Information, tips, tricks and sample code for Big Data Warehousing in an autonomous, cloud-driven world

How To Manually Upgrade Your Autonomous Database from 18c to 19c

Keith Laker
Senior Principal Product Manager

In a recent newsletter (April 08, 2020) I mentioned that Oracle Database 19c is now available on Autonomous Database for all regions. The default version for all new databases is 19c and going forward, most new Autonomous Database features will only be available for databases using Oracle Database 19c. Around this time, you should have noticed some new messages appearing on your ADW console if your ADW instance was using Database version 18c. At the top of screen a new information banner appeared:

and next to the Database version information there was another information message:

This was to let everyone know that it's possible to manually upgrade to Database 19c right now. Of course, we will be automatically upgrading instances during September and email notifications from the Cloud Ops team will be sent shortly that will outline the plans for upgrading instances.

But as my recent newsletter pointed out - most new features are only available if you are using 19c. Therefore, to get the most from your Autonomous Database it really does make sense to manually upgrade to 19c now and not wait for the automatic upgrade in September. For example, if you are using the built-in APEX environment, then you definitely want to be using the latest version 20.1 which has a lot of great new features (see July 15 newsletter) BUT your ADB instance has to be 19c.

So, how do you manually upgrade your ADB instance from 18c to 19c?

Fortunately it only takes a few mouse clicks. Here is the general flow:

1) Goto your console page for your ADW instance. You will see the upgrade announcement next to the database version information 

and the banner at the top of the page:


2) Click on either of the upgrade links to start the upgrade process:

3) This will pop a form over your console page. It's similar to the other pop-up forms so to confirm you really do want to start the upgrade you need to enter the name of your ADB instance in the field shown below:


4) Click the blue "Upgrade" button to start the upgrade process:


That's it! Honestly, this is easiest upgrade you will ever do. It's simpler than upgrading your iPhone!

Whilst the upgrade process is running your console page will look like this:

..and you will notice the status box is now orange and the status message says "UPGRADING". There is an additional banner message that says "The database remains available during the upgrade". No other database vendor is able to do this, everyone else forces their database to go offline during an upgrade which means all connections are terminated and all on-going workloads are lost.

Can you track the upgrade process?

Yes. The Work Request tab provides real-time status information for the upgrade process


What happens when the upgrade process is complete?

As soon as the upgrade process has finished the Work Request screen will show the big green SUCCEEDED message:


That's it, it's all done and you are now running Database 19c. If you check the console page again you will notice that the banner message has now gone and the Database Version now says 19c.


Now you should be in a position to manually upgrade your own 18c ADB instances to 19c. Then you will be able to take advantage of all the new features we have recently rolled out such as the high availability feature, Autonomous Data Guard. The whole end-to-end migration process is shown here:


If you have any questions then please post them on our customer forum which is here.


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