Tuesday Mar 03, 2015

Zero Downtime Patching for Fusion Middleware HA Topologies

What is Zero Downtime Patching?

With Zero Downtime Patching (aka ZDT), a patch can be rolled through an Enterprise / High Availability implementation, one component at a time. This ensures that the system can remain available and functioning during the patching process. Many Fusion Middleware products now support this type of patch. However, note the applicable versions below:

  • 11g -  patchset 11.1.1.7 or higher must be in place first
  • 12c - 12.1.2, 12.1.3 or higher

Example

A ZDT patch allows the patched and non-patched components of the system to run side-by-side to provide continuous service.

In the diagram below, a 2-node cluster is running two Managed Servers. The Managed Servers are part of the same Cluster. This means they are running the same applications and any server can fulfill a user request.

Each node or machine also has a separate Oracle Home. In this example, a ZDT patch is applied to one Home at a time.

The starting state:


1. Server on Node1 - server1 - is shutdown
2. Patch is applied to the Oracle Home from which server1 is running
3. Restart server1

At this point, the instance of App A on server1 is patched (running from a patched Oracle Home) but the instance on Node2 - server2 - server2 is not patched.

For a ZDT patch (and a ZDT patch only) this state is acceptable during the patch window.

Finally, the patch is rolled through the rest of the system:

1. Server on Node2 - server2 - is shutdown
2. Patch is applied to the Oracle Home from which server2 is running
3. Restart server2

The patch has now been applied to the entire system. At no point was the entire system down.

How to identify a ZDT patch?

A Zero Downtime Patch is identifiable by the instructions in the patch's README file.

The README should say, for example:

This patch has been marked as eligible for Zero Downtime Patching. The type of Zero Downtime Patching supported by this patch is FMW_ROLLING_ORACLE_HOME.

If this phrase does not appear in the patch README then this is not a Zero Downtime Patch and should be applied as normal. following the instructions in the Patch README.

More Information

This blog entry is intended to give a heads up to "zero downtime patching." If you are interested in finding more it is important to read support document:

Zero Downtime Patching in Fusion Middleware (Doc ID 1942159.1)

which provides detail about:

  • ZDT patching prerequisites and limitations
  • In-place and Out-Of-Place patching
  • Other uptime options which you may see in a patch readme

Thursday Jan 22, 2015

Fusion Middleware Proactive Patches Released

Announcing

The latest Fusion Middleware (FMW) Proactive  patches were released on January 20, 2015. To find download information and full detail, the relevant links are as follows:

A short summary of the patches released is posted below.

Bundle Patches

Bundle patches are collections of controlled, well tested critical bug fixes for a specific product  which may include security contents and occasionally minor enhancements. These are cumulative in nature meaning the latest bundle patch in a particular series includes the contents of the previous bundle patches released.  A suite bundle patch is an aggregation of multiple product  bundle patches that are part of a product suite.

  • Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) 11.1.1.7.150120  bundle patch
  • Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11.1.1.7.3 and 11.1.1.5.8 bundle patches.
  • Oracle Adaptive Access Manager (OAAM) 11.1.1.5.4 and OAAM 11.1.1.7.150120 bundle patches.
  • Oracle Directory Server Enterprise Edition (ODSEE) 11.1.1.7.2 bundle patch
  • Oracle GlassFish Server (OGFS) 3.1.2.10 and 3.0.1.10 bundle patches.
  • Oracle Identity Management Suite Bundle Patch 11.1.2.2.4 consisting of
    • Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11.1.2.2.4 bundle patch.
    • Oracle Identity Manager (OIM) 11.1.2.2.5 bundle patch.
    • Oracle Adaptive Access Manager (OAAM) 11.1.2.2.1 bundle patch.
    • Oracle Unified Directory (OUD) 11.1.2.2.1 bundle patch.
  • Oracle SOA Suite (SOA) 12.1.3.0.1 and 11.1.1.7.6 bundle patches.
  • Oracle Waveset (OW) 8.1.1.10 bundle patch
  • Oracle WebCenter Content (WCC) 11.1.1.8.9 bundle patch
  • Oracle WebCenter Portal (WCP) 11.1.1.8.6 bundle patch

Patch Set Updates (PSU)

Patch Set Updates (PSU)  are collections of well controlled, well tested critical bug fixes for a specific product  that have been proven in customer environments. PSUs  may include security content but no  enhancements are included. These are cumulative in nature meaning the latest PSU  in a particular series includes the contents of the previous PSUs  released.

