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 188.8.131.52 and 18c. I receive plenty of such questions in the past weeks. And actually many from my colleagues.
Clarification: Support Periods for Oracle 184.108.40.206 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:
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 220.127.116.11) 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:
On July 23, 2018 we released Oracle Database 18c 18.3.0 on premises. From this date on the Support for Oracle Database 18.104.22.168, the previous release, has been determined. You can see the date in the table above. It says: Oracle 22.214.171.124 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.
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:
On Linux, Oracle 11.2 got released:
- Oracle 126.96.36.199 on Sept 1, 2009
- Oracle 188.8.131.52 on Sept 13, 2010
- Oracle 184.108.40.206 on Sept 23, 2011
- Oracle 220.127.116.11 on Aug 28, 2013
The Support time frames were:
- Oracle 18.104.22.168 until Sept 13, 2011 – only one year from the date on 22.214.171.124 got released
- Oracle 126.96.36.199 until Oct 31, 2013 – two years a an extra month after 188.8.131.52 got released
- Oracle 184.108.40.206 until Aug 27, 2015 – two years after 220.127.116.11 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 18.104.22.168 got released on Mar 1, 2017
- Oracle 18c / 22.214.171.124 got released on Jul 23, 2018
- Oracle 19c / 126.96.36.199 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 188.8.131.52 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 184.108.40.206 already won’t move to 18c but target 19c. And those with Oracle 220.127.116.11 databases won’t wait until Oracle 19c is available unless they pay Extended Support. And please no extra complaints here: Oracle Database 18.104.22.168 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:
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 22.214.171.124, 18c and 19c”. Just wanted to mention this to avoid confusion.