Clean up footers before running WCI 10gR3

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It turns out that ALUI 6.1 was more forgiving than WCI in at least one way: if a community was set to use a custom footer, and then if that custom footer was deleted, the community would continue to display properly. However, in WCI 10gR3, a bug exists such that when the custom footer isn't found, the page displays this unhelpful message under the portal's navigation:

Error - The server has experienced an error. Try again or contact your portal administrator if you continue experiencing problems.

When you open the HTML source of the page, you find this somewhat unhelpful message in all its impenetrable detail:


The problem is easy enough to fix as a one-off: Open the community editor, observe that no custom footer appears to be set, add a custom footer, save the community, edit the community, remove the custom footer, and you're good.

You can quickly check whether any communities in your system are affected by this bug by running this query to find those meeting the condition:

select objectid, name, footerid from ptcommunities where footerid not in (select objectid from ptgadgets) and footerid > 0

And fortunately, you can fix them all in one fell swoop by updating them to discontinue their attempted display of that bogus footer:

update ptcommunities set footerid=0 where  footerid not in (select objectid from ptgadgets) and footerid > 0

Finally, you can rerun the query to check for communities with the error, and you will now find all is well.

How should this be fixed in the product?

1) The portal should forgive communities that use a bad footer ID. A simple try/catch should do the trick.
2) The portal should change its steps when deleting a portlet When a portlet is removed from the portal, part of the cleanup should be to update the ptcommunities table to use footerid 0 in the place of the deleted gadgetid.

We'll see whether this is ever done. In the meantime, you need to get your portal running, and the approach I outlined here should do it.

Enjoy!

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