While nobody likes submitting Service Requests (SR) on the Oracle support site, this is a necessary task that we must get comfortable with, whether our applications are on-premise or in the Cloud. After 12 years of consulting, I can say that I have seen or pursued many wrong ways of submitting an SR which, in turn, yields results along similar lines – a lot of back-and-forth emailing with Oracle’s support staff, personal frustration, misinformation, and most importantly – time wasted on all sides.
Worry no more! Here is a list of things you can do to avoid further pain and frustration when submitting Service Requests or Enhancement Requests with Oracle for Profitability and Cost Management Cloud Service (PCMCS).
- Where do I start when submitting SRs and ERs for PCMCS?
You can still use the generic Oracle Support website to open either an SR or an Enhancement Request (ER) with Oracle for Cloud applications, but the right way to do this is to first gain access to the Oracle Cloud Support website which looks slightly different and has a couple of new fields to complete. The email associated with the Oracle account should be the same email that has access to specific Cloud subscriptions.
Standard Oracle Support website
Cloud Support website
- Provide feedback
Login in to the Cloud application for which you want to create the SR or ER, and once you are logged in to PCMCS, navigate to your user name (top right) and select “Provide Feedback.” A new screen will appear enabling you to highlight the area of concern to provide context for the reason you are submitting the SR or ER.
Provide details around the area of concern. This gives context to the issue at hand and creates a reference for future troubleshooting. For example, if the issue is related to one specific Rule, ensure that the last screen open before you click on Provide Feedback is on the rule itself, or open to the job library listing the execution of the rule. You will only be able to highlight areas on the last screen open before launching the “Provide Feedback” screen. The details you provide here will not automatically be copied into your SR. If you want to describe the issue in detail within this section, you can copy the same text within the SR itself – save it locally before submitting the feedback.
- Options for your feedback.
After you submit your feedback, a new panel will come up and will contain the following 3 sections:
- Environment: a listing of your Browser, Platform, Version, Locale, Resolution, Time zone, Cookies enabled (Y/N), URL of the instance, and the User Agent. You do not have to fill in anything in this section. All information is filled in for you.
- Plugins: a listing of enabled plugins, if any. You do not have to fill in anything in this section. All information is filled in for you.
- Confirm Application snapshot submission: this is the only section where you must provide input.
You have a choice of Yes / No – depending on how comfortable you feel about Oracle using your daily maintenance snapshot for regression testing in upcoming releases. Giving Oracle access to your maintenance snapshots means you are agreeing to them using the model and any related data for their testing going forward. If your hierarchy structures and data are not sensitive, then you may choose to select “Yes.” My personal preference is to select “No” and provide the static/current moment in time archived snapshot within the SR . When the SR is closed, the contents of said snapshot will be archived and not used for further regression testing.
- Generate a Diagnostic Report (UDR) ID
When clicking the “Submit” button on this screen, a unique alphanumeric reference is generated. This reference will be required when submitting an SR or ER on the Oracle Cloud Support website. Write down or, preferably, copy and save this UDR string of characters on your workstation in a txt file.
- Log in to the Oracle Cloud Support website and proceed with opening a new Cloud SR/ER.
Select the “Create Service Request” button on the lower left-hand side of your screen.
Select “Service Type” from the drop-down list of available Cloud services to which your user has access.
Once you have selected “Oracle Hyperion Profitability and Cost Management Cloud Service,” a listing of all available instances will be displayed in the new “Service Name” section:
Make sure you select the appropriate “Service Name” with the instance where you generated the related UDR (see previous steps).
Add “Problem Type” and select based on the type closest to your issue:
The above choices will not trigger related content or a list of options – this is merely to ensure that the ticket goes to the appropriate team during the investigation process.
In the “Problem Summary” section, reference the Cloud product for which you are creating the SR or ER. This will be the subject of your ticket, and it will help administer and keep track of multiple tickets at the same time.
