Safe to Apply to E-Business Environments?
Yes. Database Patch Set Updates may safely be applied to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i and 12 environments. We explicitly run certification tests with E-Business Suite products against major database releases such as 10gR2 version 10.2.0.4 and 11gR1 version 188.8.131.52.
We do not perform formal EBS certification testing for individual interim, emergency, or "one-off" patchsets for the Oracle database, but consider them to be fully compatible and supported for use with the E-Business Suite. Patch Set Updates (e.g. 10.2.0.4.1) are simply bundles of interim or emergency patches released on top of major database releases. Therefore, Patch Set Updates are also fully compatible and supported for use with the E-Business Suite.
Will EBS Ever Formally Certify PSU Content?
Yes, but only indirectly. Future major database releases are expected to include all released PSU patches. For example, if the Server Technologies division ever releases a 10.2.0.5 update, then I would expect it to include PSU 10.2.0.4.1, 10.2.0.4.2, and so on. If 10.2.0.5 is ever released, it would be certified with the E-Business Suite, thus certifying all of the previously-released PSU patches in the process. Note that I am speaking strictly hypothetically and illustratively about 10.2.0.5 -- I haven't heard any confirmed plans around any future major releases on the 10gR2 database codeline.
What's the Support Process for Patch Set Updates?
The support process is the same for PSUs as it is for other emergency or "one-off" database patches: formal Service Requests logged using My Oracle Support (formerly Metalink). If the Server Technologies team finds that there's a problem with a particular PSU, they will issue a fix for it. If the Server Technologies team finds that the underlying problem is with the E-Business Suite, they will transfer the issue to the E-Business Suite division for us to investigate in an Apps environment.
Your feedback is welcome
Just like all of the other topics we cover on this blog, your feedback about the usefulness of Patch Set Updates in your E-Business Suite environments is welcome. Please feel free to drop me a line or post your comments here about your experiences with these PSUs.