Patch Recommendation

Do you need to apply OJVM patches to Grid Infrastructure?

From time to time, when I discuss OJVM patching with customers, I hear the following question: Do you need to apply OJVM patches to Grid Infrastructure? I’m carrying around this topic since months actually.

Do you need to apply OJVM patches to Grid Infrastructure?

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A quick MOS check

Well, you’d assume this is something MOS does give you an answer within fractions of a second. But nope. I found a lot but unfortunately not what I was looking for. What I found instead where community discussions where applying OJVM patches to a 12.1.0.2 GI installation corrupted the inventory. Hence, there seems to be some …

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Do you need STARTUP UPGRADE for OJVM?

Actually I carry around this topic with me since the October 2019 workshop in Dubai. We’ve had one of these OJVM Patching discussions I’d like to escape usually. Anyhow, during this session, it dawned me that the STARTUP UPGRADE requirement in the OJVM readme may be not correct anymore. So the question will be: Do you need STARTUP UPGRADE for OJVM?

Do you need STARTUP UPGRADE for OJVM?

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A little bit of history

You will find a good amount of blog posts about OJVM here. OJVM stands for Oracle Java Virtual Machine. It is a very powerful thing and allows you …

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Patching all my environments with the January 2020 Patch Bundles

I was traveling last week and had not enough time to download and apply the January 2020 Release Updates and PSUs. Yes, I’m one week late. But nevertheless, I’d like to check whether patching my databases with the January 2020 RUs will work fine.

Patching all my environments with the January 2020 Patch Bundles

Wörthsee near Munich in January 2020 – Water temperature is 3.4°C

Security Alert January 2020

My usual approach is to start with the Security Alerts for January 2020. It leads me to the January 2020 Critical Patch Advisory. As I’m a database guy, this is the line I’m interested in: Oracle Database Server, versions 11.2.0.4,

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Save Patching Downtime with Oracle Multitenant?

At OOW 2019 we announced that you can have up to 3 user-created pluggable databases (PDBs) per container database (CDB) without having a Multitenant license. And in this blog post I’d like to demonstrate how you can save patching downtime with Oracle Multitenant.

The Concept

The idea this entire process settles on is very simple. When you create a fresh container database in the target (already patched!) environment, you don’t have to patch this one. You only have to relocate the PDB from the source into the target CDB. In addition, only datapatch needs to be executed. As the …

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Patching all my environments with the Oct 2019 Patch Bundles

Yesterday I blogged about the Oct 2019 Patch Bundles being available for download. And while I wrote this blog post, I downloaded all of them for my environments. Here I’d like to share with you the most simple path to apply them. As I have no cluster or ASM, I don’t have to patch Grid Infrastructure. And I don’t even have OJVM in any of my databases right now. Due to space constraints in my lab environment I will apply the patches in-place. You shouldn’t do this but instead use always a new home you patch. This allows you …

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CPU October 2019 Patch Bundles are available

As of Oct 15, 2019, the CPU October 2019 Patch Bundles are available for download. So let me do the quarterly exercise to download and install all of them into my various environments.

CPU October 2019 Patch Bundles are available

Critical Patch Alert October 2019

At first, I check the Alert and the Risk Matrix whether critical issues with a high risk score are included. I will install the patch bundles anyway, but I’m curious. In my particular case I will take care on the database only. You of course will check for other products you are using, too.

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Oracle Security Alerts for July 2019 got published

It’s patching day. And I’m already downloading the patch bundles for all my installations (11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2, 12.2.0.1, 18c and 19c). The Oracle Security Alerts for July 2019 got published today.

Oracle Security Alerts for July 2019 got published

Patch Advisory and Risk Matrix

You can find the July 2019 Patch Advisory here. I checked the risk matrix for the database. It contains 8 new fixes for the database server. Please pay attention that 3 of the vulnerabilities may be exploitable from a client without an Oracle Database server being installed. The highest score is 9.8.

Please check the risk matrix by yourself:

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Update (RU) 19.3.0 withdrawn and superseded with 19.3.1

Actually I really refused to blog about this for a few weeks now. But as I receive more questions and read more tweets, I think I need to shed some light and help avoiding confusion. And as readmes and MOS notes are not entirely in sync, you may get confused if you don’t read the “correct” document.

Update (RU) 19.3.0 withdrawn and superseded with 19.3.1

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Oracle 19.3.0 Update (RU)

In April, Oracle released the 19.3.0 Release Update (RU) on Linux and Solaris only. As you can read in my blog post from April 25, 2019, this is a patch bundle meant for …

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How to patch all PDBs with the a new time zone file?