  • Oracle WebLogic Server 12.1.3.0.2, 12.1.2.0.4, 12.1.1.0.10 and 10.3.6.0.10 PSUs.
  • Oracle Exalogic PSUs
    • 2.0.6.2.0 Physical Linux x86-64 (for all X2-2, X3-2, X4-2)
    • 2.0.6.2.0 Physical Solaris x86-64 (for all X2-2, X3-2, X4-2)
    • 2.0.6.2.0 Virtual (for all X2-2, X3-2, X4-2)

Critical Patch Update (CPU)

The Critical Patch Update program is Oracle's quarterly release of security fixes.

Additional patches were released as part of Oracle's Critical Patch Update program for the following products and versions

  • Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) 10.1.3.4.2
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher (formerly XML Publisher) (BIP)  10.1.3.4.2
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Real Time Decision Server (BI RTD) 11.1.1.7.0 and 3.0.x
  • Oracle Containers for J2EE (OC4J) 10.1.3.5.0
  • Oracle Forms : 11.1.2.2.0   and  11.1.1.7.0.
  • Oracle Http Server (OHS)  10.1.3.5.0 , 11.1.1.7.0 , 12.1.2.0.0 and 12.1.3.0.0
  • Oracle Open SSO Server 8.0.2.0
  • Oracle Reports Developer 11.1.2.2.0 and 11.1.1.7.0
  • Oracle Security Service (OSS)  12.1.3.0.0 and 12.1.2.0.0
  • Oracle WebLogic Portal (WCP) : 10.3.6.0 , 10.2.1.0 and 10.0.1.0
  • Oracle WebLogic Server  10.0.2.0

Wednesday Oct 15, 2014

Critical Patch Update for Oracle Fusion Middleware - CPU October 2014

The latest Critical Patch Update (CPU) has been released for Oracle products. Start your reading here

Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin 

This is the home page containing links to all "Critical Patch Updates" released to date, along with sections detailing 

  • Security Alerts 
  • Third Party Bulletin
  • Public Vulnerabilities Fixed
  • Policies
  • Reporting Security Vulnerabilities

On this page you will find the link to the

Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - October 2014

The advisory lists the support documents that cover the patch availability for all Oracle products. For Oracle Fusion Middleware, go to:

Patch Set Update and Critical Patch Update October 2014 Availability  [ID [1912224.1]

If you are hit any unexpected errors when applying the CPU patches, check out the known issues documented in these two support documents.

  • Critical Patch Update October 2014 Oracle Fusion Middleware Known Issues  [ID 1912243.1]
  • Critical Patch Update October 2014 Database Known Issues [ID 1911781.1]

And lastly, for an informal summary of what the Critical Patch Update fixes, check out the blog posts by "Oracle Software Security Assurance" team

October 2014 Critical Patch Update Released

Wednesday Oct 08, 2014

Critical Patch Update for Oracle Fusion Middleware - CPU July 2014

Sorry for posting this blog entry so late. The October 2014 Critical Patch Update (CPU) is due for release 14th October. In the meantime, for completeness sake, the Fusion Middleware summary for the July 2014 release can be found below. Start your reading here

Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin 

This is the home page containing links to all "Critical Patch Updates" released to date, along with sections detailing 

  • Security Alerts 
  • Third Party Bulletin
  • Public Vulnerabilities Fixed
  • Policies
  • Reporting Security Vulnerabilities

On this page you will find the link to the

Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - July 2014

The advisory lists the support documents that cover the patch availability for all Oracle products. For Oracle Fusion Middleware, go to:

Patch Set Update and Critical Patch Update July 2014 Availability  [ID [1666884.1]

If you are hit any unexpected errors when applying the CPU patches, check out the known issues documented in these two support documents.

  • Critical Patch Update July 2014 Oracle Fusion Middleware Known Issues  [ID 1666887.1]
  • Critical Patch Update July 2014 Database Known Issues [ID 1666882.1]

And lastly, for an informal summary of what the Critical Patch Update fixes, check out the blog posts by "Oracle Software Security Assurance" team

July 2014 Critical Patch Update Released

Thursday May 15, 2014

Become an Oracle Fusion Middleware Support Specialist!

