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Top 9 Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Patching

Steven Chan
Senior Director

Online Patching allows you to apply patches to an EBS 12.2 system while it is still up and  running.  If you're just getting started with Online Patching, you'll find this document useful:

We update this document regularly.  It currently covers frequently asked questions about core Online Patching concepts, resource requirements, functionality, patch application, and handling of customizations and third-party integrations.  We intend to add troubleshooting information to this document soon.

As a preview of that document, here are the top 9 frequently-asked questions about Online Patching:

Which Oracle E-Business Suite releases can Online Patching be used with?

Online patching is used with Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 and higher.

What types of patch are applied online?

All Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 patches are applied online. This includes one-off patches, patch rollups, consolidated updates and security patches.

What is the Online Patching cycle?

The Online Patching cycle is a sequence of inter-related steps (phases) used to apply patches to an Oracle E-Business Suite system.

EBS 12.2 online patching cycle

What tool is used to apply online patches?

The AD Online Patching (adop) command-line utility is used to manage the Online Patching cycle.

Is there any downtime in Online Patching?

There is a short period of downtime when the application tier services are shut down and restarted. The database remains open all the time.

Do I upgrade to Release 12.2 with Online Patching?

No. After you upgrade to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2, you will enable Online Patching.

Once I upgrade to Release 12.2, can I still apply patches in the traditional way?

No. All patches for Release 12.2 will be online patches. The traditional, pre-12.2 method of applying patches will not work.

Can I still use adpatch in the Release 12.2 Online Patching environment?

No. While the Oracle tools may internally invoke the adpatch utility, direct user invocation of adpatch is not allowed.

Are there any plans to make Online Patching available with pre-12.2 releases?

No. Online patching can only be used with Release 12.2.

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Comments ( 38 )
  • guest Friday, December 12, 2014

    Hi,

    This FAQ is somewhat (1) outdated and answers are closer to (2) marketing material than technical documentation.

    Examples:

    (1) "Once I upgrade to Release 12.2, can I still apply patches in the traditional way?

    No. All patches for Release 12.2 will be online patches. The traditional, pre-12.2 method of applying patches will not work."

    -- Well, this is luckily not true as we have hotpatch and downtime apply modes which are both used on the Run system. This is a great feature as for a patch which applied in one hour on 12.1 now with the stopping/starting and adop overhead takes less than 2 hours instead of nearly 24 hours going through the whole online patching cycle.

    (2) "Is there any downtime in Online Patching?

    There is a short period of downtime when the application tier services are shut down and restarted. The database remains open all the time."

    -- Well, just restarting 12.2 takes lot longer than 12.1 due to usage of WLS, never less than half an hour. Together with other adop cutover activities, this is rather an hour or more. As for the database remaining open, it is the truth but being very economical with it. Any existing connection to edititoned schema like APPS will be disconnected but yeah SYS and SYSTEM connections will stay up.

    It is never mentioned that online patching takes much more time and effort from the Apps DBA. So if you had 3 Apps DBAs managing 11i/12.0/12.1 environments, for the same number of environments you need at least 5 of them to do the same amount of patching/configuration work. Applying patches online only makes sense for large patches like Family Packs which are rarely released for 12.2.x outside of the full release cycle of 12.2.3, 12.2.4, etc.

    Thank you!


  • Steven Chan Friday, December 12, 2014

    Hi, Guest,

    Thanks for your comments. FAQs are meant as introductory material that new users can scan quickly. FAQs must (necessarily) omit much of the detail and nuances that you'll find in the core documentation. Readers should always go to the core documentation to learn more.

    I'm interested in hearing more about your experiences with EBS 12.2, particularly why it is taking more DBA time for you. We're working hard to improve all of the Online Patching tools, and your feedback can help. Please drop me a line with your contact details if you'd like to discuss this.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Periyasamy Sunday, December 21, 2014

    Hi,

    Yes, that's true for smaller patches we are spending more time in Online patching compared to 12.1

    12.1 patching was so simple, now we are doing it in multiple steps (prepare, cutover, etc) which makes it complicated.

    From multiple drivers to unified driver to multiple phases again :)

    In the adop patching session we don't get the patching progress as in 12.1, we must go to patch log file to see the progress. Initially i thought adop hung.

    Understood its because adop invokes adpatch in background.

    Regards,

    Periyasamy


  • Periyasamy Sunday, December 21, 2014

    From my experience,

    R12.1: Bouncing barely takes 2 minutes.

    R12.2: Minimum 15 minutes required.


  • Kumar Saturday, August 22, 2015

    With adpatch we have the distrubuted ad option available. Is such an option available with adop. Looking at FAQ I did not find an option

    Thanks

    Kumar


  • Santiago Bastidas Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    Kumar,

    The main purpose of the distributed AD option pre-12.2 is to reduce the patch application downtime. In 12.2 you apply patches while the system is up and running, there is no downtime during this process hence, downtime during patch application is not the overriding concern. Additionally, one of our goals with Online Patching is to not affect the running application, to accomplish this "adop" uses the fewest number of workers possible to apply patches, and it does not distribute the load because we want to dedicate most of the available resources to process End Users requests.

