Changes to a well-known release model mean a lot. I will give you some of my thoughts about the new Oracle Database release schedule.
What are we changing?
In my own words we basically rename the patch sets and name them what they were since years: Full releases. This means, Oracle Database 184.108.40.206 will be Oracle 18. And Oracle 220.127.116.11 will be Oracle 19. And so on.
Therefore there won’t be any Oracle 18.104.22.168 anymore – and obviously no Oracle 13.1 followed by Oracle 13.2.
In addition we change from Proactive Bundle Patches (BP) to Release Updates (RU) and from Patch Set Updates (PSU) to Release Update Revisions (RUR).
You will find more information here:
- More Information about RU and RUR patches for Oracle 12.2
- News about the new Oracle Database Release schedule
My thoughts about the new Oracle Database Release Schedule
I’m happy. Not entirely (stereotype says, Germans are never entirely happy no matter what happens) but pretty happy. I was discussing the insane “first” and “second” release topic for years. Not only with customers but also internally. And I know that DBAs and IT architects had the same issues when they tried to promote an Oracle release to be rolled out internally. There was always somebody somewhere who said:
“Well, but we’ll go live on the second release only. We do this since the early middle ages. And we will continue doing this until the first human will step on Mars. Period.”
I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard this. And it didn’t help much when I tried to explain that SAP (yes, SAP!) certified Oracle 22.214.171.124 quite early and long before many others on March 31, 2015.
It didn’t help much either when I explained that things have changed since Oracle 11.1 (which in my humble opinion was more a 10.3 than an 11.1 – most of the big changes came with 11.2). It didn’t help when I showcased cool customers such as Die Mobiliar from Switzerland who went live entirely on 126.96.36.199 with almost 300 databases in 15 months.
There is always somebody in the room saying: “Yes, we believe you. But we’ll go live on the second release …“. Twitter is a wonderful resource for such comments.
There are no patch sets anymore
Patch sets are full releases. Patch sets were full releases for years. In Oracle 188.8.131.52 (a so called “patch set” containing a high number of fixes on top of 184.108.40.206) we introduced complete huge and important new features such as Oracle In-Memory. Patch sets became full releases since at least Oracle 220.127.116.11. But – and I fully understand this as we taught you – there was still this “first release plus one patch set, second release plus 3 patch sets” thinking.
That is the reason why we move away from the term “patch set” and name it was it is: A full release.
And to mark this change visible for everybody we rename them using the year as the release number. There won’t be an Oracle 18.104.22.168 anymore. It will be named Oracle 18. And it will be followed by Oracle 19. And so on. You won’t see the term patch set anymore. It will be “release” and you can add “release updates” (which I’d highly recommend) and/or “release update revisions” to it.
This will hopefully end discussions. Nobody has to justify to go live on the first release. There is no first release. And there weren’t first release for many years. It were full releases.
So yes, I’m happy with this change. And it makes a lot of sense.
In addition please have a look into MOS Note 742060.1 – Release Schedule of Current Database Releases which gives you the official details and has information about proposed support timelines including a overview graph as well.
And you may also read Tim Hall’s thoughts as an independent Oracle ACE Director about the new release scheduling: