Resolving an EBS login problem

I was asked to investigate an EBS login page failure on a production system last night. Well, actually, I was asked if I had any crazy ideas, since someone else was already working the problem with Oracle Support. Management thought a fresh pair of eyes might help, as the East Coast eyes that had been looking were getting tired. The solution turned out to be somewhat obscure, but I'm throwing it up here in case it helps a desperate, flailing Googler in the future.

Symptoms and observations

  • R12 landing page (Navigator) was returning the dreaded, generic "You have encountered an unexpected error. Please contact the System Administrator for assistance" error.
  • As far as anyone knew, there hadn't been any changes, patches, or service restarts; the system had just spontaneously stopped working. (Don't you just hate that?)
  • SSO and non-SSO logins were authenticating users, but no work could be done because the EBS home page was inaccessible.
  • Web services had already been restarted, to no avail
  • AOL/J diagnostic tests were passing, implying that this wasn't a systemic Java problem

Investigation and resolution

My first thought was that there were corrupt JSPs (probably because I had my last blog post on the brain), but the application server log files were not consistent with that problem. Then I noticed that the other troubleshooters had activated FND Diagnostics, which had the benefit of adding a "Click here for exception details" link. Knowing that this often leads to a mostly-unintelligible (to me, anyway) Java stack trace, I didn't have high hopes, but I had a look. Surprisingly, I found something interesting:

java.lang.NumberFormatException: For input string: "200000000000"
   at java.lang.NumberFormatException.forInputString(
   at java.lang.Integer.parseInt(
   at java.lang.Integer.valueOf(
   at oracle.apps.fnd.framework.server.OAUtility.getProfileVoMaxFetchSize(

So, Java was having trouble chewing on a really large number, and it looks like it was getting that value from a system profile option. A quick look at recently-changed profile options (query here) revealed:

applmgr@prodsys:~> sqlplus apps @last_profile_changes
SQL*Plus: Release - Production on Wed Jan 20 02:45:27 2010
Copyright (c) 1982, 2005, Oracle. All rights reserved.
Enter password:
Connected to:
Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition Release - 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, OLAP, Data Mining and Real Application Testing options
Enter value for number_of_items: 4
Profile Option  Option Level  Value           Set on    Scoldee
--------------- ------------- --------------- --------- ---------------
FND: Diagnostic Site          Y               20-JAN-10 SYSADMIN
GL Journals: La User          LESS            19-JAN-10 XXXXXX
st Find Window
FND: View Objec Site          200000000000    19-JAN-10 XXXXXX
t Max Fetch Siz
GL Journals: La User          LESS            19-JAN-10 XXXXXXXX
st Find Window

As is often the case, the key part of the phrase, "no changes as far as anyone knew" was the last five words. ;-) That number (200000000000) is several orders of magnitudes larger than typical values of "FND: View Object Max Fetch Size," and after resetting it to something more sane, the system became usable again. Whew!


  1. Posted 20 January 2010 at 13:42 | Permalink

    Yeah, "200000000000" is a little higher than usual. ;-)

    If none of your DBAs 'fess up to making this change, and you believe them, then it really begs the question as to how that value got changed. I'd be very, very interested in hearing whether you think this was a human error or a programmatic one.

    Feel free to send me a private email with any clues to the latter.


  2. Posted 20 January 2010 at 18:39 | Permalink

    Hi Steven,

    I was not privy to the conversation with the person who set the profile option, since I'm remote, but as far as I know it was understood to be human error.


    John P.

  3. Posted 2 February 2010 at 17:51 | Permalink

    Classic who dunnit ;-) thanks for posting.

  4. Posted 2 February 2010 at 20:56 | Permalink

    You're welcome, Gareth. Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for reading!


    John P.

  5. felix
    Posted 2 June 2010 at 7:47 | Permalink

    Hi, would you mind to share your last_change sql? This could be really usefull.

    Thank you!

  6. Posted 2 June 2010 at 7:58 | Permalink

    Hi felix,

    The script is already linked above, but I'll make a change to the surrounding text to make it more clear. Thanks for the feedback. :-)


    John P.

  7. felix
    Posted 2 June 2010 at 12:31 | Permalink

    ahhh I didn't see it! Sorry ;)

    Thanks for the script.


  8. Muhammad Asif Azhar
    Posted 16 March 2012 at 3:52 | Permalink

    Yes, Its really work for me. I was bit tired from last two days sending error.log access.log Diagnostics to support. :)

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