What Patch to Apply? PSU ? GI PSU ? Proactive Bundle Patch?

For those who unfamiliar with Oracle Patch is little confusing what patch to apply when get  a table with different patch in the same version.

patch

I will try clarify some doubts.

Note: You must provide a valid My Oracle Support login name in order to access below Links.

Patch version numbering changed

In November 2015 the version numbering for new Bundle Patches, Patch Set Updates and Security Patch Updates for Oracle Database changed the format from  5th digit of the bundle version with a release date in the form “YYMMDD” where:

  • YY is the last 2 digits of the year
  • MM is the numeric month (2 digits)
  • DD is the numeric day of the month (2 digits)

More detail can be found here: Oracle Database, Enterprise Manager and Middleware – Change to Patch Numbering from Nov 2015 onwards (Doc ID 2061926.1)

 

Changes on Database Security Patching from 12.1.0.1 onwards

Starting with Oracle Database version 12.1.0.1 , Oracle will only provide Patch Set Update (PSU) patches to meet the Critical Patch Update (CPU) program requirements for security patching. SPU (Security Patch Update) patches will no longer be available. Oracle has moved to this simplified model due to the popularity of the PSU patches. PSUs are Oracle’s preferred proactive patching vehicle since their inception in 2009.

Database Security Patching from 12.1.0.1 onwards (Doc ID 1581950.1)

 

Where to find last Patches for Database?

Use the Patch Assistant: Assistant: Download Reference for Oracle Database PSU, SPU(CPU), Bundle Patches, Patchsets and Base Releases (Doc ID 2118136.2)

 

What Patch to apply PSU, GI PSU,Proactive Bundle Patch, Bundle Patch (Windows 32bit & 64bit)?

When using the Patchset Assistant the assistant show below table:
In this case I search for last patch for 12.1.0.2.

PSU_Bundle_Patch

Understanding the Patch Nomenclature :
New Patch Nomenclature for Oracle Products (Doc ID 1430923.1)

Note: As of April 2016, the Database Patch for Engineered Systems and Database In-Memory has been renamed from “Bundle Patch (BP) ” to “Database Proactive Bundle Patch”.

Note: Windows Platform must use “Bundle Patch (Windows 32bit & 6bit)”.

Database patch content:

  • SPU contains only the CPU program security fixes
  • PSU contains the CPU program security fixes and additional high-impact/low-risk critical bug fixes
  • Proactive Bundle Patch (PBP) includes all PSU fixes along with fixes targeted at the specific Bundle Patch environment.

They are cumulatives,so  if you have a OH (12.1.0.2) in base release (i.e no fix)  and apply the last PSU or PBP it will fix all bugs from base release until current version of patch.

Where to apply each Patch?

  • PSU –  Can be applied on Database Servers, Client-Only and  Instant Client.
  • GI PSU – Can be applied on GI Home (Oracle Restart or Oracle Clusterware) in conjunction with RAC, RACOne,  Single Instance home, Client-Only and  Instant Client.
  • Proactive Bundle Patch – Can be applied on GI Home in conjunction with RAC, RACOne, or Single Instance home, Client-Only and  Instant Client.

 

An installation can only use one of the SPU, PSU or Proactive Bundle Patch patching methods.

 

How to choose between them?

The “Database Proactive Bundle Patch” requires a bit more testing than a Patch Set Update (PSU) as it delivers a larger set of fixes.

If you are installing a new fresh installation you should to apply Database Proactive Bundle Patch.

PSU is addressed to environments sensitive to changes, because it required less testing.

I have Applied “Database PSU” how to move to “Database Proactive Bundle Patch”? 

Moving from “Database PSU” to “Database Proactive Bundle Patch”

  • Back up your current setup
  • Fully rollback / deinstall “Database PSU”
    • If using OJVM PSU that is likely to require OJVM PSU to be rolled out too
  • Apply / install the latest “Database Proactive Bundle Patch”
  • Apply any interim patches also rolled out above (including OJVM PSU if that was installed)

Note from Oracle: It is not generally advisable to switch from “Database PSU” to “Database SPU” method.

The below note can clarify any doubt on this post.
Oracle Database – Overview of Database Patch Delivery Methods (Doc ID 1962125.1)

 

OPLAN Support

GI PSU and Proactive Bundle Patch are supported by OPlan.

OPlan is a utility that facilitates the patch installation process by providing you with step-by-step patching instructions specific to your environment.
In contrast to the traditional patching operation, applying a patch based on the README requires you to understand the target configuration and manually identify the patching commands relevant to your environment. OPlan eliminates the requirement of identifying the patching commands by automatically collecting the configuration information for the target, then generating instructions specific to the target configuration.

Oracle Software Patching with OPLAN (Doc ID 1306814.1)

Useful Notes:

Quick Reference to Patch Numbers for Database PSU, SPU(CPU), Bundle Patches and Patchsets (Doc ID 1454618.1)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Patching Oracle Database Server (Doc ID 1446582.1)

12.1.0.2 Database Proactive Bundle Patches / Bundle Patches for Engineered Systems and DB In-Memory – List of Fixes in each Bundle (Doc ID 1937782.1)