- Attach all System Reports available for your PCMCS app.
To avoid multiple back and forth email exchanges with the Oracle Support staff, provide them with all the available information. Here is a current list of all available reports for troubleshooting PCMCS applications.
- Execution statistics for the last model / allocation execution connected to the SR – if SR is related to calc performance, calc troubleshooting or rule setup. (PDF or XLS format preferable)
- Program Documentation (with details; not with aliases) (XLS or PDF format preferable)
- Dimension Statistics (PDF format preferable)
- POV Statistics (PDF or XLS format preferable)
All these reports can be generated from PCMCS – Navigator menu – System reports.
- Attach the Diagnostic report
From the “Navigator” Menu, select “Application,” click on the drop-down in “Actions” and select “Export Supplemental Diagnostics.” This report is very useful to the development team troubleshooting your issue.
When selecting this report, a new job will be launched that can take anywhere between a couple of minutes to 20+ minutes, depending on the size of your application and the amount of logging involved.
An archive of the diagnostics reports will be generated in the File Explorer within the Application menu. Some of the reports in this archive will be a repeat of the other reports mentioned in the previous step, but if you provide all this information simultaneously, the redundancy should not cause any issues. If you are not open to launching such process in your environment during business hours, and yet you still want to submit the SR in a timely fashion, you can skip this step and provide this report only upon request from Oracle Support staff.
- Error description
If you can replicate the error, capture each step via screenshots and save them in a Word doc. The earlier the support staff understands what you are dealing with, the faster the entire troubleshooting process will be completed.
Refer to menu options precisely as what they are called within PCMCS.
For example, to submit an SR or ER related to the Calculation Rules menu, refer to it as Calculation Rules – Rules Express Editing, as both names appear in the PCMCS menu.
- Establish the SR level appropriately.
There are 4 options to choose from, and you should choose based on urgency as well as level of importance.
Choose severity 1 and 2 only when applicable. You may be inclined to select such severity options so that your issue is resolved quickly, but use your own criteria to distinguish between something that is really a show stopper and something that is not. Time is of the essence for both you and the Oracle Development team.
When choosing severity 1, you will open your calendar for potential phone calls that can occur at any time, regardless of your time zone.
- My request is really an ER, not an SR.
If your SR is an Enhancement Request, provide a lot of supporting detail in the “Business Justification” section. Not doing so will delay the Enhancement Request submission by up to 2 weeks. If further business justification is requested, respond promptly to make things move along and ensure that your request makes it to the next patch release sooner rather than later.
Once an Enhancement Request is recorded, your SR will be updated with the ER ID (which will differ from the SR ID originally assigned the moment you submitted the ticket). The original SR will be closed, and you can open a new SR quoting the ER ID 48 hours after the moment your request was accepted. The Support staff will confirm whether the ER will make it in the next monthly patch release.
- Bedside manners for SR/ER submitters.
Try to reduce the number of communications within the SR. Taking the above steps will get you closer to achieving a near-perfect SR submission. Be mindful about how to communicate efficiently. The higher the amount of back-and-forth communication, the more difficult it will be for the development team to follow the conversation trail and ensure efficient troubleshooting.
Whether you are a service provider or a PCMCS administrator who inherited an application at the end of a project implementation, we all tap the same Oracle Support resources which are, as are most things, finite. The more efficient your SR/ER submission is, the faster these resources provide a response with accurate and detailed troubleshooting steps. For any time-sensitive issues or further escalation, leverage your Oracle representative and your implementation partner. Their existing relationship with Oracle Product Management will help direct your query to the right resources and ensure your SR is not stuck because of lack of clarity regarding which team should own it. This will ensure that your SR/ER is fast-tracked to the appropriate team and given the right level of attention. For any critical issues you encounter with PCMCS or other Cloud subscriptions where there is no solution in sight, reach out to Alithya at firstname.lastname@example.org so that our team can provide a fast end effective assessment.