This is a topic which doesn’t come up very often. But if it does come up from time to time, and the documentation may give you advice – but as I realized – it does not always give the best advice. When you have to do multiple hops – which should be your intermediate release?
I posted something about this topic a while back:
What are Multiple Hops?
We speak of multiple hops in relation to database upgrades when your source release does not allow you to upgrade directly to the wanted or newest Oracle Database release. For example, you may be on Oracle Database 10.2.0.4 right now (I seriously hope, you are not!) and would like to upgrade now directly to Oracle Database 184.108.40.206.
Then you browse through the documentation and you’ll find this table in the documentation under: Oracle Database Releases That Support Direct Upgrade
I marked the part which is partially correct in blue.
Multiple Hops – Which should be the intermediate release?
The above marked text is not incorrect. You can of course upgrade from Oracle 220.127.116.11 to Oracle 18.104.22.168 first, and then upgrade to Oracle 22.214.171.124 or Oracle 18c.
A colleague of mine from Oracle UK had exactly this question a day ago for a customer. And Andrew did wonder why Oracle 126.96.36.199 was not mentioned.
And this was my advice too for this customer:
Upgrade from Oracle 188.8.131.52 to Oracle 184.108.40.206 if your OS does allow this combination – and then upgrade to Oracle 220.127.116.11. Simple reason for this recommendation: Even though from the upgrade perspective there wouldn’t be any difference in complexity whether you upgrade to 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124, there are two important factors:
- The upgrade to Oracle 126.96.36.199 will use the parallel upgrade,
catctl.pl– and it will be faster for sure
preupgrd.sqlof Oracle 188.8.131.52 is more sophisticated and advanced in comparison to the old utlu112i.sql of Oracle 184.108.40.206
Therefore, by hopping to Oracle 220.127.116.11 as the intermediate database you get a better precheck and a faster upgrade.
As long as your OS allows, always try to jump to the most recent release instead of hopping to an older intermediate release. The upgrade guide is not wrong – but there may be a better solution available.