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • guest Thursday, August 27, 2015

    Hi Steven,

    Can we disable online patching cycle for the time being? and after that enable the same.

    thanks

    jatin


  • Santiago Bastidas Thursday, August 27, 2015

    Hello Guest,

    The Online Patching cycle is a series of steps used to apply patches in R12.2, it is not a feature that can be disabled. Having said that, the way to apply patches in R12.2 is using this cycle.

    Could you clarify your question? Were you in the middle of a patching cycle and want to discard the cycle? or, do you want to apply patches in another fashion?

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • Kumar Sunday, September 6, 2015

    Hello

    Our development teams dont want to use the features available with online patching for few reasons

    (a) They have customizations which are not compliant. More work for them to get the customizations to make it work with online patching.

    (b) They dont mind giving us the downtime for applying the big patches.

    Can we skip the "Enable online patching" section as described in the 12.2 upgrade guide in this case. In summary, the developers want us to patch the old way(we will use adop instead of adpatch for applying patches but thats about it). Is it possible?


  • Robert Farrington Monday, September 7, 2015

    Hello Kumar,

    All Release 12.2 patches are applied in an online patching environment, so you do need to enable online patching as part of the upgrade. However, an option called 'downtime mode' is supported for use in certain specific situations. In addition, selected patches can be applied in 'hotpatch mode'. Neither of these modes uses a full online patching cycle.

    The document this article mentions (Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2: Online Patching FAQ - Doc ID 1583902.1) addresses your points in the following sections:

    (a) Section 6: Customizations and Third Party Integration

    (b) Section 4: Online Patching Features, "What is downtime mode and when can it be used?"

    Please also refer to the supporting core documentation, most notably Oracle E-Business Suite Developer's Guide (for making your customizations compliant with online patching) and Oracle E-Business Suite Maintenance Guide (for downtime mode and hotpatch mode).


  • Kumar Monday, September 7, 2015

    Hello Robert

    Thanks for the information.

    Based on my understanding of "(b) Section 4: Online Patching Features, "What is downtime mode and when can it be used?", I understand the following. Please clarify

    1. Right after the 12.2 upgrade is done, I can apply the AD patches (required for 12.2.4 upgrade) and the 12.2.4 driver itself using adop apply_mode=downtime option. At this point online patching is not enabled it , till the upgrade to 12.2.4 is complete.

    2. Once upgrade to 12.2.4 is complete, then you enable online patching.

    3. If because of violiations, I cannot enable online patching then I would inform the development teams about this and once they fix their code, then we would enable online patching.

    4. There is no way that development teams can get away without fixing their custom code (as per teh standards) because online patching cannot be enabled without this and Oracle support does not support a file systems which is not online compliant.

    If this sequence is correct then i can upgrade to 12.2.4 environment and handover the environment to the developers to fix their code for violations otherwise I cannot upgrade to 12.2.4 till the custom code is first fixed.

    - Kumar


  • Santiago Bastidas Monday, September 21, 2015

    Kumar,

    Oracle recommends addressing customizations violations to the Online Patching standards ahead of the actual upgrade. This exercise can be performed in your development EBS environment which should be at the same code level as your production environment. The reports that help identify the violations to the Online Patching standards are available for E-Business Suite 11i, 12.0, 12.1 and 12.2 releases. The note:1531121.1 provides a description of the Readiness reports and a pointer to the patches on each release.

    The document "Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2: Technical Planning, Getting Started, and Go-Live Checklist, (MOS Note:1585857.1)" provides a high level reference to the upgrade plan.

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • Ram Saturday, October 10, 2015

    During Online patching when we can take Cold snap(Full backup).

    In older versions we taking full backup before going to apply patch(Application available for users once patch completed).

    But in 12.2 while applying patches application is available for users(users can do Transactions).

    Thanks


  • Elke Phelps (Oracle Development) Monday, October 12, 2015

    Ram,

    Thanks for the inquiry. You are requesting guidance when it comes to taking a cold backup as a restore point prior to patching Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.

    As you noted, with Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2, patches are applied while transactions are actively being applied to the system. You cannot restore to a cold backup taken prior to the start of the online patching cycle without losing the online transactions.

    You should always test the patches in a non-production environment prior to applying the patches to production. If you need to back out the patches, with Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2, you can abort the active online patching cycle prior to cutover.

    Thanks.

    Elke


  • Ram Thursday, October 15, 2015

    Let me quote what we have in mind, please suggest if we can do this way:

    Before "cutover" phase, can we bring down the instance and take a cold backup ?

    Will this strategy advisable for online patching ?

    If not, why it's not suggestible.

    Kindly comment.

    Thanks

    Ram


  • guest Monday, November 9, 2015

    Ram,

    Yes, You can implement the approach of bringing down your instance prior to the "cutover" phase in order to take a cold backup. Then run the "cutover" phase. If after the cutover phase you experience an issue with your environment which could be attributed to patches in the last patching cycle, you can go back to your cold backup.

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • ashok k Wednesday, December 23, 2015

    Do we have the online patching from 12.2 onwards? Do we need to do anything to enable online patching in 12.2? Because some of my colleagues told me that we need to enable online patching in EBS 12.2 in case if we are not going to update to further releases like 12.2.2 or 12.2.3 or etc?

    Regards,

    Ashok K.


  • guest Saturday, January 9, 2016

    Ashok,

    Online Patching is enabled by default when you install a fresh 12.2 instance using rapid install. If you are upgrading an environment from an E-Business Suite release prior to 12.2, you will enable online patching as part of the upgrade process.

    Please review the Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2 Setup Guide for more details on the 12.2 installation. Or the Oracle E-Business Suite R12.2 Maintenance Guide for Online Patching details.

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • Shrikant Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    Hi,

    In ADOP, if we are applying 6 patches and a patch got failed, say patch number 4. Is there any way we can abort patch number 4 only and apply the 5 and 6?

    Regards,

    Shrikant


  • Santiago Bastidas Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    Hi Shrikant,

    Adop does not support the abort of an individual patch that is part of a set of patches applied in a single online patching cycle.

    The Online patching cycle could be considered a single transaction with several apply activities which can be commited with the cutover phase, or can be aborted with the abort command.

    If we apply this principle to your scenario, and let's say: you have a failure applying the 4th patch. You can either troubleshoot the patch application and fix it, or you can abort the patching cycle which will remove all the patches that were part of the patching cycle.

    I hope this helps clarify your question,

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • guest Monday, February 15, 2016

    After cutover, do users have to change URL to login to application? If no then how it's manage as ports are different for both file systems.


  • guest Monday, February 15, 2016

    Hi Guest,

    Users don't have to change the URL to login to the application after cutover. The OHS instance in both file systems have a common http or https port. All the application internal ports (WLS, ons, metrics, etc) are specific to each file system. The public ports (http/https) controlled by OHS are common to both file systems.

    For further details, please review the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2 Rapid Install Guide, Chapter 1: Using Rapid Install, Section: Port Pools. Doc URL: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E26401_01/doc.122/e22950.pdf

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • Srinivas Reddy Thursday, February 25, 2016

    Hi

    can we have only weblogic admin server running at the time of cutover.

    The scenario is,

    Apply the Major Patching say Application upgrade using onlie patching

    1) Prepare

    2) Apply (All Application and Tech stack patches)

    3) Bring down services and take cold backup (this is be safe when we want to go back to previous state.)

    4) Apply any DB patches or DB upgrade or PSU Patches

    5) Bring up only weblogic admin server

    6) Cutover

    7) cleanup

    8) fs_clone

    Please let me know if this approach is correct.

    Thanks

    Srinivas


  • Santiago Bastidas Thursday, February 25, 2016

    Hi Srinivas,

    The adop Prepare and Cutover phases validate the Weblogic configuration. This validation is done by introspecting the Admin Server. So, yes you can perform all the other activities in between prepare and cutover with the Admin server down.

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • akuncoro Wednesday, March 2, 2016

    Hi Stev,

    I've got question about windows. Is that applying on windows should reboot server after installation?

    Because right now i used to use on linux there's no need to reboot the server after patching.

    Thanks,

    akuncoro


  • Peter P. Shih Wednesday, March 2, 2016

    From the Oracle ADOP perspective, Windows should not require a reboot after applying a patch. However, server OS patches from Microsoft may require a system to be rebooted.


  • guest Thursday, March 10, 2016

    Hello Steve,

    Questions regarding two new features in R12.2. We would like to gain some clarification as well as an estimate of the improvements that would be realized (eg time reduction):

    1. Native Oracle Database 11g Release 2 PL/SQL Function Result Cache feature. The description provided is pretty limited, can you please clarify the chaching that occurs? Also, the description indicated that there are performance improvements for this features, can you give an estimate as to time reduction that this feature will provide?

    2. Enhanced Cloning. This is particularly exciting to hear since cloning currently takes 2 days. Can you please clarify the enhancement to cloning and what the estimated new times we should expect for cloning to be completed?

    Thank you for your help.

    Nancy


  • satish Monday, March 14, 2016

    Hello Steve -

    How ADOP handling below scenario:

    1. adding/dropping/amending column length in big partitioned table having millions of rows..

