This is similar to another thread recently posted to this forum, but my problem goes a lot deeper. I have several administration issues that I need help with.
I am the group admin for a beehive online group that consists mainly of external user members (customers), but also has internal Oracle employee subscribers as well. This group was formerly an email distribution list that was transitioned to beehive about a year ago. It currently has about 2000 member subscribers. In the past year since the transition, I have experienced a number of incidents where I am unable to remove some users and unable to add others. I also have cases like the other recent thread, where the user is listed as verified in the "View Group Members" listing but is never listed in the Group Administration tool. This has happened after I have added the user (through "Add New Members") or when I have tried deleting the user (from the BOL Admin tool). It's like they are stuck in limbo. And since the beehive online group is used to send out critical email announcements, either the customer is upset they do not receive the emails (because their account was not added properly) or they are upset because they keep getting the emails even though I have attempted to have them removed... or I get email bounce backs because the email addresses of former user accounts are defunct, but the user accounts themselves are still listed as verified in View Group Members but not the BOL Admin tool. And I get some email bounce backs from user accounts that don't appear in either the View Group Members or the BOL Admin tool.
What is the proper procedure to get these issues cleaned up?
Here's another issue:
It was my understanding that beehive group administrators, etc would be internal to Oracle. Today I received an email (as did my employee) directly from a customer with a request to unsubscribe him. It only contained the subject "ACTION Required:Remove me from the Oracle_NA_Payroll_World_ww Group" and no content - the email was addressed to email@example.com and BeehiveOnline_Operations@beehiveonline.oracle.com as well as myself and my employee (presumably because we are administrators for the group). When I asked this customer how he got my email address, this was his response:
"I received a message from behiveoracle – or something like that. It indicated it would be the new distribution point for the Oracle Payroll World newsletter – a list I have been trying to get off of for many years. This e-mail had a link to unsubscribe – which I chose to do. The link opened a new e-mail message and populated the address line; it included your address. Lucky You"
This doesn't seem very secure!! And.. incidentally, this customer is one of those accounts that appears as verified in the "View Group Members" but does not appear in the BOL Admin tool so I cannot remove him.
We found an issue with the removal script which has been corrected and this should fix the remove issues. We occasionally get issues with OC4Js jamming up and affecting the provisioning scripts - if you hit a user who shows as verified but does not seem to be in the Workspace or in nthe group in the BOLAdmin tool then let us know and we can check and correct it if necessary. We re-run any failed scripts that the error trapping send to us but occasionally there is a hang and this is hidden.
It is not insecure - we have been asked by Oracle Privacy and legal to allow the users of BeehiveOnline to unsubscribe from the collaboration and we have inserted an unsubscribe link, in the Welcome email ALL users get sent, which sends out the email you received. The page contains the details you entered about the group including most if not all of the details in the email so no extra information is given out.
I would have expected you would welcome the opportunity to help a user who in their words, is "a list I have been trying to get off of for many years"
The users in the state you describe have been removed from the group so do not receive any emails but are still in the APEX Group Creation tool due to a missing bracket in the query. This means it is effectively removed but not tidied up - send me the details of the user and I can flush their record out of the database.
Thanks for the prompt responses. To clarify my second issue with me and my employee being cc'd on the unsubscribe request... I send out the email announcements to the beehive group using a generic email ID as this generates a lot of traffic so I don't want customers contacting me directly. Also, other people (such as my employee) may have to send out these email announcements if I am absent, so again, the generic email ID is required for this ability. I guess this is a unique configuration for us, but one that has been in place for many years (it precedes me) and was done back when an email distribution list was being used. We do have a process in place that customers need to send an email to the generic email ID with certain information if they wish to be subscribed to the group; they also send an email to this same address if they wish to be removed. This runs counter to the subscription removal link in the automated email welcome message. Not sure there is anything to be done, but it was disconcerting to get an email directly since they usually come through the generic email address.
