Wednesday Sep 02, 2015

No patches anymore for Oracle Database

Just in case you've missed the date please be aware:

No bug fixes, no patches, no CPU/SPUs, no PSUs, no BPs will be produced for Oracle Database since Augugst 28, 2015

I know from the many emails I'm receiving that people are a bit disturbed since the Oracle Lifetime Support Policy brochure (Lifetime Support Policy and Brochure for Technology Products ) doesn't talk explicitly about patch sets but offers support for Oracle 11.2 until January 2018.

Oracle 11.2 Lifetime Support Policy

But this - as always - applies to the terminal patch set only - i.e. Oracle Database

For a detailed description please see MOS Note:742060.1 and my previous blog posts from:

I have visited customers with hundreds of Oracle databases in the past months. If you are now sitting there with one or many or many many Oracle instances don't even think of moving to Oracle The amount of work you'll spend in evaluating Oracle is exactly the same as testing Oracle Move to Oracle Database - NOW!

Waived Extended Support for Oracle Database will end in less than 5 months.

And keep in mind: there's no such thing as a 2nd release anymore. Every patch set release is a full release - no matter if we talk about or Both have new features, new behavior etc etc.


Monday Jun 29, 2015

Premier Support for Oracle 11.2 has ended months ago



I have blogged many times about the End of Premier Support for Oracle Database 11.2 and the different stages and regulations for Extended Support for this release. But still I'm getting inquiries almost every day, internally and externally.

Let me first point out that I'm not a rep of Oracle Support. I'm just a Product Manager with some Oracle Support background. So you'll always have to consult our officially available documents and sources as regulations may change after I published this blog post. I'm just trying to summarize what I know at the moment to help you avoid some of the usual misunderstandings.

Premier Support for Oracle 11.2 has already ended

Fact. Premier Support for Oracle 11.2 has ended on Jan 31, 2015. Period. Regardless of the patch level you may be on. No further discussion here please. Just for your notes: this has happened a while ago in case you've missed the date:

Extended Support for Oracle 11.2 has started on Feb 1, 2015

  • For Oracle Database there's no such Extended Support offering available.
    This information can be found in MOS Note:742060.1.
  • For Oracle Database there's no such Extended Support offering available.
    This information can be found in MOS Note:742060.1.
  • For Oracle Database Oracle will waive Extended Support.
    But any patching for Oracle Database will end on 27-AUG-2015 meaning no further bug fixes or patches for Oracle Database (including PSUs, SPUs and BPs) after 27-AUG-2015 (please see the table below). Any bug fixing support for Oracle (of course including the waived Extended Support offering) will end at this date. No extension possible.
    This information can be found in MOS Note:742060.1.
  • For Oracle Database - the Terminal (final) Patch Set for Oracle Database 11.2 - Oracle will waive (no extra cost, no action required) the entire first year of Extended Support to every customer with a valid support contract. After 31-JAN-2016 you can purchase an additional maximum of two years of Extended Support for Oracle Database only. 
    This information can be found in MOS Note:742060.1.

Finally please look into MOS Note:742060.1 and MOS Note:1067455.1:

End of Patching

Quoting from MOS Note:1067455.1:

Support for Patch Set
Under the new policy for overlapping Patch Set support, will continue to be supported through 27 August 2015. The last Critical Patch Updates (Security Patch Update and Patch Set Update) for will be released in July 2015. After then you will need to be running on or a supported 12.1 Patch Set to get Critical Patch Updates.

I have learned in the past weeks that some information in the official Support documents (Lifetime Support Policy)such as the Brochure for Technology Products (including of course the database but also a clear description about the different levels of support) is not clear and obvious to everybody. This docs don't differentiate between the several patch releases.  

Premier Extended Support Oracle Database

Therefore you will have to consult MOS Note:742060.1 for further clarification and specific dates per patch level. 


Wednesday Feb 15, 2012

Why is every patchset now a full release?

This question got posted by Naveen in the previous entry today - and I found it worth it to create a new blog entry as this question gets raised in nearly every 2nd workshop as well - so others might be interested as well.


A question has been bothering me for a while and I thought I'll throw it out there. I didn't raise a support ticket, I knew what the response is going to be.

So here is the question. I have an 11g ORACLE HOME that was built as Now if I want to upgrade to or, I guess there is no easy way to upgrade the existing ORACLE HOME. Why didn't Oracle give the option to just apply a patch (opatch) and upgrade to (or .3). For a customer to create a new ORACLE HOME is just a lot of work and breaks a lot of things. We have to copy over so many configs from the old home to the new home.

I'm sure there is a good reason, I'm just trying to understand what they are.


Naveen, thanks for your question. And the answer has many aspects.

Install into your existing ORACLE Home

First of all you can still install the new patch set (which is now a full release since Oracle into your existing $ORACLE_HOME. But you'll have to detach your current home from the OUI's inventory first. Please see slide 41 of the Upgrade and Migration workshop deck. Please backup the contents of $ORACLE_HOME/dbs and $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin first as you'll have to copy them back later.

$ ./runInstaller -detachHome ORACLE_HOME=/u01/orahomes/11.2.0

Starting Oracle Universal Installer...

Checking swap space: must be greater than 500 MB. Actual 10047 MB Passed

The inventory pointer is located at /etc/oraInst.loc

The inventory is located at /u01/orabase

'DetachHome' was successful.

Once you've done that you'll install into your existing (old) directory.  And finally you'll copy back your dbs and network/admin files.

Why customers might use this procedure?

There are basically two reason why a customer chooses this strategy:
(a) Home naming conventions not allowing an Oracle home and another Oracle home
(b) Space issues
Both are valid reasons and therefore you can stay with the old strategy.

Why did we change from patchsets to full release patchsets?

Simple reason: Customers did ask us for a looooong time why we are delivering 3GB large patchsets instead of full releases. So we'd follow this wish. And second it will decrease the overall downtime when you'd install into your new Oracle Home. If you apply patchset software to your existing Oracle Home every Oracle process serviced by that home must be shut down as well - obviously including the database(s). And furthermore if something fails you'll have to restore your OUI's inventory plus all home contents - or reinstall your previous Oracle software.

Besides that we recommend to patch this home first with important one-offs (see links in MOS Note 161818.1) and the latest PSU or CPU. If you'd do that to your already emptied old home it will simply increase again your overall downtime.

And this is the reason why we recommend:
Always install into a new Oracle home beginning with Oracle Database 11.2 - don't erase your old home to reuse it unless there's no significant need for that procedure.


Mike Dietrich - Oracle Mike Dietrich
Master Product Manager - Database Upgrade & Migrations - Oracle

Based in Germany. Interlink between customers/partners and the Upgrade Development. Running workshops between Arctic and Antartica. Assisting customers in their reference projects onsite and remotely. Connect via:

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