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Note: This FAQ contains some information that may be out of date, and is in the process of being updated. 

OTN Discussion Forums FAQ

Note: Comments are disabled for this wiki. If you have a question or suggestion about the Discussion Forums, please use the dedicated forum hereThere is also a comprehensive user-created forum guide that is updated regularly and can be found here.

What is the OTN Discussion Forum?

Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Discussion Forum is an interactive community for sharing information, questions, and comments about Oracle products and related technologies. Most forums are moderated by product managers, and all of them are frequently visited by knowledgeable users from the community. Today, Oracle Forums contain nearly 2.5 million messages about every conceivable nuance of using Oracle products or supported standards.

Are OTN Discussion Forums for obtaining support from Oracle?

No; OTN Discussion Forums are designed for peer-to-peer knowledge sharing only. Customers requiring Oracle Support should:

  • For urgent problems or issues, login to My Oracle Support.  (Members only.)
  • For questions, consulting or less urgent matters, consider My Oracle Support Community where peers and Oracle technical support engineers are active around the clock. (Members only.)

(There are rare exceptions: users of some free products, such as Oracle SQL Developer and Oracle Database XE, do in fact use Oracle Discussion Forums as their support channel.)

Do I have to be registered to use the forums?

Anyone can read messages but must be a registered member to post a question or response. Simply sign in at to register free of charge.

Why is my first post not showing up?

In order to combat spam, users' first posts are moderated. Once your first post is approved, you will be able to post in the forums.

How do I change my handle? 

The default username you are assigned is a random string of characters. Once you've registered, it's a good idea to change your "handle" to something other that the default assigned username. The OTN Forums are quite friendly places and people like to know who they're talking to! To do so, click on the drop-down link next to your name, then select "Edit Profile and Privacy." This gives you the option (via another edit link) to change your handle. It is not wise to use you e-mail address for your handle!

How do I set my avatar?

You are able to upload your own custom avatars, to a max of two. In order to upload an avatar, you need to click on your username to get to your profile page, and then hit the "Activity" tab. On the right side, under Actions, you'll see a link to "Change Avatar." From there, you can upload your avatar.

 Are there any restrictions on my avatar?

 Your custom avatars will be moderated according to the Oracle Terms of Service. Avatars will be rejected if they:

• Are defamatory, derogatory, degrading, or harassing

• Promote bigotry, racism, hatred, or harm against any group or individual

• Are obscene or in poor taste

• Appear to violate intellectual property or copyright laws

• Contain a solicitation of or advertise funds, goods, or services

How do I access my profile?

Click your username/handle in the top right corner.

Where can I find all my posts?

Open your profile and then click the "Content" tab. There you can filter by authored, participated and followed.

Why do I get so many emails?

To change this, you can edit your email preferences. Click on the drop down menu next to your username/handle in the top right corner. Then  select preferences and adjust your email settings from there. You can also set email notifications by individual thread; if you are getting unwanted notifications, go to the 

How can I contact a moderator to report a spammer?

In is a thread titled "Please delete spammer". Post your request there and a mod will help you out.

How do I switch between threaded and flat view for discussions?

To change this, you can edit your discussion/comments preferences. Click on the drop down menu next to your username/handle in the top right corner. Then  select preferences and adjust your discussion/comments view settings from there.

How do I change the forum language?

To change this, you can edit your language preferences. Click on the drop down menu next to your username/handle in the top right corner. Then  select preferences and adjust the language from there.

How do I select an avatar?

Open your Profile and select "activity". On the right side is a "Change avatar" link.

What happens when I friend someone?

All your friends' posts will be displayed in your communications stream.

How can I mark answers as correct or helpful?

This only works if you have flagged your thread as a question. You have 15 minutes after posting it to mark it as a question. After that, you will need to ask a moderator to do that for you.

How can I mark my thread as answered/solved?

You can mark a thread as answered/solved by either clicking "Assume Answered" or by selecting a comment as the correct answer.

How do I format code?

Switch to the advanced editor, paste your code, mark it, click the >> (insert) button, select Syntax Highlighting, choose the style.

How do I switch from flat to threaded view?

You can select threaded view in your profile.

How do I change my display name?

Next to your username/handle at the top right is a drop down menu. Click "edit profile", in there click edit next to the username. You'll need to log in again, after that you see all your personal fields. Roughly in the middle of that form is the OTN username field.

What is proper discussion forum etiquette?

When asking a question, provide all the details that someone would need to answer it including your database version, e.g. Oracle

Format your code using code tags (see "How do I format code in my post?" below). Consulting documentation first is highly recommended. Furthermore, always be courteous; there are different levels of experience represented. A poorly worded question is better ignored than flamed - or better yet, help the poster ask a better question.