My Oracle Support Accreditation Series

My Oracle Support Accreditation Series delivers a targeted learning experience that is designed to increase your expertise with My Oracle Support core functions and build skills to help you leverage Oracle product solutions, tools, and knowledge. The accreditation framework is targeted at customers and partners who have actively used My Oracle Support for at least 6-9 months.

The Level 1 path focuses on My Oracle Support functionality and features - foundation learning before you take on one or more product specific level 2 paths - Database, E-Business Suite, Fusion Middleware, and Business Analytics.



Oracle Fusion Middleware Accreditation Series (Level 2) path will help you:
  • Understand how Oracle Fusion Middleware products are supported
  • Find solutions and answers to Fusion Middleware issues more quickly in My Oracle Support
  • Learn the essentials of install, upgrade, and maintenance planning
  • Become aware of resources and diagnostics tools
Accreditation is achieved by watching the videos before taking an online exam. Questions in the exam are based on the information delivered in the videos.

Get started today by visiting the My Oracle Support document:

My Oracle Support Accreditation - Series Index [ID 1583898.1]

Monday May 12, 2014

Critical Patch Update for Oracle Fusion Middleware - CPU April 2014

The latest Critical Patch Update (CPU) has been released for Oracle products. Start your reading here

Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin 

This is the home page containing links to all "Critical Patch Updates" released to date, along with sections detailing 

  • Security Alerts 
  • Third Party Bulletin
  • Public Vulnerabilities Fixed
  • Policies
  • Reporting Security Vulnerabilities

On this page you will find the link to the

Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - April 2014

The advisory lists the support documents that cover the patch availability for all Oracle products. For Oracle Fusion Middleware, go to:

Patch Set Update and Critical Patch Update April 2014 Availability  [ID [1618213.1]

If you are hit any unexpected errors when applying the CPU patches, check out the known issues documented in these two support documents.

  • Critical Patch Update April Oracle Fusion Middleware Known Issues  [ID 1618208.1]
  • Critical Patch Update April 2014 Database Known Issues [ID 1615881.1]

And lastly, for an informal summary of what the Critical Patch Update fixes, check out the blog posts by "Oracle Software Security Assurance" team

April 2014 Critical Patch Update Released

Thursday Mar 13, 2014

New Java Collections in Remote Diagnostic Agent (RDA) 8.03

What is RDA?

Not familiar with RDA (Remote Diagnostic Agent)? Learn more, take a look at :

Resolve Problems Faster! Use Remote Diagnostic Agent - Fusion Middleware and WebLogic Server [ID 1498376.1

RDA 8.03

RDA 8.03 was released on March 11th 2014. The download links can be found in the support document referenced above. Changes / fixes / enhancements in this version can be found in "RDA Release Notes [ID 414970.1]". In particular, there are new data collection profiles for:

  • Glassfish Server
  • Business Intelligence Applications
  • Oracle Identity Manager

And here are some other Fusion Middleware product highlights:

     Product  Enhancement
     WebLogic
    • Included Oracle Java Virtual Machine-related information
    • MBean configuration values collected even if WLST connection to Admin Server fails.
    Oracle Internet Directory
    • Added replication information
    • Added WebLogic process information
    • Added DIP profile configuration information
    SOA Suite
    • Extended MBean collections (via WLST)
    • Support finding of DB details from multiple data sources
    • Included version information
    Oracle Service Bus
    • Extended MBean collections (via WLST)

    New JVM Diagnostic Collections - WebLogic Server and Glassfish

    A significant addition to the WebLogic and Glassfish data collection set is the capture of JVM related information. RDA 8.03 does the following:

    • harvests JVM information from the log files
    • makes best efforts to find and collect garbage collection and JVM crash logs
    • identifies the JVM pid and leverages os (unix only) and JDK tools to capture diagnostic information such as heap summary, process map, address space and native thread stack.

