OIM 11g Challenge Questions – Everything you must know

I discussed about challenge questions in OIM here , In this post I am going to cover everything you must know about challenge questions in OIM.

Oracle Identity Management (OIM) is an identity provisioning and identity management software from Oracle Identity & Access Management Suite. User’s password reset and forgot password functionality is provided by OIM.

1. By default when user logs in to OIM first time, system prompts user to reset password and set challenge questions (Number of questions user must set is controlled by system property name Number of Questions PCQ.NO_OF_QUES )


2. When user clicks on forgot password link or access forgot password page, then OIM system presents set of challenge questions (default value 3 is controlled by system property Number of Questions PCQ.NO_OF_QUES).



3. In order to successfully set new password (in forgot password case), user must answer challenge questions correctly (Minimum number of questions user must answer correct in order to change forgot password is controlled by system property Number of Correct Answers PCQ.NO_OF_CORRECT_ANSWERS )

Note: Assume PCQ.NO_OF_QUES is set to 6 and PCQ.NO_OF_CORRECT_ANSWERS is set to 4 that means at time of first time login, OIM will present 6 questions that user must set. As time of forgot password, OIM will still present 6 questions out of which user must answer at least 4 correct to change their password.

 4. User can change challenge questions from Self Service Console -> Profile -> Security



5. Oracle Adaptive Access Manager (OAAM – another product from Oracle Identity & Access Management Suite) also provides rich set of challenge questions, more on OAAM here, Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) in OAAM here and here

6. Challenge Question from OAAM is more advanced compared to challenge questions in OIM in terms of

a) Challenge Questions Registration Logic feature in OAAM
b) Answer Logic to Challenge Questions  (1st and first can be configured to be acceptable as same) is more sophisticated in OAAM
c) Challenge question can be asked by customer service representative (or helpdesk) without compromising answers of challenge questions in OAAM
d) Reset of challenge questions by customer service representative (or helpdesk)

7. You can integrate OIM with OAAM for challenge questions so that OAAM is used as setting/validation of Challenge Questions . More on OIM-OAAM integration here and on request flow for OIM-OAM-OAAM integration here

8. It is possible to add more challenge questions in OIM (by default OIM system provide 4 questions) in OIM. (More on step by step instructions to add additional challenge questions in OIM later)

9. Additional questions in OIM can be localised by updating customResources.properties and customResources[language].properties file in ORACLE_HOME/server/customResources . More on localisation in OIM here and here

10. Default 4 questions in OIM are configured in English language only. If you wish to see these questions in a specific locale, add properties for these questions in customResource_lang.properties file that represents the locale’s language. For example customResources_ja.properties file contains language property translations for Japanese.

11. You can also configure OIM in such a way that user can set their own question (apart from answers). This is controlled by system property Use of Default Questions PCQ.USE_DEF_QUES and default value is TRUE which means system will ask for pre-defined questions in OIM .


More on OIM system properties related to challenge questions and how to add  additional questions in OIM challenge question in next post



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About the Author Atul Kumar

Oracle ACE, Author, Speaker and Founder of K21 Technologies & K21 Academy : Oracle Gold Partner specialising in Design, Implement, and Trainings.

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» OIM 11g How to add Challenge Questions Online Apps DBA: One Stop Shop for Apps DBA’s says October 20, 2012

[…] more on OIM challenge questions click here […]

Girish says June 3, 2013

Dear Atul,

We are using OIM

Can you please let us know how can we achieve to encrypt the Challenge Answers in Challenge Q & A form page. As it is visible and our client don’t want that.

suren says September 29, 2015

Dear Atul,

when we try to enter numeric values in the challenge answers, system throw insert failed error.

Is that a bug in oim 11gr2 ps2 ?

How to overcome this ?


Bodhisatya Das says June 5, 2017

How can the oim security questions be migrated to oud?

    Atul Kumar says August 22, 2017

    They can’t be , why you want to migrate them to OUD @Bodhisatya ?

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