Why “We’ll wait for the 2nd release!” is a misconception …

Oh, how often have I heard this phrase:

“We’ll wait for the second release!”

And sometimes it makes me really anxious and angry at the same time when I hear that.

Anxious because it means that somebody has no strategy for the database upgrades/migrations and is just postponing necessary tasks to sometime in the future. Easy deal but not very clever.

Angry because this is a way of thinking from the 90s/00s when Oracle had this “10.1”, then later “10.2” strategy in database releases. But we are in 2014 now. And things have changed. Changed a lot in fact.

I’m probably not the only person who would love to see if we’d remove this “first” and “second” release tags. This has become obsolete with Oracle 11.1. We were telling customers officially that this is the brand new fantastic Oracle Database 11g release. But in fact it was – from the coding perspective – more or less a very stable 10g. In my workshops I did call it Oracle 10.3 with a marketing sticker on it. And as far as I can see the customer’s I’ve had helped with going live on Oracle Database were quite happy. Some really large shops still work with this release today with hundreds of databases in production.

But honestly most of the changes got introduced with Oracle Database 11.2. And not for a small number of customers this meant waiting for the first patch set (which since then has become a full release). Plenty of people went live with Oracle Database But a lot of the remarkable changes got introduced not in Oracle 11.1 but in Oracle 11.2. Just remember things such as the move from Clusterware to Grid Infrastructure. But also minor things such as DEFERRED_SEGMENT_CREATION and plenty of optimizer news.

Now with Oracle Database 12c and the first patch set (full release) I have heard this again – and I see it on the mailing list as well once a week:

“When will Oracle 12.2 be available?”

Well, that’s the misconception. It’s true, Oracle Database has new features and extensions. But it has also many fixes over the already very stable Oracle Why should anybody wait for Oracle 12.2 now? Because it’s supposed to be THE SECOND release? Forget this – this is thinking from the old days.
We are in year 2014 now.

And then spend a minute to look closer to the Support Policy.

  • Oracle Database 11.2 will go out of Premier Support in 6 months. Yes!!! 6 months
  • And correct, we’ll give everybody on Oracle more than one full year of Extended Support for free
  • For Oracle Extended Support will end 27-AUG-2015

That means if you plan to stay on Oracle for a longer period you’ll either have to calculate 20% extra of your support fee for the 2nd year of Extended Support. Or you prefer to “hope“.

I can’t tell you when Oracle 12.2 will be available and I don’t care. Usually people wait for the first patch set anyways which gets releases based on experience from the past 3 databases releases roughly a year and a bit after the initial release. Just do the math and you’ll see where you end up with this strategy.

My recommendations are:

  • Stop thinking about THE SECOND release
  • Evaluate Oracle Database now – not tomorrow
  • Look at the Support Policy – you need to start your upgrades as soon as possible




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23 thoughts on “Why “We’ll wait for the 2nd release!” is a misconception …

  1. Always a pleasure to read your posts. But this time, Mike, you’re just a PR person. Didn’t have a bug where if one of the PDB system tablespaces failed you had to bring down the whole CDB for restore?

    These are not misconceptions but huge bugs in R1 that doom the first release uptake. Other than that new release doesn’t differ at all from a patchset, same new code, same new risk.

  2. Hi there,

    thanks for your comment and reply 🙂

    In fact I don’t want to do PR – I do just the math and I see what happens with the customers I had helped so far to go live on Oracle Database 12c.

    I’d more or less agree with you about Multitenant – and when you look closely into the number of fixes in for Multitenant (>1800 i.e. roughly 10%) I think we are both on the same page.

    But how many people really consider Multitenant in Oracle Database All customers I am working with or worked with in the past months consider 12c as regular, non-Multitenant deployment.

    And there were bugs. Right. But that’s why you’ll need PSUs – or now the patch set.

    Again, I’m not doing PR at all (at least I try not to do so) as I don’t have a reason to do such a thing. I see customers out there telling me over and over again the same stories about potential bugs, issues, risk etc. But when I look closely I see people with tons of 10g or (and even older databases). And those people sit down with us and tell me they’ll wait for 12.2. Well, I insist as this is completely the wrong strategy. And the worst part: This strategy will cost a lot of money as it does when you let your OS run out of support and such (Windows XP in the public sector is a wonderful example for this apart from databases).

    Thanks 🙂

  3. I’m on now and was considering but when you get down to it, a patch set is pretty much the same outage and basic steps as an upgrade. So for my next outage in January I’ll go from to whatever is current on 12c.

    And I won’t have to worry about extended support fees.

    I like this post. It backs up my thinking.

  4. But wasn’t it Oracle who used it’s customers as beta testers for their first releases? Since ages you just can’t use a new release of database in production due to enormous number of bugs. AFAIR same was with the initial 11g release, not the I would say that many customers don’t wait for the second release but for the second or even better third patch set. I personally have a rule of thumb – never use Oracle database in production before third patch set is released (I mean for 12c, e.g.).

  5. "Guest",

    in all my workshops for many years I explain before the first break how proper patching works. I wouldn’t recommend you to go live on ANY fully unpatched release, no matter if it’s called or

    Therefore I hope my message should be clear:
    Everybody should start testing with now. Usually testing cycles run between months and (in some cases) some years. Before you’ll go live you should check for recent patches (PSU, one-offs) and apply them as well. Then you go live. And I’d bet with you – IF YOU DID PROPER TESTING – you won’t feel misused as a beta tester. If you don’t agree drop me an email – I’ll send you our non-binding reference agreement and I’ll assist you in the next months with your go-live on 🙂 At no extra costs …

    Cheers, Mike

  6. Hi.

    I was expecting us to wait for 12.2, but it looks like we will be going relatively soon for some DBs.