Yesterday I wrote about how to adjust the time zone setting in the PDB$SEED as by default the time zone scripts won’t touch the PDB$SEED when you execute them. And in addition, MOS Note:1509653.1 tells you, that the PDB$SEED can’t be adjusted. But this leads to a weird mix of time zone settings across a Multitenant deployment. Which I’d guess is not desired. Following a tweet reply by Marco Mischke I realized: I explained how to patch the PDB$SEED – but I didn’t explain how to patch all PDBs with the a new time zone file?

How to patch all PDBs with the a new time zone file?

Photo by Laureen

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OPatch … oh OPatch … why is datapatch so stubborn?

Well, it is Friday night – and I’d rather should sleep or do something cool people tend to do on Friday night’s. But I try to verify a strange issue with DBMS_OPTIM_BUNDLE and the October 2018 Update for Oracle 12.2.0.1. I’m patching. Can you think of anything better on a Friday night than patching?

OPatch ... oh OPatch ... why is datapatch so stubborn?

Of course I know that I’m not alone. I know at least two customers I work with right now who do some maintenance jobs tonight as well. And I’m struggling with OPatch … oh OPatch … why is datapatch so stubborn?

My test setup

I have …

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Why Release Update Revisions (RUR) are tricky

A while ago we introduced Release Updates (RU) and Release Update Revisions (RUR). And despite the fact that not only we but also well known external experts such as Ludovico Caldara recommend to stay with Release Updates and simply ignore the Revisions, some people use them. There may be reasons for doing so. But in this blog post I will explain why Release Update Revisions (RUR) are tricky.

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Differences between Updates and Revisions?

I tried to explain the differences between Updates and Revisions a while ago – and also compare them to PSUs and …

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July 2018 Update, Revision, BPs, PSUs – delays and other issues

This is a Friday morning blog post. And actually I had no intention to write it. I don’t mean it offensive. But yesterday I received an interesting email from Frits Hoogland from Enkitec/Accenture. Frits asked me about the July RUR and some unlogic things on MOS. Once I had answered his email, the next question came in. Hence, I thought I need to write something about our July 2018 Update, Revision, BPs, PSUs – delays and other issues.
July 2018 Update, Revision, BPs, PSUs - delays and other issues

From being on stage at last year’s DOAG Conference for a “Patching Forum” I know that things aren’t as …

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Patching my databases with the July 2018 PSU, BP and RU

Patching my databases with the July 2018 PSU, BP and RUAs usual I download the patch bundles  and apply them to our Hands-On Lab environment as quickly as possible. First of all for the simple reason that I don’t want to trap into issues which are fixed already. Second for the reason that I always tell you: YOU MUST PATCH! But if I’m saying this over and over again, then I can’t have my own environments unpatched. And at third, because I want to learn if anything is not working correctly or has changed (see below).

Of course my tiny single instance environments are not comparable to your critical production …

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July 2018 Update, Revision, BP and PSU

Hurray, it’s patching day! I know, YOU did look forward to July 17, 2018 as it is patching day again. Last night we released the following Patches: July 2018 Update, Revision, BP and PSU.

July 2018 Update, Revision, BP and PSU

First of all, I’m doing the usual check for the alert and the risk matrix to see whether there’s are really important security patches included. For the risk matrix you’ll have to scrooooooooooolllll down quite a bit as the list of products is strictly alphabetically ordered:

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Data Pump 12.1.0.2 – Wrong Dump File Version – ORA-39142

Data Pump 12.1.0.2 - Wrong Dump File Version - ORA-39142Again I’ll have to thank my colleague Roland Gräff from the German ACS Support team in Stuttgart for bringing this into our radar. Roland alerted me a week ago about an issue with exports in Oracle 12.1.0.2 only when you are on a certain patch level. I summarize the issue here under Data Pump 12.1.0.2 – Wrong Dump File Version – ORA-39142.

In the below blog post you will learn about the actual issue, where it happens and when, and of course how to workaround it.

When does it happen?

The issue I will describe below happens only with

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Special characters show junk in CLOB columns after upgrade to Oracle 12.2.0.1 with JDBC

Special characters show junk in CLOB columns after upgrade to Oracle 12.2.0.1 with JDBCThanks to my support colleague Roland Graeff who told me about this issue at a customer today. And I consider this a pretty serious issue. It can happen that Special characters show junk in CLOB columns after upgrade to Oracle 12.2.0.1. with JDBC.

This is as bad as it sounds. Roland told me about a case where the application showed weird characters instead of German umlauts (ä, ö, ü, Ä, Ö, Ü) after an upgrade from Oracle Database 12.1.0.2 to 12.2.0.1.

Special characters show junk in CLOB columns after upgrade to Oracle 12.2.0.1 with JDBC

Roland explained to me that …

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Patching Oracle Database 18.1.0 to 18.2.0 on premises

In this part of my blog post series about upgrading from Oracle 12.2.0.1 to Oracle 18c I’d like to demonstrate patching Oracle Database 18.1.0 to 18.2.0 on premises.Patching Oracle Database 18.1.0 to 18.2.0 on premises

A while ago I showed also how to patch from Oracle 18.1.0 to 18.2.0 in the Oracle Cloud.

