I have ZENworks 11.2.3 MU1 on a Windows server with an Oracle 11g R2 back-end. Very recently, ZENworks has been throwing a Java null pointer error when trying to access the Patch Management module. Remembering this behavior from before, I found that a new patch for LibreOffice 4.3.3 (SIGNATURE_ID value of 130458480) started synchronizing with a NULL value for the 'vendor' field in the PATCHSIGNATURE table. The workaround is to update the 'vendor' field with a non-NULL value and Patch Management starts working fine again. This was once a problem way back with a patch for a product from the vendor Panda as well. The fix/workaround was the same.

I put in this workaround last Friday by entering "The Document Foundation" for the LibreOffice patch and all was good. Today, the problem is back with the same culprit - the LibreOffice patch. I'm guessing a patch data sync reset the 'vendor' value to NULL as it was NULL again.

I don't know if non-Oracle database environments are affected, but if you're seeing this behavior - search for NULL vendor values in your PATCHSIGNATURE table.

I submitted a bug report with these details as well, but the bug report form showed "No email template given" when clicking "Send report" so I have no idea if it went through.