This question is coming up on a regular basis for obvious reasons whenever we speak to customers about Oracle Database 12.2 and 18c: When does patching end for Oracle Database 126.96.36.199?
When does patching end for Oracle Database 188.8.131.52?
Actually Roy and I are explaining this topic in our The New Release and Patching Model presentation:
Annual releases, such as Oracle 184.108.40.206, Oracle 18c, Oracle 19c and so on, get a minimum of 2 years patching after the succeeding release is available. This means, as soon as Oracle 18c is available, the previous release – Oracle Database 220.127.116.11 – will be under patching support for at least two years.
But what means “released”?
The big question is now: Does “released” mean “released in the Oracle Cloud” and/or “released on Exadata” – or does the clock tick when the on-premises releases are available?
And the answer is in MOS Note: 742060.1 – Release Schedule of Current Database Releases:
Patching for 18.104.22.168 will end two years after Release 18 is available for on-prem platforms (non-Engineered Systems).
I think this is a really important clarification.