Self-Contained Oracle Patchsets: Finally!

Sep 18, 2010 / By Marc Fielding

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The 5 hour flight to San Francisco for OpenWorld is a good chance to catch up on some blogging I’ve been meaning to do. Now if only Air Canada would get some in-flight Internet (they ran a trial last year an shut it down without comment in April)

With the release of the 11.2.0.2 patchset, Oracle has stopped releasing sets of individual patches, but instead is packaging it as a self-contained, complete software install. I can see many benefits to this method, and quite frankly am wondering why it took so long to come about:

  • Patchsets have come to rival the size of the base software install anyway
  • A full software install should be faster to copy over rather than modifying an existing ORACLE_HOME
  • Doing a full software install ensures the integrity of the entire ORACLE_HOME
  • The new install method makes it much easier to maintain separate ORACLE_HOMEs for each patchset release (which I recommend for quick backout in case of problems with the new patchset)
  • New installs at patchset levels like 11.2.0.2 will be close to twice as fast because it eliminates the need to install the base version at all

For those of you downloading the patchset, note that the core database is only in parts 1 and 2. So only download the parts you need. (Hat tip to Surachart)

Details on the new patchset delivery mechanism are available from My Oracle Support.

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