Patching the database

In DBA, Oracle database on May 5, 2011 at 05:27

Oracle have already announced the following important changes to Oracle Database Patch Sets: “Starting with the first patch set for Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (, 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.” Details can be found on Metalink Note 1189783.1.

That is good and fine unless we are not being bombarded with dozens of additional patches on top of these installations. It’s another story if is really a patchset of 11gR2 or is it rather 11gR3.

As of yesterday, May 4th 2011, there are 324 different patches available for Linux x86-64 on top of For Solaris SPARC 64-bit, they are only 214.

Looking at the bugs fixes you might have mixed feelings: while we are all used to seeing fixes for the never ending ORA-00600 and ORA-07445 errors, I really cannot understand how we still face issues with wrongly returned data. That should be so basis requirement from a database, right?

10190421 Possible wrong results in query using connect by clause with parrallelism
10353054 Wrong result due to loss of semi joins

Looking at the readme files those “wrongly returned data” errors might even be seen coming sequentially 🙂

As DBAs, when reading emails for example, we all probably have this mild smile on our faces when seeing words like “data base” and “table space”. Well, probably not a database guy who writes them? Or DB2 background. But how about when you find them in Oracle’s documents:

By the way, did you notice the typo above, the word parrallelism? How about using a spell checker? Here is a screenshot from the readme:

Another issue I am amazed with: if a junior developer does not handle his/her exceptions in the PL/SQL code, (s)he might be excused: (s)he is learning, we all make mistakes. So does Oracle:

And now back to the real issue: you install and wonder if you have the latest release of Oracle. Well, yes but minus the patches that were created by “the bug department”. Of course you don’t want to install 100s of additional patches. Here is what Oracle recommends:

Just install patch 12311357 which is GI PSU as it includes PSU which on its behalf includes CPUAPR2011. If using RAC and ASM add 10157506 ( RAC GI BUNDLE1) and the recommended bundle patches up to BP10 (BP10 is patch 12773458, the patch must be applied on the Oracle home of Oracle Database as well as Oracle Grid Infrastructure). For second opinion on this click here.

Important for Siebel users: if you run Siebel on top of Oracle RAC, check Metalink Note 1297080.1 Certification Siebel Applications With 11gr2 Rac [ID 1297080.1]. It says at the end: “It was also clarified by product marketing that basically oracle database version is the base version that is supported and implies that any or higher version is included”. That is: put all patches mentioned above also for Siebel applications!

Looks like database bug fixes are released rather frequently, the day before yesterday 3 new fixes came for the Linux platform:

Hint: try opatch auto!

  1. Hi Julian,

    We missed you at the BGOUG and hope to see you next time.

    By the way you will be interested in the following MOS ID for a bug already fixed in BP2 for a possible data corruption:
    ORA-600 or Data Corruption possible during shutdown normal/transactional/immediate of RAC instances in a rolling fashion [ID 1318986.1]


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