    Thanks

    Regards

    Sat


  • Santiago Bastidas Tuesday, March 15, 2016

    Hello Sat,

    The guidance for patching partitioned tables is the same as for regular tables. You use a new column and keep the data between the old and new columns in sync using cross-editioned triggers. The process of keeping the data in sync between the columns is in place only during the patching cycle used to introduce the change to the table. Please review the MOS Note:1577661.1 for more details on maintaining tables using Online Patching.

    https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocContentDisplay?id=1577661.1

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • Robert Farrington Wednesday, March 16, 2016

    Hello Nancy,

    We can provide general guidance here, but this blog isn't the best place to get in-depth answers to specific questions like the ones you mention.

    Your best option would be to log a Service Request via My Oracle Support to get one of our EBS performance specialists engaged.

    Regards,

    Robert.


  • guest Monday, March 28, 2016

    Hello Steve,

    Questions regarding two new features in R12.2. We would like to gain some clarification as well as an estimate of the improvements that would be realized (eg time reduction):

    1. Native Oracle Database 11g Release 2 PL/SQL Function Result Cache feature. The description provided is pretty limited, can you please clarify the caching that occurs? Also, the description indicated that there are performance improvements for this features, can you give an estimate as to time reduction that this feature will provide?

    2. Enhanced Cloning. This is particularly exciting to hear since cloning currently takes 2 days. Can you please clarify the enhancement to cloning and what the estimated new times we should expect for cloning to be completed?

    Thank you for your help.


  • Steven Chan Wednesday, March 30, 2016

    Nancy, Chuck,

    1. It's very difficult to make generic statements about the effects of PL/SQL caching on EBS performance since every EBS customer's product usage mix and transactional mix varies.

    A generic example of how this may help performance is posted here:

    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/testcontent/o57asktom-101814.html

    2. Cloning speed, like most disk-intensive activities, is affected by your EBS database size as well as hardware-related dimensions like the speed of your storage devices. It is very difficult to make any accurate projections *a priori* of the net result on your environment.

    I'd recommend that both of these things should be tested with your own mix of EBS products, with your own data, and on your own hardware. That will give you a more-accurate projection of the net impacts of your upgrade.

    Regards,

    Steven


  • Rahul Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Do we need to manually sync the filesystem after patching and cutover or will it automatically happens during next cycle.

    For ex:

    I have just applied a patch and followed all stages till cleanup. Not I checked my exiting run environment ( patch during patching ) and it contains the updates file delivered by patch.

    But patch environment still have the old file.

    Will it be automatically synced during next patching cycle or I have to run the fs_clove , if yes ? Will that clone whole filesystem again.

    Thanks

    Rahul


  • guest Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Rahul,

    The file system synchronization is performed automatically in the next cycle. To be specific during the prepare phase of the next online patching cycle.

    For further details on the prepare phase and file system synchronization, review the Oracle® E-Business Suite Maintenance Guide Release 12.2, chapter: Online Patching Cycle Steps - Prepare Phase.

    Here is a link to the current version of the Maintenance Guide: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E26401_01/doc.122/e22954.pdf

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • Mahesh Tuesday, May 31, 2016

    how do we apply a patch in hotpatch mode if it's emergency for customer,

    while adop cycle is running and applied few patches?


  • Santiago Bastidas Tuesday, May 31, 2016

    Mahesh,

    The customer has 2 alternatives:

    1- Take advantage of the currently open patching cycle, apply the emergency patch as an online patch followed by a cutover, and cleanup phases execution.

    2- Abort the currently open patching cycle, and apply the patch as intended

    As a reminder, the hotpatch mode option is still available in 12.2, but it should only be used when mentioned in the readme or when its usage is directed by an Oracle rep. This is mentioned in the E-Business Suite 12.2 Maintenance Guide, chapter 2, ADOP options section:

    http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E26401_01/doc.122/e22954.pdf

    Regards,

    Santiago


  • guest Friday, June 3, 2016

    My opinion is that this feature is useless, never asked by customers (in my 20 years of experiences as EBS DBA i've never had any problems to find a solution to deploy patch on production and handle a downtime), complex and not stable. Moreover, instead of an option which could used, it's imposed to all the customers. I have to throw all my experience on adpatch to use now adop which looks like a "black box" with too many constraints. could you imagine that we cannot use the hotpatch option without the support approval ? Incredible !

    I think Oracle has made major mistake with this feature. Instead of wasting my time to try to train and master this, i will prefer to train myself on SAP...


  • guest Thursday, June 9, 2016

    Really? In your 20 years of EBS experience you never had a customer that needed to remain up nearly 24/7 and therefore not have the time to shutdown for 30-60 minutes to perform patching? I also have 20 years experience this June and in all 20 years, I've come across manufacturing companies that cannot afford the time it takes to bring down the system for patching.

    What a set of rude comments you've made here. It's you that is wasting everyone's time.


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