My Oracle Support Internals

How to Search in My Oracle Support (MOS) or AKA “Wading through the MOS”

This is the first in a series of blog posts about the newer features in MOS that I consider invaluable but are not widely known. Searching the Knowledge Base is the number one activity a customer performs on MOS making this blog post important to any Oracle Customer.

1. Difference between the Global Search and Local Search boxes.

Global search starts over from scratch every time you enter a different query. The local search box applies any refinements from the Refine Search that you may have applied even if the search string has changed. If the local search doesn’t provide the results you are expecting, Clear All (to remove any refinements) or start over by entering it in the Global Search box.

2. Relevancy Score

Each result has a relevancy score ranked by the search engine. The first article for this search has a very high (84%) score ranking it is the best answer. None of the articles immediately after have anything near that number. Most articles rank much lower as you can see from the rest of the list. This search result’s high ranking is due to the existence of all the words in the article title.

3. Support Recommended Results

Up to 5 documents can be linked to a particular search term, in the search above the key word was node. In the search in the next picture it was the ORA-4031 error which was identified as the most important word. Notice how MOS has renumbered documents to match the ORA-4031 error number.


4. Words to Be Careful With – Certain key words like NOT, NO and FOR change the meaning of the search thereby affecting the results. In the result window below the search results completely ignore the search term NOT. Also notice that process and processing are considered the same word based on the results. Paying attention to the highlighted words in the result list for clues on how best to optimize a particular search. Most documents have Tags which are keywords and phrases Oracle has identified as relevant or linked to a particular topic. These Tags are added when the document is first created. Adding a Tag will restrict the search to a subset of the search tag. Click on a tag to add to the local search automatically.

5. Document Ratings and Customer Recommended

The simplest way to promote (increase relevancy for search results) a particular document that helped you resolve a problem is to rate that document. Once a certain number of people have rated an article positively it becomes labeled as Customer Recommended showing up at the top of the results pane for a particular search. The rating box shows up in the document detail window. You can also increase the recommendation count for an article by adding it as a favorite but this won’t count as much as the ratings.

If you find a broken linked document use the Contact Us Link, Other Software Customer , Non Technical Questions to report it. You can also use the Rate Document window to report errors or broken links for a document. Using Rate a Document feature contacts the person who is assigned to maintain this document.

Notice the newer Search Refinements called Task Intent and Document Type. These both only apply to Knowledge Base searches.

6. Refining the Search – Drill Down or PowerView

All of the possible ways (Refine Search Section) to further drill down the search results is located on the left. The list of Sources stays complete no matter the results. You can refine a search by All Sources or a single Source but not a combination of several Sources. Other refinements like the Product Categories are context sensitive, which can drill down a set of results by clicking each link. Drilling down by clinking links can be time-consuming, there is a better way to add a context sensitive search to all results by using the Powerview Feature.

Once PowerView is on in the picture below, in this case by product, notice how the Refine Search Product Category is automatically expanded instead of clicking through multiple levels. It is recommended to have PowerView on (as your default) at the highest level to start with- Product line – Siebel, Middleware, Systems, Oracle Server, etc. This default setting will provide the best results for the product in the first result pane. PowerView can also limit products by CSI number. Notice how several of the search refinements have automatically opened so you can then drill down further.

Next Tip: Upgrade Advisors – Part of the New Proactive Services on MOS

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