Keep linkspam out of your signature - your profile page is the appropriate place for users to find you more information about you.  

Finally, it is good form to reward answerers with points (see "What are 'reward points'?" below) and also to mark the question answered when it has been.  It is bad form to remind users to award points, posts to that effect will be removed.  

What about Terms of Use?

A full document is posted here, but suffice to say that spam, defamation, obscenity, and bigotry are not tolerated and perpetrators will be banned. We're adults, let's act like them.

How is forum content organized?

The content in the forums is structured as follows:

  • Categories: Categories represent a collection of forums as well as other categories. Often, categories are used to organize forums into a tree structure so members can find the right discussions more easily.
  • Forums: Forums are the areas where individual discussions take place as a listing of threads.
  • Threads: Threads are the discussions that consist of one or more messages displayed as a list, or in a tree structure of messages and their replies.
  • Messages: Messages are the individual discussion posts made by community members.
  • Replies: Message replies are posts in response to other messages and are organized in a flat or threaded mode.

 What are "rewards points"?

It is possible for you to reward an answerer 5 points for a "helpful" answer or 10 points for a "correct" one (or none at all). Users who accumulate certain amounts of points reach different levels of recognition (see legend). In this manner, users who offer consistently helpful or correct answers raise their standing in the community. (Note: in order to award points, you must identify your post as a "question" first - which is set as default.)

How do I edit my handle or email address?

Your "handle" is the identity associated with your Forums account, and it is fully editable. (Note: If you select a handle that is already in use, you'll get an error message.) Note that the email address associated with your Forums account is the same one in your profile, and that you will receive Watch emails at that address. (To edit that address, go to

How do I start a discussion or post a question?

Every Forum has a Post New Thread icon above the main index. Click the icon and fill the form to start a new thread. If you are not logged-in, you will be prompted to login. When you are finished, click Preview, reread your post, then click Go Back/Edit to make changes or additions. When you are finished, click Post.

How do I reply to a message?

Every message has a Reply icon to the right of the date that the message was posted. Click the icon and fill the form to reply to the message. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to login. When you are finished, click Preview, verify your post, then click Go Back/Edit to make changes or additions. When you are finished, click Post.

I can't reply to a thread, it doesn't have a reply icon or link. Why?

If a thread has a "lock" icon next to it, a forum moderator has decided to lock it. No one may further reply to the thread until it is unlocked.

I posted a message earlier, but now it is gone. What happened?

Two things could have happened. The message was either moved to another forum because it was off topic, or deleted because it was inappropriate/contravened house rules - by a moderator. Reports of spam users or posts are also usually deleted once the offending posts or users have been dealt with.

What are Watches and how do I use them?

There are four types of watches: Category, Forum, Thread and User. A watch notifies you by email if the Category, Forum, Thread or User you are interested in has been updated.

To add a Category to your watch list, navigate to the category you want to watch and click the Watch Category link.

To add a Forum to your watch list, navigate to the forum you want to watch and click the Watch Forum link.

To add a thread to your watch list, click on the Watch This Thread link at the top of the thread page.

To add a User to your watch list, click on name of the User you want to watch, then click Watch This User.

Click on Stop Watching to end the email notifications for Categories, Forums, Threads and Users. After 90 days, inactive watches automatically expire. To see the current list of watches, click on Your Control Panel and then Your Watches. From this screen, you can manage each watch individually. You can delete a watch by checking the Delete tick box for the watch you want to delete, then clicking the Delete button.

What are RSS Feeds and how do I get them?

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Feeds are used for sharing headlines and other web content. For the Discussion Forums, you can get RSS Feeds for a category or forum, which will download all messages in that feed so you can view them without going to the discussion forums. To download RSS Feeds, you need an RSS Aggregator. There are many free ones available on the Web. To subscribe to a feed, click the RSS icon on the bottom of any page, then click "Get Requested Feed" and copy that URL from your browser bar. Paste the URL into your RSS Aggregator and it will download the feed and continue updating until you remove it. You can subscribe to RSS Feeds for Announcements, Threads, Popular Threads, and Messages for a particular Forum, Category or get a Global Feed.

Can I attach files to my messages?

Sorry, due to security and legal reasons, attachments are not supported.

What is an Oracle ACE?

The Oracle ACE program formally recognizes Oracle advocates with strong credentials as activists in the Oracle community. Oracle ACEs and ACE Directors are identified by special icons in Oracle Forums.

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The individuals who post here are part of the extended Oracle community and they might not be employed or in any way formally affiliated with Oracle. The opinions expressed here are their own, are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual authors, and neither Oracle nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.