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Welcome to the forums !
This is a forum of volunteers - it is not monitored by Oracle Support. If you are having issues with registering your CSI, pl get in touch with your Oracle Sales person and also the person who administers access to My Oracle Support for your company. The CSI may have changed or expired.
Thanks for your help, schavali. I somehow doubt that a phone support can help me get at patches, but I'll try. I still maintain that we should have easy, hassle-free access to patches for a database we paid a reasonable amount of money for. But I also acknowledge that this forum is the wrong place to vent my anger, and I'll go venting at some support person which is equally helpless. I'll try my best to make clear it's nothing personal.
Also thanks, damorgan. I agree with the notion that offering a slow and unresponsive flash access when you usually are in trouble with a malfunctioning database and most of the time not on a computer with all patches and plugins installed and just want a very basic, robust access to files and information is at least questionable. A word like "braindead" just urges itself onto me.
But I must also disagree: The Metalink redirects to just that support.oracle.com, where my credentials aren't welcome anymore and my CSIs won't get accepted, and the non-flash-link (thanks for that) behaves exactly the same: "This Support Identifier does not allow new users registration". Therefore: No access to patch sets. Which is intolerable. I still try to work my way around here for the installations in use here, but for many of those MaxDB is a very fine alternative, and obviously the hassle of changing is so much less now than the hassle of putting up with Oracle support...
Again, thanks for your hints and help.
You get a CSI assigned when you purchase support/maintenance from Oracle. Doing so gives you access to My Oracle Support to download patches, among other things. This is separate payment from a license purchase - this is standard operating policy across most of the world (e.g. the purchase price of a car does not include maintenance and repairs for the life of the car etc).
It is not clear to me if you have purchased support/maintenance. If you have, and you are current on it, you most certainly should have a valid CSI that your Oracle sales person can confirm. If you have discontinued support/maintenance payments, then your CSI expires.
I do have CSIs. And they might be expired, though nothing and noone tells me if they are or not. But I must disagree again: For all my software, as long as I can think, I got patches and bugfixes for free for the version I purchased. If the opposite is "standard operating policy across most of the world", I must have managed to avoid those parts of the world while using software belonging to the market leaders. I'm typing on an OS provided by Microsoft, surely not the kindest company on earth or the peak of customer service, but they provided me with free bugfixes for years, and I can still access those patches, just to give the first and most obvious example. I'm not even starting with the Linux my Oracle is running on. I don't have one exceptional software on my systems, where access to patches depends on an opaque paid-for subscription scheme. And I won't have in the future, whenever I have a choice. But thanks again for your explanation, even if I'm not convinced :)