Oracle Support portal: HTML 5 replaces Flash

Oracle Support is upgrading their web interface from Flash to HTML5. I’m happy. I no longer have to twiddle my thumbs waiting for Flash to load:

That was really annoying. The consolation prize was that the Flash UI was still two orders of magnitude faster than the call back from support on a Sev 1, so the Flash interface really didn’t affect MTTR.

My major complaints about the Flash interface were:

Managing Flash plugins on critical data center servers & management infrastructure. Adobe simply has not been able to keep Flash from being exploited, so having to rely on an exploitable plugin for daily operations never made me comfortable. It is really nice to be able to gather data on an incident and upload it directly to Oracle but that meant that the database management infrastructure had to have Flash plugins along with the associated risk/cost of an exploitable plugin.

Slow and unreliable. When I log into the Flash based support site, I typically need to reload the Flash app at least once, usually at the 90% marker. The new HTML5 interface is faster than Flash and doesn’t hang on startup.

Not tab aware. What could be more natural than opening up multiple SRs at once, each in their own tab? How about being able to search & opening up each result in a separate tab? Or being able to put an SR and its associated bugs side by side? The Flash UI couldn’t handle more than one tab. It excelled at making every interaction with the interface strictly linear.

Unfortunately what’s out there today still isn’t tab-aware. In IE I don’t get a right-mouse menu at all and if I try opening up new tabs on Firefox, I end up with:

However – if I’m viewing an SR and I right-click on the printer icon, I can display the SR in a standalone tab. That helps. I still can’t open up an SR alongside it’s associated bugs though.

I suspect that Oracles lead UI designers are constrained by strict linear thinking. It probably never occurs to them that a user might work on more than one problem at a time or that a user might want to view both SRs an bugs at the same time. Or maybe Oracle has a corporate policy that prohibits two-button mice and browsers with tabs.

FWIW - In the process of playing with tabs, I also ended up here: