Important Changes to Oracle Database Patch Sets Starting With 18.104.22.168
What has changed?
Packaging: Starting with the first patch set for Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (22.214.171.124), Oracle Database patch sets are full installations of the Oracle Database software. In past releases, Oracle Database patch sets consisted of a set of files that replaced files in an existing Oracle home. Beginning with Oracle Database 11g Release 2, patch sets are full installations that replace existing installations.
Because Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and later patch sets are a full installation, Oracle patch sets are now released as several installation bundles, just as are the base releases:
Oracle Database Server
Oracle Grid Infrastructure
Oracle Database Client
Simplified new installation: Because the release 126.96.36.199 patch set is a full installation package, if you are installing Oracle Database on a system without an existing Oracle Database installation, then you can simply install the release 188.8.131.52 patch set. You are no longer required to install the base release, and then apply the patch set.
Upgrade process: Beginning with the release 184.108.40.206 patch set, you have two ways to apply a patch set:
Out-of-place upgrade – This is Oracle’s recommended way to apply a patch set. You install the patch set into a new, separate Oracle home location. After you install the patch upgrade, you then migrate the Oracle Database from the older Oracle home. The patch set upgrade is now the same process to upgrade from one version to another. Oracle recommends that you perform an out-of-place patch set upgrade, because this patch set application option requires much less downtime, and is safer because it does not require patching an ORACLE_HOME that is already being used in production. However, you must ensure that you have sufficient free disk space to accommodate two Oracle home directories at the same time.
In-place upgrade – You install the patch set into an existing Oracle home location. Oracle recommends that you select this option only if you do not have sufficient free disk space to perform an out-of-place upgrade, as the upgrade removes the existing Oracle installation. This patch option requires less disk space, but requires more time, and is riskier, because if you encounter an installation failure, then you must recover the entire existing Oracle home from a backup. If you choose this more risky option, then before you begin the patch installation, complete the following tasks:
Make a complete backup of your existing Oracle home
Read through the entire Upgrade Guide section dealing with in-place upgrades
Note: All Oracle Grid Infrastructure patch set upgrades must be out-of-place upgrades, in which you install the patch set into a new Grid home. In-place patch set upgrades are not supported.
Direct upgrade from previous releases: You can upgrade from a previous Oracle Database release directly to the latest patch set, without having to install the base release. For example, if you want to upgrade from Oracle Database 10g Release 2, or Oracle Database 11g Release 1, then you can upgrade directly to Oracle Database 11g Release 2, patch set 2 (220.127.116.11) using an out-of-place upgrade. Oracle now supports direct upgrades to the release 18.104.22.168 patch set from any release where direct upgrade to the base release (22.214.171.124) is supported, as well as direct upgrades from 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52.