Oracle Alerts – FAQ for Beginners

1. What are Oracle Alerts?


Oracle Alerts are used to monitor unusual or critical activity within a designated database. The flexibility of ALERTS allows a database administrator the ability to monitor activities from tablespace sizing to activities associated with particular applications (i.e. AP, GL, FA). Alerts can be created to monitor a process in the database and to notify a specific individual of the status of the process.

2. What types of Oracle Alerts are there?


There are 2 types of alerts: Event Alerts and Periodic Alerts

a) EVENT ALERTS are triggered when an event or change is made to a table in the database.

b) PERIODIC ALERTS are activated on a scheduled basis to monitor database activities or changes.

3. What types of actions can be generated when an Alert is triggered?


When an alert is triggered or the event is true, the alert can Email, send or print a message. Alerts also have the ability to execute a SQL script to perform an action. Using Response Processing, Oracle Alerts can solicit a response from a specific individual and perform an action based on the response that it receives.

4. Can I build an Alert to run with my custom applications or tables?


Event or Periodic Alerts can work with any custom application, as long as the application is properly registered within the Oracle Applications package.

5. Which Email packages work with Alerts?


Oracle Alert is designed to work with Oracle Office, Oracle Interoffice, UNIX Sendmail, and VMS Mail.

6. Can Alerts be triggered by other Tools?

(i.e. other than Oracle Forms and concurrent programs)


Oracle Alerts can only be triggered from an application that has been registered in Oracle Applications. Alerts cannot be triggered via SQL updates or deletes to an Alert activated trigger.

7. What is Response Processing?


Response processing is a component of Alerts which allows the recipients of an alert to reply with a message and have the applications take some action based on the response. Response Processing only works with Oracle Mail products.

8. Do I need Oracle Applications to use Alerts?


Yes. Oracle Applications is required to create and run Alerts.

Oracle Application Workflows FAQ

1. I do not wish to have “Notification Detail.html” attachment in my email notifications. How can I avoid?

Set the Email preference to HTML mail. It will send notifications as HTML-formatted e-mail only, without any standard attachments. However users must read their e-mail using an HTML e-mail client. If there are custom attachments defined for individual notifications in a process, those attachments will be included.

 2. What is the impact of reducing “Processor Min Loop Sleep” for agent listeners or components for type “Workflow Agent Listener”?

This parameter carries minimum amount of time in seconds the processing thread(s) will sleep when nothing has been read. Thread only sleeps when it does not process anything in last iteration. If there is steady stream of messages, sleep should not matter. If there are bursts of messages with no activity in between, this parameter will only affect how soon agent listener reacts to and process new messages. So, if reaction time needs to be improved, sleep can be reduced but note, it will also cause more polling and in absence of activity it may not be worth it.

 3. How to remove Action History region from notifications in Applications 11.5.10?

Define the special message attribute #HISTORY with a null value to suppress the action history for a notification. Please see Oracle Workflow Developer’s Guide for more information.

 4. Why does the Email notification shows red cross mark in the place of GIF image?

Oracle Workflow Java mailer will attempt to resolve image references in notifications only if the notification contains a framework region. The source URL for the image needs to be accessible from the recipient’s client. When the image is behind a firewall, than the email client may not have access to it. Image can also be attached to an email if the ATTACH_IMAGES mailer configuration parameter is enabled.

 5. When a contact is created for the customer, a role is getting created for the contact with notification preference as ‘QUERY’. Hence the mailer is not sending email notification to this contact. How the notification preference can be defaulted to ‘MAILHTML’ or ‘MAILTEXT’ for these roles?

If the role is being created using the wf_directory.createAdhocUser API, It is possible to set the notification preference in the API call, otherwise the default notification preference would be used. The default notification preference is controlled in the “Workflow Administrator Web Applications” responsibility. There is an “Administration” link. On that page you will find the default notification preference setting.

 6. Why the summary email notifications are not closed automatically even after enabling the Autoclose FYI mailer parameter?

This is expected behavior. Enabling Autoclose FYI is applicable only to notifications that are being emailed individually to the users with Notification Preference MAILHTML, MAILTEXT, MAILATTH or MAILHTM2 but not with SUMMARY or SUMHTML. However, since the summary notifications contain only the subject headers for the individual notifications, they have to be reviewed/actioned before closing the notification.

 7. For some records, WF_NOTIFICATION_OUT table shows the message state 3, which means such messages are expired. Should I rebuild the queue to bring these messages back to normal state?

Some messages could expire and move to exception queue after certain retries.

Following select statement can be executed to check the retry count and message status.

Select corr_id, msg_state, retry_count, count(msg_id) from$wf_notification_out group by corr_id, msg_state, retry_count;

Instead of rebuilding the queue, use the concurrent program “Move messages from Exception to Normal Queue of Workflow Agent” to move messages from exception queue to normal queue for agent WF_NOTIFICATION_OUT.

 8. How to stop sending out the “Cancel” emails when notification time out occurs in standalone workflow 2.6.4?

It is not possible at standalone workflow 2.6.4 code level.

Note: For Embedded workflow, the WF: Mailer Cancellation Email profile option has been obsoleted in 11i.ATG_PF.H Rollup 3 patchset level as this feature has been replaced by the Send E-mails For Canceled Notifications (SEND_CANCELED_EMAIL) mailer parameter.

 9. A message attribute of type ‘Text’ and source ‘Respond’ has been created for a response required approval notification to allow approvers to enter any comments. So, what is the maximum length of text can approver enter as comments?

Maximum length of a Text attribute is 4000 bytes. It is stored within a VARCHAR2 column and thus it can be upto 4000 bytes and not characters. Please note that multibyte character can take more than 1 byte.