    I’m not against first releases. It really comes down to what I expect to get out of them. In some cases, the new features are worth the upgrade. For other projects, that still use Oracle like it’s Oracle 7, then an upgrade to the terminal release of each major version seems sensible…

    As always, the answer is "it depends"… 🙂

    If 12.2 takes as long to come out as 12.1 did, then either Oracle will have to extend the free extended support further, or people will be forced to go 12.1…



  7. Hi Tim,

    with you doing the upgrades I’d guess all will rn perfectly well. And in case of emergency you’ll have my phone number 😉

    Hope to see you soon again!

    Cheers, Mike

  8. Hi,

    I’am a Java Developer at an ISV. I have heard this "wait for the second release" pragma very often from our customers. But when I tried to test if our application runs on a Database I had a lot of new bugs in the 12.1 release. More than in any other release change before since Oracle 9. So I understand why everyone is asking for a second release. If you are responsible for a production database stability is what counts. Not fancy new features!



  9. OK, returned from PoC on M6-32. oracle pushed PoC to be done on very hard (there was an clmpetitor where is not available), "it is a stable release". they were not able even to create database on their own flagship, moved over to and hit at least 4 bugs… RMAN unable to duplicate database with huge bigfǐe tablespace (over 2 TB), concurrent union combined with parallel query and remote database is using parallel in inaproppiate way, … very new osm not used due bug… no, enough of
    let agile development (and some other cascaders) to move to 12c, but stable applications have to wait for or again. fortunately, our company is big (and angry about upgrades) enough, so we will be given extended support for to the end of 2016 free of charge

  10. "guest",

    I fully disagree with your opinion – and actually the basis of a successful project is proper checking for PSUs, BPs and one-off patches. If you’ll ever visit one of my workshops that is what I explain before the first break – otherwise you fail, no matter if it is the first, the second or whatever release. Send me the bug numbers of the issues you have hit and I’ll verify if any of the issues was new.

    Cheers – Mike

  11. HI,
    A co-worker just learned (today, Nov. 18, 2014) about the following official Oracle NOTE:

    Temporary Suspension of 12c Database as EM 12cR4 Repository (Doc ID 1920632.1)


    Thanks, Scott.

  12. Ouch … yes, I see that as well. And the NOTE has a status from August 27, 2014. Let me investigate this – and as soon as I have news (as I had another customer asking or complaining about it just a few days ago) I’ll post it on the blog.


  13. "When will Oracle 12.2 be available?"

    please see Note:742060.1 for details.
    1HCY2016 then Date falls within the 1st half (six months) of 2016.

  14. I was told my someone inside Oracle that they are working to second half of 2016 now. I mentioned this MOS note and the date it contained and their comment was "that date is wrong". Considering the beta period hasn’t even started yet, not even the call for beta participants, it would be surprising if they hit the first half of 2016.

    I guess we will see what the real answer is when it is released. 🙂



  15. Tim,

    I won’t comment in public – but the official date is still set. Let’s talk when we meet again 🙂

    Happy Easter!

  16. Mike,

    Here is a classic example of why we need to always wait for the xx.2 releases. Once you enable threaded_execution, nothing works pretty much. PSU fails, data_patch fails etc., None of the supporting mechanism is ready to handle password based access to sys user. We are one of the trading companies and we give priority to stability than the bells and whistles. Trust me if you have 7.3.4, you could still your application without the requirement of Oracle support.


  17. Oracle Financials 12.2.4 with Oracle Database 12c – 6 out of 6 DBAs I spoke to in the Asia Pacific region said " Watch Out !"
    What do DBAs in US / Europe say ?

  18. Honestly you’ll have to be more precise.

    From my experiences with EBS customers I can tell you that things such as adaptive plans and especially dynamic sampling may cause issues. But first of all we are aware of this. And second it’s straight forward to cure this.


  19. We’ll, here we are on 2nd Quarter Oracle PSC/CPU patching and it’s been more than a total disaster! Both Windows and Linux databases have multiple OJVM errors patching and entry level support on MOS. Our CIO is ready to jump on the AWS Amazon Web services platform ASAP! We have a FTE who just perpetually patches OEM, Agents, Exa data and other endless Oracle Bloatware. Perhaps there motto should be, Not that there’s an app for that. But, "Theirs a Patch for that"

  20. We’ll, here we are on 2nd Quarter Oracle PSC/CPU patching and it’s been more than a total disaster! Both Windows and Linux databases have multiple OJVM errors patching and entry level support on MOS. Our CIO is ready to jump on the AWS Amazon Web services platform ASAP! We have a FTE who just perpetually patches OEM, Agents, Exa data and other endless Oracle Bloatware. Perhaps there motto should be, Not that there’s an app for that. But, "Theirs a Patch for that"

  21. Jeffrey,

    would you please mind to be a bit more specific about the issues you have seen? I won’t solve them for you but first of all I’d like to learn what the issues are and second I’d like to understand them.

    Did you open any SR for this as well? If yes you can drop me an email as well if you prefer.

    This morning (May 9, 2016) I checked:

    Document 2104843.1 Oracle Database Patch Set Update Known Issues

    Document 2104846.1 Oracle JavaVM Component Database PSU Known Issues

    and none of them has any known issues mentioned.

    Thanks in advance – cheers

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