By Mike Dietrich-Oracle on Mar 23, 2016
There's sometimes a misunderstanding about what we mean with the term DEPRECATED? And what is the difference to DESUPPORTED? Actually there's a full chapter in the Database Upgrade Guide listing deprecated and desupported features.
Especially this message puzzled a lot of customers stating that the non-CDB architecture is deprecated in Oracle Database 12c.
In the Database Upgrade Guide we clearly explain what deprecated means:
"By deprecate, we mean that the feature is no longer being enhanced but is still supported"
So for you it means just be aware that we don't further develop or enhance something. But you are still fully supported by using this feature.
Another well known example is Oracle Streams which is fully supported in Oracle Database 12c - but not in Oracle Multitenant - and is deprecated and therefore not enhanced or developed any further.
Or to name another example, Oracle Restart, which is deprecated for some time - but still not desupported. And I know a good bunch of customers using it in production even with Oracle Database 220.127.116.11 on several hundred databases.
Even if something is desupported - remember the Rule Based Optimizer? - you can still use a feature being desupported. But on your own risk as we don't fix any bugs or issues anymore.
Again the Database Upgrade Guide clarifies the term:
"By desupported, we mean that Oracle will no longer fix bugs related to that feature and may remove the code altogether"
Deprecated is a signal that something may disappear in the future and does not get enhanced anymore. No activity required except of taking note for your future plans. Desupported means that we don't fix anything anymore for a desupported feature or product - and it may even disappear. But often desupported features are still there and can be used on your own risk only.