A patch (RU, OJVM, 32-bit) is not available yet – where will I find information?

A longer while ago I wrote a blog post about the topic that a patch (RU, OJVM, 32-bit) is not available yet – where will I find information? But I wrote it too specific. And it is even hard for me to find my older blog post. Since several of you mailed me the past weeks with a variety of questions regarding patch availability I decided to write down my thoughts – but this time in a more generic way. And I hope it is helpful.

Why are patches missing?

At first, I can’t tell you. There may be various reasons. It could be a late regression which needed to be fixed – and trigger new regression tests again. Or it may be a late change to a patch bundle. Or a new JDK version. And other things I don’t even know about.

But please, don’t ask me WHY a certain patch is missing. I usually don’t know.

In case of Oracle on MS Windows, please direct your complaints to your local Oracle contact. I know that it is a continuous annoyance for some of you. But I can’t fix that.

So there can be many reasons. And I can confirm that the reason isn’t that we at Oracle are lazy or ignoring customers or platforms.


Where do I find the release dates for an RU or OJVM?

Actually, we communicate this quite straight forward in case of delay. And to be frank, within the past patching cycles often only the version for Linux is available at the patching date (Tuesday closest to the middle of the month in January, April, July and October) while the other bundles get released later.

With every patch cycle we release a so called “Patch Availability Document” (PAD). Unfortunately, the search capabilities in MyOracle Support (MOS) aren’t superb. Or my capabilities for using the correct search terms are limited.

Searching with “patch availability document database PAD January 2023” or “patch availability document PAD January 2023” brought back a lot of interesting results, for instance a PAD from 2019 in the top 10 list. But this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

At least, I found this document: MOS Note: 247.1 – Critical Patch Update for January 2023 Documentation Map. And it had the link I was looking for.

Less funny is the fact that my exact same search terms 15 mins later delivered different results – and they did not include the above MOS note anymore.

I stop listing all of them – but the past three periods should be enough. And you find all of them in MOS Note: 247.1.

The PAD contains a section 2.2 called “Post Release Patches”. And this is the section you need to look at.

A patch (RU, OJVM, 32-bit) is not available yet - where will I find information?

This is what you are looking for since it will list the proposed release date for your bundle.


Let’s have a closer look

The other day somebody asked me about the 19.18.0 OJVM availability for Windows. The Bundle Patch was available already but not the OJVM.

So please click on section 2.2. Post Release Patches in the PAD for Jan 2023 for the Oracle Database. And there you will find:

A patch (RU, OJVM, 32-bit) is not available yet - where will I find information?

Gotcha! The 19.18.0 OJVM for MS Windows is supposed to be released on March 8, 2023. Since I write this blog post on March 7, this will be tomorrow.

Please note that these dates are Pacific Time Zone dates. For Europeans it usually is about 18:00h – 19:00h in CET – and for people in Asia or Australia, it may be already the next day then.


I am looking for 32bit patch bundles

What?? 32-bit?

When I received this question twice the past weeks I had to think hard when I worked the last time on a 32bit operating system. Was it Windows 2000? Or XP? I lost my memory.

But I don’t want to make fun out of this because the case is quite obvious. Care-taking customers and consultants want to patch their Oracle client installations on 32-bit operating systems. And some of don’t use unfortunately the Oracle Instant Client which makes life so much easier.

Hence, you need the 32-bit patch bundle in order to be able to patch the client installation. But the first check usually reveals: There is no such patch available (yet).

But where is it?

Have a look into the PAD again, here for January 2023. In the section where the patches get listed for your release, you will find this tiny table:

A patch (RU, OJVM, 32-bit) is not available yet - where will I find information?

But what does “On Request platforms” mean?

The same document lists the process in section 1.3 On Request Patches:

Oracle does not proactively release patches for historically inactive platforms. However, Oracle will deliver these patches when requested.

The following guidelines describe how to initiate an on-request (OR) patch.

And then the process gets described. It is very simple: You need to file an SR. But please check beforehand whether the patch is available already. In many cases, somebody else will have requested it already since you may not be the first one looking for it.

Details for Patch not found?

One tiny caveat with the PAD but also the Download Assistant is that they all may list patches which aren’t available yet. So you may find a link to a given patch in the PAD, and happily click on it. But it tells you then: Details for patch 12345 not found.

And this is not a dead link. MOS is just not able to tell you that the patch will be available at a given date. Instead, the link exists but directs you to “file not found”.

Terrible, I know. And this is the reason for the entire above exercise unfortunately.


Summary – How to …

You are missing a patch bundle? Then please take the following approach:

  1. Locate the Critical Patch Update (CPU) Program Patch Availability Document for the given quarter in MOS Note: 247.1
  2. Go to section 2.2 called Post Release Patches and check for the patch bundle (RU, OJVM, etc) you are missing
  3. Find the date – and check back again at the stated date (or better a day later depending on your time zone)

For 32-bit software patch bundles, check first whether the one you are searching for is available already. And if it isn’t you need to log an SR and request it.


Further Links and Information


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