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What Is Oracle Database Patching?


What Is Oracle Database Patching?

Oracle Database Patching Essentials: OPatch

Contact SoftArt Solutions today to stay up to date with Oracle Database updates. We use OPatch Utility and other tools to apply the patches needed.

Maintaining patch compliance helps ensure performance and security in your Oracle system. Most companies experience some sort of database sprawl, which requires a number of patches every time an update is released. This makes the patching process manual and time-consuming. SoftArt Solutions offers efficient maintenance for your databases and proactively suggests ways to organize your data for maximum efficiency.

Keeping your databases compliant includes understanding current patch levels, testing and updating the servers and tracking needed security and enhancement patches. This often turns into a full-time job that bogs down internal resources. Let us solve this problem for you.

What Is OPatch?

OPatch is a utility that facilitates the application of patch impacting Oracle’s software; it also can roll back interim patches if there’s an issue. This Java-based utility works in conjunction with OPatchauto, which produces patching instructions for your configuration and then runs OPatch to automate the patching process.

Use OPatchAuto to:

  1. Check the system prior to pre-patch checks.
  2. Apply the latest patch.
  3. Start and stop servers as needed.
  4. Complete post-patch checks.
  5. Rollback patches if there’s a problem.

What Are the Oracle Patch Types?

Here are the various types of Oracle patches:

  • Patchset – This is a large patch that represents the 4th number in your full version. SoftArt Solutions consultants install this using the Universal Installer.
  • One-off Patch – These patches fix a specific bug using OPpatch, available in Oracle Home.
  • SPU (Security Patch Update) or CPU (Critical Patch Update) – This quarterly release has essential security fixes. You can use OPatch for CPU/SPU updates.
  • UNIX/Linux Patch Set Update or Windows Patch Bundle – These one-off patches simplify the patching process. It’s used as the last number in the latest full version name and our consultants use OPatch to install it. Since they are cumulative, the latest PSU or PB patch has all the updates to date.

What About Behavior Changes Following Patches?

Sometimes, behavior changes occur following patches and upgrades. It impacts your data in the following ways:

  • Patchsets can be risky. They don’t usually have new features but may introduce bugs. Also, behavior changes in the optimizer and other components can create downtime and other problems.
  • Other patches (One-off, PSU, PB, CPU) shouldn’t influence database behavior and can be performed by OPatch with few issues. When SoftArt Solutions consultants work with our Oracle ERP and Oracle Database clients, we install the necessary patches with discretion and based on the particular needs of your environment.

We carefully research the included fixes and enhancements for the benefit versus risk of installing the latest patches.

What Are Individual Oracle Grid Patches?

Using the OPatch Utility, you can also download Oracle ASM, or one-off, patches to the Oracle Grid Infrastructure.

Individual patches are referred to as one-offs. They’re available for each Oracle ASM release. SoftArt Solutions downloads patches as needed through the OPatch Utility. OPatch tracks your patches with your current Oracle ASM version. Before installing new patches, OPatch Utility checks for conflicts and sends you notifications and warnings, if applicable.

Contact SoftArt Solutions today to stay up to date with Oracle Database updates. We use OPatch Utility and other tools to apply the patches needed.

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