Oracle close to phasing out Flash support portal

Remaining users of the heavily criticized Flash version will soon get to try out a new HTML edition

Oracle may soon fully transition away from the much-maligned, Flash-based version of its support portal over to a new HTML edition next week, according to an official blog post on Thursday.

Next Friday, July 13, the vendor will upgrade the HTML version of My Oracle Support "with additional functionality that will allow those users remaining on the Flash-based user interface to switch over to the HTML version," the post states. "Our goal is to provide a single-online support portal so that all My Oracle Support users can benefit from the same features and functionality."

Until that time, Oracle on Demand, CRM on Demand, Taleo and Configuration Manager users should keep using the Flash site, according to the post.

The HTML version offers a number of advantages, including a "streamlined, three-step process" for logging trouble tickets, improved personalization capabilities, and a "single, consistent workflow for both software and hardware incidents," Oracle said in the post.

With the switch to HTML5, Oracle is dropping support for Internet Explorer 6, the post adds.

Oracle first rolled out a Flash version of the portal in 2009, replacing the long-time Metalink site. This quickly spawned a backlash from some users, who complained of bugginess, poor performance and also questioned why Oracle would use Flash, since the platform's use is restricted within many corporate IT departments.

The company soon made a partial concession, announcing that an HTML option would be restored.

In January, Oracle rolled out a new version of the HTML site built with its ADF (Application Development Framework) toolset. The update coming next week is also built with ADF, which underpins Oracle's next-generation Fusion Applications as well.

Oracle had previously said that the HTML version eventually will entirely replace the Flash edition of the support site, but it wasn't immediately clear on Thursday how soon that final move would be made.

Oracle has been placing greater emphasis on support services of late, particularly for its "engineered systems" such as Exadata and Exalogic. Last month, co-president Mark Hurd unveiled a new set of Platinum services for those products and a number of others.

The services, which are provided at no additional charge on top of a customer's existing support agreement, include features such as five-minute response times for Severity 1 issues and 24/7 fault monitoring.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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