To which release should you upgrade to? Plus: Extended Support?

To which release should you upgrade to? Plus: Extended Support?

A few days ago I blogged about the Current Support Status for Oracle Database Releases. And you’ve sent several questions to me. Some asked about clarification to which release should you upgrade to? Plus: Extended Support questions were quite frequent. So let me clarify this previous blog post a bit.

To which release should you upgrade to?

A few weeks ago we initiated global communication to all customers who had opened an SR within the past 3 years explaining to which release you should upgrade to. Just in case you haven’t seen this communication, I will give you more details here.

Please have a quick look into MOS Note: 742060.1 –  Release schedule of current databases releases. We added a new section called Recommended Upgrade Path including this table:

We’ll assume that many customers will target Oracle 19c as it is the terminal release for 12.2.

Please read also:

Most of you may still be either on Oracle and/or based on Support numbers and other information we have. But now the crucial question is: To which release should you upgrade then?

And the big differentiator is whether you are willing to purchase Extended Support (20% uplift in both cases as the first year got waived already by us) or not. Or is Extended Support literally included in your ULA (Unlimited License Agreement)?

Not interested in Extended Support?

If you are not interested in Extended Support but still on Oracle or, then you should target Oracle 18c unless you have started your testing cycles with Oracle 12.2 already. Simple math: At least Oracle will be out of Waived Extended Support by Jan 1, 2019. And at this point Oracle 19c most likely won’t be available.

You’ll face a similar situation with Oracle Even though there’s a chance for an overlap between the Waived Extended Support for Oracle ending on Jun 30, 2019, with the availability of Oracle 19c on premises, the period may be way too short for proper testing. Hence, the same applies as above: If you are not interested in Extended Support for Oracle, upgrade to Oracle 18c unless you have started proper testing already with

And if you are working already with Oracle, then you can safely wait for Oracle 19c as there will be enough overlap between those two.

I will need Extended Support!

If you are in the situation that you can’t move, you may consider Extended Support which is an uplift of 20% on top of your support fee. Your Oracle Support Sales contact will get you exact calculation and further details. I won’t be able to do this on the blog.

But even more interesting, the above table from MOS Note: 742060.1 has an interesting detail saying “Requires ULA w/ES enabled or Paid ES”. What does this mean?

The 2nd part of the sentence is clear and pretty obvious. If you have no ULA (Unlimited License Agreement) you will have to purchase Extended Support as I explained before. But the first part “Requires ULA w/ES enabled” is an interesting fact for ULA customers. It means: You’ll have to get in touch with your Oracle account person and ask her or him to enable Extended Support in your ULA. Then you will have access to Extended Support afterwards.

This brings customers with an ULA in a pretty comfortable position as it may allow you to smoothly move towards Oracle 19c.

But please – a general recommendation from myself: Don’t sit it out again as it looks so comfortable. You should have moved away from Oracle a long time ago already if you haven’t yet.


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6 thoughts on “To which release should you upgrade to? Plus: Extended Support?

  1. Hi Mike,

    thanks for this very good blog past (high quality as usual). my concern is with release as many companies are on this release, and July 31 2019 ES end date is not sufficient enough if you have large landscape and you need to go over testing with other entities.

    my question: there are many off the shelf (third party applications) that didn’t certify 18c release yet , so we can’t upgrade to this release. Companies hosting Oracle instances with third party applications… it a good strategy to upgrade those instances to Oracle 12cR2 (which most of them are compatible with) , and instances hosting in-house developed applications can be upgraded to 18c ?

    Remark: i think (not sure) Oracle primavera is not compatible with 18c yet .


    • Sabah Emad!

      This is a tough question. But I think most app vendors will simply skip 18c due to the short release cycle.
      So yes, going to 12.2 instead now – and then onwards to 19c may be a good solution if you don’t have Extended Support.

      If you have an ULA you can simply enable Extended Support via the account manager.
      But if not, you may not want to stay so long on due to the support status.

      Hope this helps!

      Ma’a salama!

  2. Thanks Mark. We’re Peoplesoft customers running Oracle databases. As of today, Peoplesoft is still not certified with 18c and no words on 19c. We’re facing the issue every year as the certification comes out so late and we’re required to complete the full cycle of testing with the released PT version.

    We’re still using and our project to upgrade to 12.2 won’t finish until end of next year. I feel confused that when Oracle is planning the primier support date, they don’t even think about customers running their products and those product’s certification status. I think the date should be at least 2 or 2.5 years after all their products are certified from the certification date , not the released date of the new version of Oracle.

    • Jennifer,

      I see your point – and the same applies to EBS and other things.

      Please raise this with your account manager or people higher in the hierarchy at Oracle.
      I can’t solve this problem … unfortunately 🙁


  3. Hi Mike,
    we would like to start an upgrade to 18c but for AIX on SystemP platform it’s still not available (was first announced for Oct, now Nov). May you have an exact date from your dev? Or would you might recommend to go for 12.2 and later on upgrade to 19c?

    Thx & best regards

    Axel D.

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