    Screenshots of JVM Related Info collections in RDA

    Currently these new java collections are performed by RDA if run against a result set configuration created using the WebLogicServer or GlassFishServer profiles - example:

    Create a WebLogicServer profile result set configuration. In this example, we will use the '-s' to explicitly name the result set configuration rather than leave RDA to create the result set configuration using the default name - output.cfg

    rda.sh -S -s mywlscollection -p WebLogicServer

    Run the collection:

    rda.sh -s mywlscollection

    Instructions to view the output will be provided in the standard out after the collection is complete.

    Friday Feb 28, 2014

    Read all about it! March 2014 Edition of Middleware Support News

    March 2014 edition of "Oracle Fusion Middleware Support News" is published!

    Image of FMW Support News

    Oracle Fusion Middleware Support News : Current Edition - Volume 11 : March 2014 [ID 1347075.1]

    Highlights:

    • Reasons for upgrading to Oracle Forms 11g Release 2 …
    • Remote Diagnostic Agent Now Available in OPatch Format …
    • WebCenter Content Clustering and High Availability …
    • WebCenter Customer Advisory Board (CAB) Meetings in March and April, 2014 …
    • Critical Patch Update For Oracle Fusion Middleware - CPU January 2013 …
    • Oracle Fusion Middleware - Proactive Patching Corner …
    • Fusion Middleware Proactive Support Blogging …
    • And Finally ... New Look Support Communities! …

    Note: My Oracle Support login is required to view the Support News article.

    Monday Feb 24, 2014

    RDA Can Now Be Upgraded Via OPatch (FMW 11g and higher)

    What is RDA?

    Not familiar with RDA (Remote Diagnostic Agent)? Learn more, take a look at :

    Resolve Problems Faster! Use Remote Diagnostic Agent - Fusion Middleware and WebLogic Server [ID 1498376.1

    About RDA via OPatch

    Until now RDA has been available via a zip package. The task of install and/or upgrade of RDA is therefore quick and simple. Delivery of RDA via a zip package, however, has one significant drawback - the version of RDA extracted is not recorded in the Oracle Inventory.

    Fusion Middleware products, such as SOA or WebCenter, do lay down a version of Remote Diagnostic Agent as part of their install. You may see an "rda" directory in the following locations:

    • Fusion Middleware 11g:
      • MW_HOME/ORACLE_HOME/rda
      • MW_HOME/oracle_common/rda
    • Fusion Middleware 12c:
      • ORACLE_HOME/oracle_common/rda

    RDA bundled with the Fusion Middleware media, falls behind the latest version. For example, Fusion Middleware 11g (11.1.1.8 and lower) ship RDA version 4 rather than version 8. Furthermore, the RDA installed does NOT include the RDA compiled engine - required if RDA is unable to find or access Perl.

    Therefore, replacing the old version of RDA with the latest is strongly encouraged. Trouble is, while a manual upgrade of RDA (via zip extraction) works fine, the version change is not recorded in the Oracle Inventory. Now we have a solution. RDA is available in OPatch patch format for Fusion Middleware 11g and 12c solutions. Any patch applied via OPatch is recorded in the inventory. In addition,  you can take advantage of the OPatch rollback feature.

    Download  

    Find the download link for the RDA in OPatch format in the My Oracle Support document:

    Resolve Problems Faster! Use Remote Diagnostic Agent - Fusion Middleware and WebLogic Server [ID 1498376.1

    After download, carefully follow the instructions in the readme.  

    Known Issues

    1. Unix only:

    If you have previously upgraded RDA using the standard RDA zip package (e.g. RDA 4.28 to 8.01),  a subsequent of upgrade of RDA via OPatch will fail with permission errors - here's just one example:

    Copy Action: Destination File "/u01/app/oracle/product/fmw/oracle_common/rda/mesg/en/STB.txt" is not writeable.
    'oracle.rda, 11.1.1.7.0': Cannot copy file from 'STB.txt' to '/u01/app/oracle/product/fmw/oracle_common/rda/mesg/en/STB.txt'

    To work-around, before running 'opatch apply', manually change the file permissions in the RDA home e.g.

    cd $MW_HOME/oracle_common
    chmod -R 660 rda


    2. If RDA's compiled engine has been enabled, OPatch will throw a pre-requisite check error like this one

    RDA compiled engine in use
    Command invocation returned Error... '', Return Code = 83
    Execution of PRE script failed, with return value = 83
    [ Error during Pre-script processing Phase]. Detail: OPatch failed: ApplySession failed in system modification phase... '

    The work-around is to revert the parameters in the RDA_HOME/engine/rda.cfg to their default values and then run 'opatch apply' again. Default values in rda.cfg are:

    RDA_ENG=""
    RDA_EXE="rda.exe"
    D_RDA=".." 