Find the related blog posts here:

Patching Oracle Database 18.1.0 to 18.2.0 on premises

Before I can start patching to the Release Update Oracle 18.2.0 I need to download the patch …

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ORAWORLD Mag: Oracle Database Patching – Tips & Tricks

Thanks to DOAG and the ORAWORLD Magazine, my article is released in the current September 2018 ORAWORLD Mag: Oracle Database Patching – Tips & Tricks

ORAWORLD Mag: Oracle Database Patching - Tips & Tricks

ORAWORLD Mag: Oracle Database Patching – Tips & Tricks

You’ll find my article about Database Patching – Tips & Tricks on page 28ff in the September 2018 issue if the ORAWORLD magazine. Please download it from here.

And of course, you will find other issues on the website of the ORAWORLD Magazine:

Further Information

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Why should you use the most recent version of OPatch?

Why should you use the most recent version of OPatch?Opatch. A tool nobody really loves but everybody has to use (at least those of you who patch or aren’t in our cloud deployment). Opatch gets distributed via MOS. And you often can apply patches with an older version of OPatch. So why should you use the most recent version of OPatch?

Why should you use the most recent version of OPatch?

First of all, you have a base installation of Opatch in your $ORACLE_HOMEs:

[CDB2] oracle@localhost:/u01/app/oracle/product/12.2.0.1
$ ls OPatch
auto           jlib        opatchauto.cmd  operr.bat         scripts
config         jre         opatch.bat      operr_readme.txt  version.txt
datapatch      modules     opatch_env.sh   oplan
datapatch.bat  ocm         opatch.pl       oracle_common
docs           
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When you patch, please use UPDATES – and not REVISIONS

I can just repeat what I’m saying not for almost a year: When you patch, please use UPDATES – and not REVISIONS. Updates (or Release Updates – short: RU) and Revisions (or Release Update Revisions – short: RUR) are patch bundles for the Oracle Database since Oracle 12.2.0.1. There are no PSUs (Patch Set Updates) anymore. And Revisions are not the same as PSUs.

When you patch, please use UPDATES – and not REVISIONS

One of the reasons why we recommend Updates, and not Revisions, simply is: Updates keep you more current whereas Revisions will let you miss a lot …

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Patching to Oracle 18.2.0 in the Oracle Cloud (OCI Classic)

Patching to Oracle 18.2.0 in the Oracle Cloud (OCI Classic)I was quite surprised when I spotted the Update (RU) Oracle 18.2.0 mid of April in my OCI Classic (DBCS, DBaaS) account. Of course I was thrilled immediately and started the patching to Oracle 18.2.0 in the Oracle Cloud (OCI Classic).

Patching to Oracle 18.2.0 in the Oracle Cloud (OCI Classic)

The April 2018 Updates (and Bundle Patches and Patch Set Updates for Oracle releases below 12.2) got released on April 17, 2018. You can read more here on how I applied all of them to my Oracle 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2 and 12.2.0.1 databases. But I was positively surprised when …

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Patching my databases with the April 2018 PSU, BP and RU

Patching is fun, isn’t it? And you may have heard already that the April 2018 patch bundles got released on April 17, 2018. And I thought I share a little bit of fun with you with a quick guide to patching my databases with the April 2018 PSU, BP and RU. For this exercise I use our Hands-On Lab with Oracle 11.2.0.4, Oracle 12.1.0.2 and Oracle 12.2.0.1 installed.

Prerequisites for patching my databases with the April 2018 PSU, BP and RU

First of all, in my VBox environment, I shutdown the databases for each release before patching them – …

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Do you have to execute “datapatch” when you create a new database?

Do you have to execute "datapatch" when you create a new database?Thanks to Connor McDonald (Mr. AskTom) I learned today that one topic is not clear from our patches readmes: Do you have to execute “datapatch” when you create a new database? And it’s true. It does not get explained in the readme anywhere.

Do you have to execute “datapatch” when you create a new database?

If you never applied an Oracle patch bundles you may ask now: What is “datapatch” doing. And the answer is very simple. When you apply a patch bundle usually the patch does not include only binary files but also …

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Databases need to be patched to a minimum before April 2019

CORRECTION: After I published this blog post saying “April 2019” my fellow support colleagues changed the alert to “June 2019”. Just saying … the topic itself is still the same.

Simon Pane from Pythian talked to me at OUGN (Oracle User Group Norway) Conference about a recently released alert in MyOracle Support saying “Databases need to be patched to a minimum before June 2019“. He was curious if I know more details. I did some investigation but shortly afterward the MOS Note got updated as well. So here’s a quick summary of things you should be aware of …

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