My OCS Hell…


I don’t know if you know this, but I hate Oracle Collaboration Suite (OCS). It is the most useless pile of camel dung I’ve ever cast my eyes upon. It’s really is not worth the price of the CDs it’s delivered on.

Yesterday it crashed in the afternoon so I restarted it all (DB, infrastructure and 3 middle tier servers). By the time I got home it had gone again, so guess what I had to do… Restart the lot again. About an hour later it had gone again, but I wasn’t at home so a collegue had to do the honours. My last text message on the subject was a little after 22:00. This morning I get to work and (can you guess what’s coming next?) it has all crashed again. At least it’s consistently rubbish!

My only hope is that my company give up on it, rather than wait for Oracle to fix it, because I know Oracle will focus on adding more gimics to it, rather than getting it to work properly.

My advice to anyone contemplating using this product is DON’T!!!!

If you are forced to use it, like me, consider hiring people to cover a 24 hour reboot service!



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

18 thoughts on “My OCS Hell…”

  1. My previous team is struggling to do the OCS installation from last 2 days… Sent them the link to you blog and they are all nodding in unison. πŸ™‚

  2. “most useless pile of camel dung” – Well, I haven’t seen camel dung, and even if I do see one, wouldn’t be in a position to differentiate a ‘useful pile’ and ‘useless’, so actually don’t know if your comment was meant to say that the entire Oracle Collabration Suite is not good?. By the way which O/S are you running in this on ?? Just curious. Is the ‘crash’ identified to HW or installation or core dumps?

  3. Hi.

    Yes, I think it’s all useless!

    We are running it on RedHat AS 2.1. That was the only Linux version certified when we bought it. We did several abortive attempts to install it on Tru64, but eventually Oracle told us that is essentially a Linux only product, but they support it on other platforms…

    The problem is not hardware or OS, at least there are no faults reported. Bit’s of OCS periodically go down for no reason, with nothing in the logs. It’s just crappy!

    By the way, I wasn’t asking for help, just venting my spleen to make myself feel less stressed πŸ™‚

  4. I think I’m going to steal a copy of exchange from a warez site, install it, migrate all the users to it and not tell anyone. I know it’s illegal but I’ll use the temporary insanity defense and cite OCS as the cause if it comes to court πŸ™‚



  5. Tim, it takes a special kinda of person to have patients with any kind of email server. Some friends of mine who manage Exchange server and GroupWise don’t mind it at all, but their are those who curse at it. (and those that curse are not admin types). Collab falls in the same category. We manage Collab for a client for over a year now, and it works just fine. Now the previous firm that started to work with gave up. They did not get it, so they cursed at it. We get it and it works fine. I recall working some with SQL-Server guys and they could not get a Oracle database install working. They cursed at it. They did not get it. (but you and I know that the Oracle database works just). fine). Yes, Collab is complex, but it works. There is just a lot to learn about it. Patience and the documents will get you thru it.

    Its weird, I took over a RAC install/config from a firm that told the client it does not work and was junk. But I got it working in 1 day and it been working just fine for 3 months now.

    (note: My clients Collab runs on Solaris.) I have not work with other o/s for this product. So, I may be way off, if that is your case.

  6. By the way. Our company Exchange 2003 has crashed 4 times in the last two months. Either our email guy does not get it, or Exchange has some issues. (strange, because Exchange is pretty mature (2003 version we are using by the way).

    One thing I can say, (Exchange Web interface is much prettier than Collab. Only thing I dont like about it).

  7. Anonymous said…

    I’m glad you’ve had good experiences with OCS. All I can say is that of all the people I’ve spoken to, including internal Oracle consultants, you are the first to say something possitive about the product. I guess you should apply for a job at Oracle and inject a bit of enthusiasm into their team.

    One of the things I find frustrating about OCS is that I’ve worked with most of the products individually and they are OK (Database, IFS, Application Server, Portal etc.), but as soon as they are put together they become a complete mess.

    Also, it’s predominantly a mail and file sharing system. There are plenty of really simple, cheap and reliable systems like this, so where do Oracle get off producing an expensive, unreliable one and think they can corner the market.

    Rant over for today πŸ™‚



  8. We actually have it running in production at our site, but it took a lot of long nights and a lot of patching. We stil lhave some problems with the wemail but it has been fairly stable over the last few months.

    The log files are the absolute worst though, they have no information and there is even less on Metalink.

    Has anyone dared to take a look at the 10g version yet?

  9. The 10g Version is available for download now.., and the link says:

    “Oracle Collaboration Suite, a member of the Oracle Fusion Middleware family of products, is the first product to leverage a relational database to securely, reliably, and cost-effectively simplify business communications and consolidate information by reducing hardware, software, and administration costs.”

    Can you find the number of errors / mistakes in this one line ?

  10. Without being funny we’ve been running OCS 9i on Linux ES3 for 12 months now and had absolutely 0 downtime. Install was a bitch, and making sure all the patches went on was also a problem.
    The 10g version has been in test for 2-3 months and similar, no problems! We’re a team of Oracle consultants so I guess that helped but once it went in we’ve done next to no management.

  11. Our installation and support is provided by a consultancy firm recommended by Oracle. One of their employees has subsequently gone to work for the Oracle OCS group.

    I can only speak as I find, and it’s a shocking product. Maybe we’ve been unlucky, or maybe you’ve been lucky. I don’t know, but I hate it with a passion. πŸ™‚



  12. Yes, but we’ve been taken over by a big US company, so we’re in the process of moving to Exchange. Happy Days!



  13. We have many problems with OCS. If your looking at this product then look close at the way it handles address book entries at global level. We could not find away to add an external persons contact details into the Global address list without making them a user. It crashes, has limits example on address book. Does not like Novell E-directory. Your better off with MS Exchange.

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