    3. And finally, RDA in OPatch format can only be applied against "rda" which has previously been installed by an Oracle Fusion Middleware product. OPatch looks for evidence of a previous RDA install in the Oracle Inventory. If your Oracle Inventory has no record of RDA, then download the RDA zip package and install / upgrade manually.  

    Wednesday Feb 12, 2014

    Reasons for upgrading to Oracle Forms 11g Release 2

    Screenshot of Forms 11g Logo

    Oracle Forms remains as popular as ever. The product continues to evolve as Oracle remains committed to the objectives of making it easy as possible to upgrade and integrate existing Oracle Forms applications with new web technologies and service oriented architectures.

    If you are an administrator of an Oracle Forms 10g or 11gR1 environment, have you considered an upgrade to Forms / Reports 11g Release 2? Let's summarize the reasons for moving to this version above and beyond thinking of it as being just the 'latest and greatest'.

    1. Integration with Oracle Access Manager

    Oracle Forms 11g Release 2 (11.1.2.x) is certified to work with Oracle Access Manager (OAM) 11g Release 1 (11.1.1.5+). Furthermore, although Oracle Forms can be manually configured to use OAM 11g, the 11gR2 configuration wizard makes life easier by offering an option to auto-configure Forms with a pre-existing OAM 11g solution. In contrast, Forms 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) is only certified/supported with Oracle Application Server Single Sign-On 10g. Note: Premier support for SSO 10g has expired. Oracle recommend migration to Oracle Access Manager 11g.

    2. JDK 7 certification

    In January 2014, Forms / Reports 11gR2 patch set 2 (11.1.2.2) was released and with it comes JDK 7 certification!

    • Is it Supported to Upgrade Forms / Reports 11gR1 or 11gR2 Install to JDK 7? [ID 1554189.1]

    3. Simplified install and configure experience

    Unlike 11gR1, Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 media does not include Portal and Discoverer. The install, configuration and accompanying documentation is therefore more straightforward to follow. What to do if the business require Portal and/or Discoverer as well as Forms? You do not have to stick solely with 11g Release 1 for all products. Install, configuration and maintenance of Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 and Portal / Discover 11g Release 1 in separate Middleware Homes is a recommended solution.

    4. Install flexibility

    11gR2 offers two configuration types: "Configure For Deployment" and "Configuration For Development".

    The former is intended for production systems. All components are made available for configuration including Oracle HTTP Server (OHS) and Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM) Fusion Middleware Control. The latter type excludes the OHS and EM components. Note: Forms / Reports Builders are available for inclusion with either configuration type.

    • Oracle Forms and Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) Development Installation FAQ [ID 1373210.1]

    Secondly, Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 allows you to choose the location of the WebLogic Domain. When you run the Configuration Wizard, the default location for the domain home is:

    MW_HOME/user_projects/domains

    Best practice is to keep Fusion Middleware configuration and software binaries separate. In other words, locate the domain home, instance and application files outside the Middleware home. Unfortunately, a PFRD 11g domain can only be created in MW_HOME/user_projects/domains. No "Domain Location" field is offered. Extending an existing domain is not a work-around because Forms can only be added to a domain which has been created by the PFRD configuration wizard. Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 removes the restriction by offering a "Domain Location" field in the configuration wizard.

    • How to Use the Config Wizard to Create a FMw 11g WebLogic Domain Outside the Middleware Home [ID 1621205.1]

    And finally ..

    Here are two further Forms / Reports 11g Release 2 articles to add to your My Oracle Support bookmarks.

