Oracle database support 12c 18c 19c patching vs upgrade

To help you plan ahead the Oracle database upgrades and patching, below is an Oracle Database Releases roadmap, showing their lifetime support stages (Premier + Extended) for the latest releases.

Oracle database Release and Support Timelines (MOS Doc ID 742060.1) + Extras

Oracle Support Notes

  • Ensure to maintain Oracle releases that are under Oracle Premium Support  (black bars on the chart) or Extended Support (red bars on the chart)
  • Extended Support is typically for three years following the expiration of Premier Support and only for the Terminal Patch Set release
  • After end of Premium + Extended Support no new patches are released by Oracle + lower SLAs apply for the corresponding database release
  • To receive Extended Support, you must:
    • Continue to pay the support fee for Premier Support 
    • Purchase Extended Support on top of Premier Support fee (unless the fee is waived (usually for the 1st year)
    • Most ULA/PULA contracts include Extended Support fee
    • Enable Extended Support for your Support Identifier (SI) on MOS
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Oracle database 12cR2 new patching concept RU RUR

Oracle database 12cR2 new patching RU RUR

The new database patching for Oracle 12cR2 (12.2) and above using new RUs and RURs patches replaces the old patching concept. Means, the legacy terms and patches Patchset, Patchset Update (PSU), Database Bundle Patch, Critical Patch Update (CPU) will no longer be meaningful for 12.2 database software. The new patches will be applied in the same way using opatch utility with ability using RAC Rolling or Data Guard/GG switchover techniques.

The major points about the new patching concept are below:

New quarterly Release Update (RUs)
– More aggressive patching for test / dev and early production roll-outs -> more testing required
– Released quarterly (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct)
– Proactive, highly tested bundles of critical fixes
– Include all security fixes for the same quarterly cycle
– Enable customers to avoid known issues.
– Might contain small, important new features
– Query optimizer fixes that can change execution plans might be included but must be enabled manually by the customer after patching.
– Separate Database RU, Grid Infrastructure RU, and OJVM RU available

New quarterly Release Update Revisions (RURs)
– A bit similar to former PSUs
– Less aggressive pathing for stable production environments -> less testing required
– Released quarterly (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct) Read more »

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