Tuesday, May 2, 2017

EBS -- OAF Page is not updatable - no errors received // caused by Accessibility features settings

Here is a strange issue encountered in an EBS 12.2 environment.(EBS 12.2.4)
It was related with a specific OAF Page (aka Self Service page) named GL_ASF_ALC_SUMMARY, which is shown in the following screenshot.


The problem was weird.. After rendering, the page just didn't respond to any of the user inputs.
We clicked on the buttons, tried to use LOVs and so on... We even tried using different browsers and different clients but couldn't make it work.
There were no errors in OAF logs, no errors in HTTP trace tools and no warning in our browsers.

In addition, the url produced for this page seemed to be okay..
There were no personalization for this page and the classes and everyting were there in the fileystem, and they were looking all good.

The url:
http://ermansrv:8000/OA_HTML/OA.jsp?page=/oracle/apps/gl/asflow/config/webui/GL_ASF_CONFIG_ALC_SUMMARY_PG&_ri=101&objectId=2070&objectType=PRIMARY&_ti=1375218639&retainAM=Y&addBreadCrumb=Y&OASF=GL_ASF_ALC_SUMMARY&oapc=27&oas=xMIKbnyHRvklsGwM8W3WcA..
However, the page just didn't work..
Okay.. I will keep this short..
Guess what the cause was..

"The accessibility features"...

The users encountering this problem had "Screen Reader Optimized" set in their user preferences. ( as the Accessibility Feature setting ) In other words, the profile option named "Self Service Accessibility Features" was set to Screen Reader Optimized , for these users.

Note:  when we set a preference, EBS actually updates the related Profile Options for our user. (in our user level)

I said I keep it short ,but I juut can't directly give the solution without giving some extra info :)

The Accessibility Features preference is used for better supporting the use of assistive technologies, such as screen readers for blind users in EBS.

When "Screen Reader Optimised" mode is set, EBS builds the pages in a way to better support the screen readers.
Here is the defition for values that can be set for the Screen Reader Optimized user preference:

* Standard Accessibility - pages are accessible to users using assistive technologies.
* Screen Reader Optimized - pages are optimized for screen readers. This may degrade the output for a sighted user.
* None - pages include behaviors that are not accessible to users using assistive technologies"

The screen reader is a software for a blind or visually impaired person to use the computer screen. The screen readers usally read the text diplayed in the screen and convert it into a form those users can understand.. tactile, auditory or a combination of both..

I have tested this screen reader thing using the ChromeVox, which is an add-on for the Chrome Browsers, and I found it interesting, as it actually understand the mouse moves, interprets the screen and reads the contents accordingly.

Okay after giving this extra info, let's see what the solution was:

Solution:

Query the system profile, Self Service Accessibility Features
Update the value to None (or Null) for the User (user level) that is getting this error.
Save and retest Retest

Alternative solution:

Go to Preferences - > Accessibility feature and set it to None
Apply the changes
Retest the issue
One more thing.. You may ask why did this error encountered? 
This question is normal because screen reader optimizer mode should not break anyting in EBS, normally..
However, in real world it does. It is a bug ofcourse and the solutions above are just  the workarounds.
I believe it is a bug of the page that is failing.. (in this case GL_ASF_ALC_SUMMARY)
So I think, the module should be upgraded to the latest code level in order to get the fix . (In this case, GL should be upgraded..)

Anyways, I' m giving you the related MOS documents here and I promise, I will revisit this post if I will find something more about it. 

By that time, you have the workarounds :)
  • Checklist for Assistive Technologies Issues with Oracle E-Business Suite (Doc ID 1100934.1)
  • http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/accessibility/ebs-accessibility-white-paper-163185.pdf (E-Business Suite Accessibility , an Oracle Whitepaper)

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