    • Announcing Oracle Forms & Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) [ID 1364453.1]
    • Install and Configure Advisor: Oracle Forms & Reports 11g Release 2 (11.1.2) [ID 346.1]

    Tuesday Jan 21, 2014

    Critical Patch Update for Oracle Fusion Middleware - CPU January 2014

    The latest Critical Patch Update (CPU) has been released for Oracle products. Start your reading here

    Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin 

    This is the home page containing links to all "Critical Patch Updates" released to date, along with sections detailing 

    • Security Alerts 
    • Third Party Bulletin
    • Public Vulnerabilities Fixed
    • Policies
    • Reporting Security Vulnerabilities

    On this page you will find the link to the

    Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - January 2014

    The advisory lists the support documents that cover the patch availability for all Oracle products. For Oracle Fusion Middleware, go to:

    Patch Set Update and Critical Patch Update January 2014 Availability Document [ID 1594621.1]

    If you are hit any unexpected errors when applying the CPU patches, check out the known issues documented in these two support documents.

    • Critical Patch Update January 2014 Oracle Fusion Middleware Known Issues  [ID 1594610.1]
    • Critical Patch Update January 2014 Database Known Issues [ID 1593192.1]

    And lastly, for an informal summary of what the Critical Patch Update fixes, check out the blog posts by "Oracle Software Security Assurance" team

    January 2014 Critical Patch Update Released

    Thursday Dec 19, 2013

    RDA not working due to Perl being unavailable or inaccessible?

    What is RDA?

    Not familiar with RDA (Remote Diagnostic Agent)? Learn more, take a look at :

    • Resolve Problems Faster! Use Remote Diagnostic Agent - Fusion Middleware [ID 1498376.1]

    The Perl Problem 

    RDA is written in perl. If RDA cannot find Perl 5.005 or above, you may see one of the following messages:

    Error: ORACLE_HOME is not set
    Please set your ORACLE_HOME.

    or 

    Error: Perl not found in the PATH or in known folder locations.
    Although the default RDA engine requires Perl, a compiled version without Perl requirements is available.
    Please download the platform-specific RDA engine from My Oracle Support and place it within the top folder of your RDA installation.

    To work around you can configure RDA to use a compiled binary engine. The compiled engine is available for most platforms and is shipped as part of the RDA / OCM bundle. Find the engine binary in "RDA_HOME/engine".

    Good news! RDA 8.02 auto-enables the compiled engine

    The recently released RDA 8.02 automatically enables the compiled engine should RDA determines Perl is not available, accessible or valid. If you are reading this blog, having experienced the messages above or other perl errors, the likelihood is that you are using an older version of RDA. Upgrade to 8.02 now to benefit from this enhancement and others!

    Earlier versions of RDA require the compiled engine to be manually enabled if RDA is not able to use Perl.  

    Reference: 
    How to Manually Enable the Remote Diagnostic Agent ( RDA ) Compiled Engine .. [ID 1603021.1]

    Using RDA 8.02 and the perl problem described above still reproduces? Check the following:

    1. Does "RDA_HOME/engine" contain a compiled engine binary (rda_<platform> e.g rda_linux) and a rda.cfg.

    • You may have downloaded RDA standalone rather than the RDA / OCM Bundle. Or, you are working on a platform for which no compiled engine is available.

    2. Does the os user have read / write privileges to:

    • the directory from which they are launching the RDA command script
    • the RDA_HOME/engine/rda.cfg 

    3. Are you able to manually enable the compiled engine as per the instructions given in  [ID 1603021.1]

    Monday Dec 02, 2013

    Read all about it! December Edition of Middleware Support News

    Volume 10 - December 2013 edition - of "Oracle Fusion Middleware Support News" is published.

    Oracle Fusion Middleware Support News : Current Edition - Volume 10 : December 2013 [ID 1347075.1]

    Highlights:

    • Error Correction Policy - Have you got a Patch and Maintain Strategy? …
    • Extended Dates For Fusion Middleware 11g Lifetime Support Levels …
    • Critical Patch Update For Oracle Fusion Middleware - CPU October 2013 …
    • Oracle Fusion Middleware - Proactive Patching Corner …
    • SOA Diagnostic Dumps (11.1.1.7) - Script Example …
    • Oracle WebCenter Content, Enterprise Capture and Forms Recognition 11.1.1.8 News …
    • Oracle WebCenter Portal 11.1.1.8 News …
    • Certifications and Documentation for Pre-Acquisition Sun/BEA IDM Products …
    • Oracle Enterprise Data Quality 11g (11.1.1.7.3) Released …

    Screenshot of Support News

    Image of FMW Support News

    (Note: My Oracle Support login is required to view the Support News article.)

