Patching all my environments with the April 2020 Patch Bundles

My quarterly routine happens when the new security alerts get published. And it is time again. I’ll show you as usual how Patching all my environments with the April 2020 Patch Bundles works.

Patching all my environments with the April 2020 Patch Bundles

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Security Alert April 2020

Let’s start with the Security Alerts for April 2020. It leads me to the April 2020 Critical Patch Advisory. I’m a database guy, so I’m interested in: Oracle Database Server, versions 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2, 12.2.0.1, 18c, 19c. And this link brings me directly to the Risk Matrix for the database products.

You will spot three …

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Upgrade: What if your time zone in source is newer than in target?

Sometimes there is just a simple question at the beginning. Like Daniel and I discussed this morning. Does AutoUpgrade check if the time zone file in source is higher than in target? While we discussed this, I downloaded the patches already to try it out. And in addition, I could double-check whether the time zone patches for 19c are now RU-independent finally. But the question remains for Upgrade: What if your time zone in source is newer than in target?

Upgrade: What if your time zone in source is newer than in target?

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My intention wasn’t initially to write a longer blog post. But read below …

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Troubleshooting, Restoring and Restarting AutoUpgrade

What if … something goes wrong during your database upgrade with AutoUpgrade? Of course, this never happens. But just in case, no worries – one of the really big advantages of AutoUpgrade (and the command line upgrade with “dbupgrade” as well) is its resumability and restartablity. But in this blog post I would like to cover a bit more. I will show you more details on Troubleshooting, Restoring and Restarting AutoUpgrade.

Troubleshooting, Restoring and Restarting AutoUpgrade

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And as often, the cause for this blog post is an email from Hervé Schweitzer, the CTO of dbi-services. Hervé told …

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Oracle Database Upgrade – Quick Start Guide available

If you don’t deal with databases upgrades every day but just want to see a short and good overview about how to do a successful database upgrade, then this is for you. A few days ago we’ve made the Oracle Database Upgrade – Quick Start Guide available for download.

Oracle Database Upgrade - Quick Start Guide available

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Why a Quick Start Guide?

If database upgrades are your daily topic, you won’t need our quick start guide. But if you need a short overview about the right steps to approach an upgrade, this guide is for you. Thanks to my PM colleague,

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AutoUpgrade – New Version with RAC Database Upgrade Support

Thanks to all our customers who participated in our evaluation test for RAC upgrade support with the AutoUpgrade Tool. And my colleagues worked hard to deliver the new version as quickly as possible. Just to make sure: This is not an April’s fools blog post. Since 2 days, you can download AutoUpgrade – New Version with RAC Database Upgrade Support.

AutoUpgrade - New Version with RAC Database Upgrade Support

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Where to download it?

As usual, you can download the newest version – in this case 19.8 aka 20200327 from MOS Note: 2485457.1:

You simply copy the new version into your 19c (or …

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OJVM and the Mitigation Patch – Things to know in 2020

Today my headline sounds a bit like “Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf” – but there is a reason why I’d like to write about about OJVM and the Mitigation Patch – Things to know in 2020. We are working with a customer right now where preupgrade.jar gave a warning about the existence of the Mitigation patch in an 11.2.0.4 home – despite the fact that JAVAVM is not configured in this database. And this looked strange to us.

OJVM and the Mitigation Patch - Things to know

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Mitigation Patch?

A quick search on my blog shows me that …

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AutoUpgrade and the COMPATIBLE parameter

Several times I’ve got asked by customers if AutoUpgrade does change the COMPATIBLE parameter. So let me explain what happens to COMPATIBLE when you upgrade. And give you also some hints about AutoUpgrade and the COMPATIBLE parameter.

AutoUpgrade and the COMPATIBLE parameter

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Does AutoUpgrade change COMPATIBLE?

No. Clearly, AutoUpgrade does not change the COMPATIBLE parameter for several reasons. At first, we recommend to not change the COMPATIBLE parameter right after the upgrade if you can afford another downtime soon after. By keeping COMPATIBLE on the previous (before upgrade) value, you have the choice to revert back to the previous …

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How long will my database upgrade take? Revisited …

I received this question twice within a few days. And I remember that a tiny little while ago I wrote something on the blog about it. But as this “while” is 11 years ago, I came to conclusion to refresh this topic – and write something about How long will my database upgrade take? Revisited …

How long will my database upgrade take? Revisited ...

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Is there a query?

At first, before I go into details, an important fact upfront: There is neither any query nor any tool giving you a rough estimate or precise figure of how long your upgrade will

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COVID-19 – Corona Virus – Event Cancellations for March/April 2020

As you all can read from the press or see on TV or your preferred internet news page (not Facebook!!!), things here in Europe and I guess in the rest of the world change rapidly. In January we may have looked with interest or fear towards China and kept our fingers crossed, but since early February it is clear that the virus couldn’t be contained. In the last days a lot of countries in Europe have done things my Dad yesterday told me “never has happened in the 73 years of my life”. As of this morning, Germany closed its …

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Upgrade Testing – Online Clone a PDB to 19c

In the past I wrote some articles about cloning PDBs to new environments. And I added a post about RELOCATE as well. But I realized that I have no specific blog post about a very typical scenario: Upgrade Testing – Online Clone a PDB to 19c.

Upgrade Testing - Online Clone a PDB to Oracle 19c

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My Setup

I have an Oracle 12.2.0.1 CDB with a PDB, and another Oracle 19.6.0 CDB. I will hot clone the PDB from 12.2.0.1 to the higher version CDB, and then upgrade the PDB.

Upgrade Testing - Online Clone a PDB to Oracle 19c

The motivation to do it this way is to allow testing for the application …

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ORA-1403 during TEXT / CONTEXT post upgrade

When you see an ORA-1403 during TEXT / CONTEXT post upgrade phase, regardless of using AutoUpgrade, dbupgrade, catctl or DBUA, no worries. Two people reported this to me this week. And my dear support colleague Klaus Herndl told me about the existing MOS note. But there is a bit more to explain, especially as the bug is non-public and the MOS note doesn’t tell you when this can happen.

ORA-1403 during TEXT / CONTEXT post upgrade

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What happens?

This is the error pattern you may see during the post upgrade phase when Oracle Text is installed in your database:

Oracle Database 
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To which release should you upgrade to? Revisited …

I’ve had so many discussions with customers and partners, and also with colleagues in the past weeks and months about the support time frames for Oracle Database 12.2. Now I checked the blog, and I found so many posts about support periods. And I wrote a similar blog post already 1.5 years ago. I think it’s time to summarize all that. And give you some guidance as well about to which release should you upgrade to? Revisited …

To which release should you upgrade to? Revisited ...

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Overview

Basically there are 2 sources to learn about Support time frames for the database release:…

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Issues with seed databases, patch bundles and OJVM in 19c

I really rely on people telling me about issues they saw. And in this case, it happened twice within a few days. At OOW London, a customer came after my talk and told me about invalid objects and an incredible long recompilation time. In fact, he had to apply an OJVM patch in order to solve this. When I returned home, Jure commented on the blog about a very similar issue. I spent some time on the weekend to check it out. And I realized: There are issues with prebuilt seed databases and OJVM in 19c.

Issues with seed databases, patch bundles and OJVM in 19c

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Oracle Database 20c – The first CDB-only release

Do you remember? At OOW 2019 in San Francisco, we announced that Oracle Database 20c will be the first CDB-only database release. But at this time we didn’t present this in written form. We told you, once the Oracle Database 20c documentation is available, you will see it. Oracle Database 20c – The first CDB-only release.

Oracle Database 20c - The first CDB-only release

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Oracle 20c is the first CDB-only release

Typically you will find deprecation and desupport notes in the Database Upgrade Guide. And there you will see also this note:

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Oracle Database 20c – Documentation and Cloud availability

Yesterday at OOW London, my dear colleague from Oracle Italy, Roberto Zampese told me that our EVP Juan Loiza has announced the availability of Oracle 20c within days. And this morning, Daniel told me that it you can provision 20c instances in our OCI Cloud already. In addition, the documentation is available already, too.

Oracle Database 20c – Documentation and Cloud availability

First of all, find the Oracle Database 20c documentation here:

And as usual, the first thing I usually do, is browsing through the New Features Guide.

Oracle Database 20c - Documentation and Cloud availability

There are a lot of interesting new things in Oracle …

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Is Oracle Fail Safe 4.2.1 certified with Oracle Database 19c?

From time to time I get questions regarding the certification of Oracle Fail Safe. And just the other day, a customer asked: Is Oracle Fail Safe 4.2.1 certified with Oracle Database 19c? I briefly browsed my blog posts about Oracle Fail Safe from the past, and even though I mentioned that the certification for 4.2.1 on Oracle 12.2.0.1 may apply to later versions, I never updated it.

Is Oracle Fail Safe 4.2.1 certified with Oracle Database 19c?

Is Oracle Fail Safe 4.2.1 certified with Oracle Database 19c?

Yes, it is. But you may want to know where you can read and find this information.

The latest version of Oracle Fail …

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APEX is invalid after upgrading to 12.2 – ORA-20001

We are running the AutoUpgrade-for-RAC beta test since last week. And the first issue one customer encountered … is neither an AutoUpgrade nor a RAC issue. It has to do with APEX and SPATIAL, and missing grants. APEX is invalid after upgrading to 12.2 – ORA-20001

APEX is invalid after upgrading to 12.2 - ORA-20001

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What is happening?

You are doing an upgrade to Oracle Database 12.2.0.1. And you receive a number of errors during the component validation phase.