In terms of the customer in question, there was a request from him to be removed back in 2006 - and nothing since so I was not aware he was still subscribed. Should I update this forum with the customer email IDs that are a problem or should I contact you directly?
The system is a collaboration system with the interesting side effect that if you create a group without a workspace it can be used as a Distribution list server if you have external users. Unfortunately, the primary way the system is set up makes the Welcome email part of the deal - using a generic account is acceptable if the email has a login capability but using a generic account that is itself a distribution list will generate a lot of email. The multiple users getting the email will probably be because all group managers get the reply asking to be removed.
You can remove them or add them yourself - go to https://beehiveonline.oracle.com/BOLAdmin.html and navigate to the group and then use the Delete User button and the user will be removed from the group and the ACLs will be tidied up.
As you stated, the beehive only group was created without a workspace so it can be used as a Distribution list server as its sole purpose is to serve as a mass communication device to provide external users (our customers) with critical announcements that will impact them. As I mentioned earlier, we used to use an email distribution list but we were forced to migrate to the beehive online group as the usage of email DLs was obsoleted about a year ago. We use a generic email ID to send out the announcements to the new beehive group. This generic email account does have its own login, so I use that to log into Zimbra and send the emails out from there (I was told that the Zimbra client must be used for sending out emails to the beehive group even though I would much prefer to keep using Thunderbird).
I have been adding/removing members myself since the email DL was transitioned to the beehive online group as I am the administrator for it. However, there have been issues with some accounts not getting removed even after attempting to remove them using the BOLAdmin tool. Likewise, there are some accounts I have had difficulty in getting added (via the Add New Members/apex tool). Since these are customer email IDs I am hesitant to list them on this forum.
Finally, is there any way to prevent my and my employee's email addresses from being listed in the group invitation email? Just today I got another direct email from a customer because in the invite it has our emails included as the Group Sponsors along with firstname.lastname@example.org. Is this something new? We have over 2000 current subscribers so you can understand why I would prefer not to have our personal email addresses listed.
I see your problem and there is a way to make this work better.
Firstly we had an error in the system that removed the user from the Group Creation tool but not the BeehiveOnline system itself that made the removal look incomplete. In fact it is effectively done but the toll is not correct - if you email me the list of users in this state I will tidy up the records in the system. Send the list to email@example.com.
If you need to anonomise the ownership I suggest you get a generic email created with an SSO login and then use this to manage the group, i.e. remove the personal emails from the Group Manager list - the system is designed to make sure the managers are known as these users are the sponsors and run the collaboration with the external users and they havce to be know to manage the group effectively. In the DL case this may not be appropriate. We do need at least one user in the Group Manager's Email field to allow the unsubscribe to be managed effectively but if you personally are the creator of the group you have rights to view it even if not a Group Manager.
We can discuss the nuts and bolts offline if there is anything unclear in the explanation.
Thank you and my apologies for the long running thread. I will send the list of users to firstname.lastname@example.org as it appears to be growing. I also have some issues with not being able to add external users and they don't appear to be issues that I can fix even via the Admin tools. For instance, one user has 2 accounts that are in a 'Verified' state in View Members, but neither one is in seen in the member list via the BOLAdmin tool... and I'm not sure he is able to receive the email announcements when they are sent out (I can't test this theory obviously, but I think he missed receiving the last critical announcement). Anyway, where I see anomalies that are preventing me from getting external users added (and the user themselves is unable to do anything about it because their account looks fine in myprofile), is it OK if I also include them when sending the list of external accounts I am having problems removing to email@example.com?
In terms of anonimising group ownership, it sounds like I need to use the generic email account we already have (it does have its own SSO login) not only to send out the email announcements to the beehive group (which is done already) but also to administer both the addition and removal of membership subscriptions to/from the beehive group.. but I guess I am not entirely sure what I need to do to make that happen... I can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org via email or Pidgin.