Group Fixes are here!
By Rick Finley-Oracle on Oct 10, 2011
We are pleased to announce our new Group Fix process. This is outlined on My Oracle Support with document 1364862.1, but I thought it would be convenient to post the information here as well.
TUGBU Introduces Framework Group Fix and Rollup to reduce total patch application effort and risk of regressions!
Starting August 2011 Oracle TUGBU will be releasing most of the Framework maintenance updates in a Group Fix and Rollup format. This will reduce the overall effort for our customers to install patches and minimize the risk of regressions in the application functionality. This change is driven by the customer feedback to reduce application maintenance effort and make it less error prone.
Note: We are only introducing the change to ETPM v2.3.0 and future releases initially. The Group Fix releases will be mandatory. We may expand the Group Fix packaging format to earlier ETPM versions in the future.
Changes to our policy:
1) We will be shipping single fixes for Category 1 and Category 2, known as Hot Fixes, issues only from August. This is in line with Oracle support policy.
2) We will be introducing regular Group fixes, which are slipstreamed fixes across a time period (every two months). The idea is that the customer only has to install a single group fix to apply all the issues we have released fixes for in that period. Up till now, we have been releasing individual fixes which would require manual installation to ensure that fix and its prerequisites were installed. A group fix is a combination of all the single fixes and any Hot Fixes but slipstreamed into a single install.
3) Group fixes are mandatory patches that must be applied by each customer for the relevant product version.
4) Group fixes will not be cumulative and have the last Group Fix as a prerequisite.
5) Group fixes will be included within a Rollup. The rollup will include the group fix along with all the necessary pre-requisites. It is recommended to use the rollup to ensure all pre-requisites are installed and will be the most efficient method to install fixes.
The Group Fix approach differs from the concept of a service pack in a number of ways:
1) Group fixes are not cumulative. Customers will have up to 6 group fixes a year to install to keep up rather than many potential individual fixes.
2) Service Packs are just a group of individual installs. Service Packs tend to take a longer time to install as they install each fix and rebuild the setup each time. Group fixes do it as a single install and rebuild once only. Group fixes are far faster to install than installing each fix in a group (as you rebuild once not multiple times).
Important notes on Group Fixes:
1) The fixes installed will include fixes that customers did not report but they are fixes that we would normally recommend them to install.
2) Any new functionality included within a Group Fix will be disabled by default according to our backward compatibility policies. Customers can then choose to use the features as they see fit.
3) For ETPM 2.3.0, the following setting is required to install Group Fixes to ensure ADA (accessibility) related Element ID’s are not negatively impacted: spl.runtime.compatibility.uiMapDisableGenerateUniqueHtmlIDs=true
This new policy will reduce the amount of time customers spend on fixes and enhances the overall customer patching experience; this also brings the TUGBU fix policy into line with other Oracle products.