Oracle support portal to get an HTML option

Customer complaints about My Oracle Support's Flash interface have gotten Oracle to provide a stripped-down HTML version of the portal

Oracle has made a partial concession to users angered by its decision to retire its venerable Metalink support portal in favor of the next-generation My Oracle Support.

For months, many users have expressed baffled outrage at Oracle's decision to use Flash for the MOS user interface, saying it resulted in poor performance and made it difficult to do their jobs since many companies restrict the use of Flash.

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The sustained gripes have apparently been heard by Oracle.

While MOS will remain in place, users will have an HTML user interface option, according to a forum post this week by a company official.

The HTML option has only a subset of MOS functionality, including the ability to search the knowledgebase, download patches and create service requests. Users won't get more advanced features such as patch advice, inventory reporting and system "healthchecks."

However, users expressed cautious satisfaction with Oracle's move, with some saying the reduced feature set should be adequate for their needs. "This is very very good news and I like that it doesn't include the word temporary anywhere in the description," one user said in a forum post.

"Kudos to Oracle Support leadership that it will be kept," another user wrote. "I dare not ask for how long."

Oracle has said the move to MOS was necessary to provide a unified and consistent user experience following the company's long string of acquisitions.

It is unclear, however, whether MOS will be widely embraced by customers. Sixty-seven percent of about 900 Oracle users who responded to a poll conducted by an Oracle DBA said they preferred "classic Metalink."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.