Siebel Sorts

As I’ve discussed before, I’ve been working in Siebel Tools for the past month or so. Near the bottom of my previous note, I mentioned that we’d lost the “final” development version of the software and that my “new” version had misplaced some features which our staff had come to take for granted. I seem to have resurrected most of the missing features. We’re having a disagreement about one issue.

Necessary, somewhat simplified, background: For those of you who are not familiar with Siebel, a Service Request–our operation calls these Tickets–is a collection of Activities. Each Activity logs something done to resolve the issue raised by the Ticket. Speaking loosely, Activities are children of a specific SR/Ticket. As you might expect, Activities is the largest table in the system. Since this table is the key to the entire system, Siebel invested considerable effort to optimize its performance. One of the optimizations is a forced sort, which cannot be altered programmatically. Unfortunately, our staff is unanimously certain that Siebel got the sort wrong. I probably agree with the staff about this.

Staff also seems to be unanimous in their belief that I “broke” the Activities sort–that the previous implementation sorted the table properly. They are wrong about this; the implementation team attempted to fix the sort, but discovered that it wasn’t fixable. I can demonstrate these things:

  1. The previous version does not sort the table “properly,” even though everyone seems to believe that it did so. I have a copy of that version and it sorts the table exactly like the current version.
  2. Our implemenation team’s documentation discusses their efforts to address the issue, and concludes it cannot be fixed.
  3. Siebel’s support web has at least one entry which directly addresses the question. It sketches the scenario, walks step by step through the system in an attempt to sort the table, demonstrates that the method doesn’t work, reports that the engineers designed it that way “for performance reasons,” and adds that there are already official complaints registered in Siebel’s issue queue.

Doesn’t do any good. Everyone knows I broke it, and I ought to fix it. I haven’t figured out how to deal with this delusion.

Meantime, we’re still waiting for upper management to decide how to implement the upgrade. We have a couple vendors’ bids in hand, neither of which is particularly attractive. We expect this to be resolved within a month. There’s every reason to expect my role to be reduced to Subject Matter Expert. That’s OK.

Hope the vendor is hired soon. I want to dump this problem on someone else.

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