OCT CPU 2007: Best practices for applying patches through EM
By HariSrinivasan on Oct 17, 2007
#1 IDENTIFY: Identify the Critical Patches Applicable on to the targets in your environment from the EM GC Home page from the section: Critical Patch Advisories for Oracle Homes
#2 PRE-REQS: Select a test system to apply patches and run the pre-requisite checker deployment procedure. For example: Oracle Patch Prerequisite Checker for Standalone Database deployment procedure to check for any errors or issues which might occur during the actual application of the patches.
Note: With the current release 10.2.0.3 :Pre-req deployment procedures are applicable only to Linux x86 and Windows environments.
On errors: Review through the read me and figure out the known issues associated with the patch.
#3 TEST RUN: Run Patch Oracle Database procedure or other relevant Oracle software procedures for AS , RAC on the test system.
Note: Following the trend with July CPU , the patches for 10.2.0.3 DBs  on Unix platform are of Napply model.
Use the deployment procedure:Patch Oracle Database for napply CPUs/ Merge patches.
#4 CHECK FOR KNOWN ISSUES : Check for issues/errors > Compare with the Known issue listed in the README.
- #4.1  Use the workarounds for the Known issues and proceed with patching.
- #4.2 Try automate the workarounds as scripts and incoporate the scripts as directive steps in to the Deployment Procedure and run over the test systems. Advantage: Allows mass distribution along with the automated workaround process.
Additional things to do:  Setup Notifications in the Deployment procedures to notify you with the udpates.
Ref: Use case @ 17. What are examples of customizations that a customer can incorporate in a patching deployment procedure?
For more details on Napply Deployment Procedure see : Question #24 :Starting July 2007 Oracle has changed the patch application method for Critical Patch Updates (CPU) on 10.2.0.3 Databases (and beyond).Will Enterprise Manager based patching work for July07 CPU on 10.2.0.3 databases?
at Achieving Grid Automation with Deployment Procedures
Notes to check:
427577.1 :  Pre-req to use Provisioning pack 10.2.0.3 Deployment Procedures.
455287.1 : Critical Patch Update Availability Information for Oracle Server and Middleware Products
438314.1 : Critical Patch Update - Introduction to Database Napply CPU Patches
232827.1 : Windows patching error : Universal Installer can not replace the oci.dll Error when install/deinstall Oracle Products