Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle and 18c

Monday morning, another way-too-hot July day. Summer is crazy this year in Europe. We all enjoy nice sunny weather but nobody does enjoy a serious drought. Nowhere. While going through my inbox I spot this statement: ““Why should we go to 18.x with support till 2020?“. And this is not an unusual question. But I think I should write a Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle and 18c. I receive plenty of such questions in the past weeks. And actually many from my colleagues.

Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle and 18c

First of all, your Single Source of Truth is MOS Note: 742060.1.: Release Schedule of Current Database Releases. This is the note you have to look at when you ask yourself: How long will this or that database release be supported?

The note contains this wonderful graphs (which I won’t replicate here) but also this table:

Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle and 18c

You may spot immediately:
Oracle Database 18c is not mentioned in it yet.

Where’s Oracle 18c in this table?

True fact. And there is a reason why we didn’t mention Oracle Database 18c (or in it yet. As you can see from Video: The New Release and Patching Model on slide 6 and 7 (about 4:15 min into the video) the Support Time Frame for Oracle 18c will be determined once Oracle 19c will become available on premises. Hence, actually as of now, there has been no communication yet about any patching end dates for Oracle 18c. And I can’t give any prediction. But we guarantee at least two years patching for the release 18c once the next release – 19c – will be available on premises. You can do the math now by yourself. But for sure patching for Oracle 18c won’t end in 2020 as Oracle 19c would have to be available already now.

I know, this sounds weird – and I’m confused sometimes as well to be honest.

But the graph in our slide deck may explain it better:

Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle and 18c

On July 23, 2018 we released Oracle Database 18c 18.3.0 on premises. From this date on the Support for Oracle Database, the previous release, has been determined. You can see the date in the table above. It says: Oracle will have its patching end date set for July 23, 2020. Two years after we released the following release.

The same thing will happen for Oracle 18c. Once Oracle 19c becomes available on premises, the patching end date for Oracle 18c will be determined and announced. And it will be at least span two years from this particular date on – NOT from the date on when Oracle 18c has been released.

You can see the approx time frame in the graph above.

More Complaints

Of course the next complaint I have heard roughly 10x in the past two weeks:
We can’t keep up with such a tight schedule.

And I agree in most cases. Mean [irony!] people mention that not even Oracle’s own core product such as EBS or Siebel get certified on time on these releases.

But to be honest, have a look at the 11.2 time frames and support periods first:

Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle and 18c

On Linux, Oracle 11.2 got released:

  • Oracle on Sept 1, 2009
  • Oracle on Sept 13, 2010
  • Oracle on Sept 23, 2011
  • Oracle on Aug 28, 2013

The Support time frames were:

  • Oracle until Sept 13, 2011 – only one year from the date on got released
  • Oracle until Oct 31, 2013 – two years a an extra month after got released
  • Oracle until Aug 27, 2015 – two years after had been released

You see what I mean? There is no change to previous releases. Let me map this to Oracle 12.2/18c/19c

  • Oracle got released on Mar 1, 2017
  • Oracle 18c / got released on Jul 23, 2018
  • Oracle 19c / has not been released yet but the release number indicates that it may be released sometime in 2019 most likely

And the Support time frames for Oracle 12.2/18c/19c are:

  • Oracle until July 23, 2020 – exactly two years from the date on Oracle 18c has been released
  • Oracle 18c – no date communicated yet as Oracle 19c has not been released yet

I just wanted to point this out. There’s no change in the Support time frame pattern.

And yes, most customers I work with, will skip one release. Those, who are on already won’t move to 18c but target 19c. And those with Oracle databases won’t wait until Oracle 19c is available unless they pay Extended Support. And please no extra complaints here: Oracle Database received an unusually extra-super-long support time frame.

One Final Thing

One final thing I’d like to point out. You can download the Oracle Lifetime Support brochure as well. It has this nice table on page 6 for the database:

Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle and 18c

And a nice link to a MOS note which has a link to MOS Note: 742060.1.: Release Schedule of Current Database Releases. Which is the single source of truth as a I said before already. But please recognize that the above table does never differ between patch sets – and not even between Oracle 12.2 and 18c or 19c. When you see “Premier Support” for Oracle Database 12.2 ends Mar 2022, this means “for Oracle, 18c and 19c”. Just wanted to mention this to avoid confusion.


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8 thoughts on “Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle and 18c

  1. Hi Mike,

    I think you have 2 date mixups:

    Oracle 18c / got released on Jul 23, 2017

    But 18c was released 2018 and not 2017 🙂
    And a followup mistake for the support time frame

    Oracle until July 23, 2019 – exactly two years from the date on Oracle 18c has been released

    2 years after 18c was released is July 23, 2020


  2. Hi Mike,
    We’re on and it takes one full year to upgrade all our databases.
    According to your table, it makes sense for us only to upgrade to 19c. Going through 18c would be a waste of time, because we would start over upgrading databases to 19c as soon as we’re done with the upgrade to 18c.
    The problem is the waived-fee ES period for 12.1: it’s way too short.
    Do you agree? Is there any chance about Oracle extending it?

    • Rudolfo,

      I’m the wrong one to answer this as this is a decision of the Exec Support management.
      But I don’t think that there are plans at the moment to extend it.

      Of course, I see your point. If we keep the pattern and release 19c on-prem in summer 2019, then waived extended support for will be over by then.
      There are then 3 (or 4) options:
      1. Start upgrading to 18c now – then you’ll be done by end of Waived Extended Support for – then relax and move to 19.7.0 a year later and stay there for quite a while
      2. Wait for 19.3.0 to be released and take the risk that you may sail a while without extra treatments for – this can be risky and I wouldn’t recommend it
      3. Pay for an extra year of Extended Support for (20% extra of your support fee for the databases)
      (4.) Talk to your sales contact in Oracle to see whether there can be an agreement settled – or let our Support management know about your challenges


  3. There’s a discrepancy between the notes and diagram pertaining to support. The table states “Extended support fees waved until Dec 31, 2018” but the diagram shows the waved fee through Dec 31, 2019. The diagram appears incorrect since the other sources of data (like page 6 of the lifetime brochure) states ES support end Dec 2020.

    • Hi Steve,

      no, the diagram has the light gray bar running until end of 2018 or start of 2019 – not until end of 2019.
      Then, from Jan 1, 2019, the paid Extended Support period for starts.

      The Lifetime Support Brochure – as I explained as well – is quite misleading as it:
      /a/ does not differ between patch releases or even full releases (such as 18c, 19c) and
      /b/ does not say anything about WAIVED periods.
      It simply tells you that Extended Support for 11.2 runs until end of 2020 – which is correct but has a fine print.
      This applies to only.
      And it’s paid extended support which is the usual term of this service. It’s a courtesy usually driven by a late release date when periods are waived.

      Please have a second look at the graph – it clearly has the bar running until the marker “2019” which marks the beginning of 2019.


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