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What Are Oracle Patches?

Oracle delivers patches for various versions of its products on quarterly basis. Oracle calls these patches as "A Critical Patch Update" and is a collection of patches for multiple security vulnerabilities. Along with other products from Oracle it also includes Databases. As far as database products are concerned Oracle provides patches for these database versions: 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2, 12.2.0.1, 18.1 and 18.2

 

When Does Oracle Deliver These Patches?

Oracle delivers these patches on third Tuesday of January, April, July and October (i.e. quarterly basis). Sometimes some of the patches are delayed by Oracle and their respective ETAs are available on Oracle website.

 

Why Patches Are Needed?

Oracle highly recommends to apply these patches to respective version of database in order to keep the applications secure from all the vulnerabilities.

 

How BMC Database Automation (BDA) helps simplify Patching?

BMC Database Automation is a comprehensive software solution that improves the efficiency of administering the complete database life cycle, including the automation of recurring operational tasks such as provisioning, patching, and configuration management.

BDA currently provides support to database versions: 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2, 12.2.0.1

 

Does BDA Provide Patching Functionality?

Under the feature Patch Management, BDA identifies systems that require patching, analyses patching dependencies, and monitors them to ensure that patches, CPUs, and hotfixes are correctly installed and tracked. BDA makes use of Oracle Patch Wrappers for the same.

 

What Are Patch Wrappers?

While using BDA for database-patching, BDA engine makes use of wrappers which are created on top of Oracle delivered patches. BDA calls these wrappers as "Patch Wrappers". BDA releases Patch wrappers at a certain release schedules immediately after Oracle makes them available on its website. Each Patch wrappers is verified for all the possible database types such as single instance database, RAC databases that too on different environments like Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX etc. THis verification takes place on all the supported versions of BDA.

 

Most Frequently Used BDA Patch Wrappers:

I have mentioned some of the patches that Oracle delivers and are demanded frequently by our customers:

 

For Oracle Database 11.2.0.4: SPU, PSU, OJVM, GIPSU, PSU+OJVM

For Oracle Database 12.1.0.2: PSU, OJVM, GIPSU, PBP, PSU+OJVM

For Oracle Database 12.2.0.1: RU, OJVM, GIRU

 

When are the Patch Wrappers available?

To create and test these wide range of patch wrappers on various platforms and various types of database-environments, BMC database automation releases these Patch Wrappers in about 15 working days after they are made available by Oracle.  The complexity of Oracle patches varies depending on changed functionality of OPatch utility to changed process of patch application altogether. Based upon the complexity of patches by Oracle; sometime BDA team may take additional time of up to 5 working days to deliver these wrappers.

 

For July 2018 Patch Wrapper Schedule kindly refer to:  Delivery schedule for Jul 2018 Patch wrappers

 

For October 2018 Patch Wrapper Schedule kindly refer to:  October 2018 BDA Patch Wrappers for Oracle

 

To know more about how to get and apply Patch Package wrappers refer to

Managing patch packages for Oracle quarterly packages