computer..." The computer's owner suggests that Scotty "Just use the keyboard." "The keyboard? How quaint."

I am always reminded of this part of the movie when I get lost on My Oracle Support, trying to find something, and wishing the interface went beyond intuitive and over into psychic. If google can notice that I'm interested in buying a new couch and then spend the next couple of weeks tossing ads at me for furniture dealers, then how far are we from My Oracle Support noticing that I am bobbing around trying to remember how to find something and proactively reminding me how to get there?

Oh, well, in the meantime, I must resort to blogging details about how I managed to do something once so that when I need to again I can search my blog. Today's post will cover Trolling for Patches, and the Ever So Interesting "Includes File".

On MOS, Click on Patches & Updates

Click on Patching Quick Links, and since I am using Release 12.1.3, click on Recommended R12 Patches:

Now, as far as I can tell, it is very important that you click on Advanced Search in this next screen. I tried just muddling around in this screen, and it didn't get me what I was looking for. I changed the Maintenance Release from the default of 12.1.1 to 12.1.3, and I clicked on the flashlight and entered AZ in the screen that popped up, and then I clicked on Select in the popup screen, and it didn't do what I expected. It didn't carry back the AZ selection into the Product or Product Family, so it didn't cut the list down to just AZ patches. I am not sure, but I think that if you haven't clicked on Advanced Search, this is perhaps defaulting to Simple Search, but I am not sure why it would let me click on the Product or Product Family flashlight, choose something, and then not carry it back.

For this example, I wanted to find any patches for AZ, because I am having trouble with iSetup. You can see the fields I filled in.

It is moments like these that make me feel pretty dumb. If I were my 11 year old son, I'd be banging on my desk right now, shouting "Why? Why can't I make it work???"

That said, remember what I said a little earlier, Click on Advanced Search.

It pulled up a better screen, and that screen let me click on a pile of flashlights to limit what I was searching for, which pulled up popup screens that carried back the way I expected them to. And when I clicked on the Go button, it pulled up a nice pile of patches:

Now, I've shown you all this, which solved my problem by giving me a list of AZ patches that I should look at to see if I am missing any that might solve my problem with iSetup, but in the end, that's not the reason I pulled up all this information. Take a look at what I circled above in red: Includes File. That's the thing that I want to remember how to get to. It's terrific to use this screen to get a list of available patches, but the Includes File option is the one that I always forget. Let's say you find a note on My Oracle Support that says that a particular version of a file is needed to solve a problem. Enter it here in the Includes File box, and you can limit the results of your query to just those patches that have that file. That feature is the one I always forget how to use, and so, for posterity, I have recorded it here.

Here's Oracle's definition of Includes File:

This search option is valid only for Applications products. This parameter is not considered while querying for Server or Tools products patches.

This search parameter is used to limit down the search results to only those patches that contain a specific file, or a specific version of a specific file. To use this parameter, the exact, case sensitive, file-name must be known. No wildcards are allowed.

The search can be further limited by setting the file version. No wildcards are allowed for the version field. The search will match all file versions greater than or equal to the selected version.

If you try out Includes File, take heed to what Oracle says above - you have to know exactly what you're looking for, and it doesn't allow wildcards to figure it out.

The end.


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