Kevin Kempf's Blog

December 7, 2010

A couple of important changes I stumbled across

Filed under: 11g, 11i — kkempf @ 10:20 am

RDBMS patchsets are now installsets

Oracle quietly released 11.2.0.2 last month, and I thought I’d try the upgrade this week.  What I didn’t expect to find was that Oracle had significantly changed the rules about how these minor upgrades work.  In a nutshell, there’s no more incremental patches for these upgrades; you have to go out and pull the whole enchilada every time now.  The way I see it, there’s pro’s and con’s to this.

  • New installs are much simpler, just install the version you want
  • Existing installs get to pull a ton of install CD’s which they don’t need.  In this case, 4.8gb

In the past, it was a couple hundred mb I think.  While this change is fine, I suppose, I do far more upgrades than fresh installs these days, so in the end it just means a lot more chewing up the internet link at work.  What would make this convenient, I think, would be a single file to download, instead of having to pull 7, so I could just fire it up and forget about it for the day.  7 downloads would heavily impact our internet connection, 1 does not.  Anyone listening at Oracle?

Incidentally, the install patch number is 10098816.

A warning regarding PSU’s and 11i

During my November 2010 maintenance window, I was finally able to install the 11.1.0.7.4 PSU (July 2010) into my production ERP environment.  In short order, I ran into some rather serious performance issues where the optimizer was making really bad cost estimates revolving around a select which involved 3 unions.  Admittedly, it was never a query I was proud to have running, but some consultant developed it and it worked, and I was disinclined to mess with it for those two reasons.  I ended up spending a significant amount of time tuning the query to get it working well again.  While never a bad exercise, I wonder now if I’d run into a known issue which would have been fixed had I known about Note ID 1147107.1 In short, this note details follow up RDBMS patches which need to be applied after running a PSU against an 11i/R12 database.

Thanks once again to Steven Chan for providing this nugget of information.  I honestly don’t know how I’d ever even know about these kinds of details.  I was blissfully unaware that there were known 11i/PSU issues which required additional patching (6 patches for 11.1.0.7.4).  At the moment I’m inclined to leave things alone, but next time I’ll know to add this note to my list before regression testing a PSU.

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