19:04:14 SQL> EXECUTE dbms_registry_sys.validate_components;
...(19:04:15) Starting validate_apex for APEX_180100
ORA-20001: MISSING GRANT: grant execute on "MDSYS"."SDO_DIM_ARRAY" to APEX_180100
ORA-20001: MISSING GRANT: grant execute on 
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Be aware when you use _ORACLE_SCRIPT in scripts

Recently I came across this when I gave a Multitenant workshop at a German customer. As part of the workshop I explained the _ORACLE_SCRIPT statements you will find in almost all scripts in ?/rdbms/admin. And one of the DBAs gave me a bright smile. He mentioned: “We use it already everywhere to avoid strange errors”. But be aware when you use _ORACLE_SCRIPT in scripts. I will explain, why this can be dangerous.

Be aware when you use _ORACLE_SCRIPT in scripts

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What does _ORACLE_SCRIPT do?

First of all, this is an underscore parameter. Hence, you won’t find it in the Oracle …

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Oracle Multitenant: Be aware of the silent COMPATIBLE change

This topic is included in our Multitenant slides for a long time. But whenever I want to point somebody to the blog post, I realize that it’s not on the blog yet. Actually I discussed this topic recently during a customer visit again. It’s time to put it on the blog. When you use Oracle Multitenant: Be aware of the silent COMPATIBLE change.

Oracle Multitenant: Be aware of the silent COMPATIBLE change

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Mixed version environments

When you work with Oracle Multitenant, the sooner or later you will have mixed version environments. This may be CDBs with Oracle 12.1.0.2 or Oracle 12.2.0.1 together with …

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The new Oracle 19c Hands-On Lab is available now for download

Wow, this took a long while. Thanks to my team mate, Data Pump Product Manager Bill Beauregard who went through the complex approval process, the new Oracle 19c Hands-On Lab is available now for download. And in addition, I adjusted the instructions on the blog as well.

The new Oracle 19c Hands-On Lab is available now for download

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What you’ll get …

At first, the download is huge. All together, you will download 13 files summing up to 25GB. When you unzip it, you will get an OVA file. Then you will need to import this appliance into Oracle VirtualBox. The lab will …

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OOW London 2020 – Upgrade Talk and more

Since last year we organize regional Oracle Open World conferences. Not as big as the one in San Francisco (or in Las Vegas this and the following years), but still an exciting event. And for me, it will be the first time in a week to attend and speak at OOW London. Let me give you a very quick overview on our OOW London 2020 – Upgrade Talk and more.

OOW London 2020 - Upgrade Talk and more

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Upgrade Best Practices – Thursday, Feb 13 – 13:50-14:25h – Arena B – Zone 2

No idea who has cut down the tech …

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Do you need to license Java for AutoUpgrade?

Actually this question came up internally. I did have no doubt that you don’t have to license Java in order to use AutoUpgrade. But a colleague had such doubts. So let’s clarify: Do you need to license Java for AutoUpgrade?

Do you need to license Java for AutoUpgrade?

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Or phrased in a different way: “Since Java 8 requires a Java subscription now. Does autoupgrade come with a license?

Do you?

Of course, No!

But where do the doubts come from? Actually this link here does not list the “Oracle Database” as a product. But there is this MOS Note

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Upgrade PDBs with RELOCATE – How does it work?

Today Roy and I received a question from a colleague about the RELOCATE feature in Multitenant. And I’d like to shed some light and this topic a bit more. Upgrade PDBs with RELOCATE – How does it work?

Upgrade PDBs with RELOCATE - How does it work?

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RELOCATE and UPGRADE?

At first, it looks very promising to me. RELOCATE uses the HOT CLONE functionality of Multitenant but then relocates the PDB from one to another CDB. You need to fulfill a few important requirements, for instance:

  • Local Undo must be enabled in both CDBs
    • This limits the technique to at least Oracle
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Can you have more than 1 PDB with Standard Edition 2 (SE2)?

When we announced the 3-PDB-Support with Oracle Database 19c onward at OpenWorld 2019, I was very excited. According to the license documentation, this applies to Standard Edition 2 (SE2) as well. But does it work? Can you have more than 1 PDB with Standard Edition 2 (SE2)?

Can you have more than 1 PDB with Standard Edition 2 (SE2)?

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The license documentation is pretty clear about 3 user-created PDBs:

Check with Oracle Database 19.5.0 SE2

It’s been a while since I installed SE2 instead of EE. But everything goes smoothly. You just need to select “Standard Edition 2” in the OUI. The image you …

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Do we offer patched Gold Images already?

Internally we can use a Gold Image service at Oracle. I can download a zip with 19.6.0 included. But externally for you as customers, the download of 19.6.0 required that you download 19.3.0 at first, then apply 19.6.0 on top of it. But a day ago, a tweet by my Belgium friend Philippe Fierens caught my attention. Do we offer patched Gold Images already?

Do we offer patched Gold Images already?

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What is a Gold Image?

Since Oracle 18c, the installation routine has changed to the better. You download zip file containing the Gold Image, you create a directory and

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