    Monday Nov 18, 2013

    Fusion Middleware Error Correction Policy - Have You Got a Patch and Maintain Strategy?

    It is not uncommon to come across Fusion Middleware 11g product solutions which do not have the latest patch set applied. Example: a business has a SOA Suite 11.1.1.3 in production. The solution has been working fine for three years, and then new business requirements forces an application change. The change, unfortunately, breaks rather than enhances existing functionality. A Service Request is logged with My Oracle Support and the business receive the news that the problem is caused by a bug, a patch for which is available. "Good news!" But, it is a patch which can only be applied against the latest patch set. Furthermore, the fix will not be backported to 11.1.1.3. "Oh .. really .. why can't we get a fix for the patch set we are on? Lifetime Support Policy - Level: Premier Support - has not yet expired for 11g."

    The business has been blissfully unaware of the Server Technology Products Software Error Correction Policy.  This document describes the different types of patches which Oracle may release for products and the policies which surround them. It is particularly important, however, to read the product line specific advice found in the Appendix. To part quote, the advice for Oracle Fusion Middleware:

    Grace Period: up to 1 year, minimum 3 months.

    You have up to one year from the initial release of the patch set to install the new patch set, and can receive new bug fixes for the previous patch set during that time ...

    For details (including links to documents containing error correction dates for specific products and patch sets), see

    Error Correction Support Dates for Oracle Fusion Middleware (10g/11g/WLS) (Doc ID 944866.1).

    In 944866.1, you will find a link to

    Error Correction Support Dates for Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g (11.1.1/11.1.2) (Doc ID 1290894.1)

    which shows that the error correction grace period for Fusion Middleware (which covers SOA) 11.1.1.3 ended in January 2012. This explains why, in our scenario above, the business will need to first apply the latest available patch set, followed by the interim patch in order to fix their issue.

    In conclusion, having a patch and maintain strategy is essential. Maintaining Fusion Middleware products at the latest major version and/or patch set release + updates has the following benefits:

    • Proactively applying the latest patch set and updates can avoid problems and therefore minimize downtime.
    • It can reduce the time taken to consume or obtain fixes for new issues.

    If you are using Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, bookmark and regularly review:

    Information Center: Patching and Maintaining Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g (Doc ID 1341616.2)

    Screenshot of Information Center: Patching and Maintain Fusion Middleware 11g

    This Information Center contains links to knowledge articles which discuss the Error Correction policy and list Error Correction end dates. The Information Center is also a one stop shop for links to patch and patch set collateral:

    • Patch Set Release Announcements
    • Patch Set Updates (including Critical Patch Update) information
    • Patching Documentation 
    • And more ..

    Get proactive, know your error correction end dates and put in a place a strategy to keep your product up to date with the latest patch set and updates.

    Thursday Oct 31, 2013

    Critical Patch Update for Oracle Fusion Middleware - CPU October 2013

    The latest Critical Patch Update (CPU) has been released for Oracle products. Start your reading here

    Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin 

    This is the home page containing links to all "Critical Patch Updates" released to date, along with sections detailing 

    • Security Alerts 
    • Third Party Bulletin
    • Public Vulnerabilities Fixed
    • Policies
    • Reporting Security Vulnerabilities

    On this page you will find the link to the

    Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory - October 2013

    The advisory lists the support documents that cover the patch availability for all Oracle products.

    For Oracle Fusion Middleware, go to:

    Patch Set Update and Critical Patch Update October 2013 Availability Document [ID 1571391.1]

    If you are hit any unexpected errors when applying the CPU patches, check out the known issues documented in these two support documents.

    • Critical Patch Update October 2013 Oracle Fusion Middleware Known Issues  [ID 1571369.1]
    • Critical Patch Update October 2013 Database Known Issues [ID 1571653.1]

    And lastly, for an informal summary of what the Critical Patch Update fixes, check out the blog posts by "Oracle Software Security Assurance" team

    October 2013 Critical Patch Update Released

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    This is the blog of the Oracle Fusion Middleware Proactive Support Delivery Team. Here we will provide information about our activities, publications, product related information and more. Feedback welcome.

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