News Article

August 28, 2019 - How to manage Oracle database upgrades and annual releases

By George Lawton (You can follow George Lawton on Twitter at @glawton.)

Bharath Terala, practice manager at Apps Associates share his input on Oracle database upgrades and annual releases with George Lawton in his recent article published in TechTarget.

In this article, George looks at Oracle's shift to annual releases of its flagship database software and how it has added new upgrade planning issues for users. However, the process of managing Oracle database upgrades is still essentially the same.

How to manage Oracle database upgrades and annual releases

According to technical consultants who offered their advice on how to ensure upgrades go smoothly, the best practices they said organizations should adhere to when upgrading Oracle databases include reviewing database certifications for packaged applications, testing the potential performance impact, and creating rollback and recovery plans in case the upgrade process goes awry. Database administrators (DBAs) should also take particular care during upgrades of mission-critical systems through the use of hot backups and other measures, the consultants said.

Oracle began the annual database release schedule in 2018 when it rolled out Oracle Database 18c, which was followed by the Oracle Database 19c update this year. Those names may give DBAs some pause in planning Oracle database upgrades, because the previous version was Oracle 12c Release 2.

More upgrade questions ahead for Oracle users

Bharath Terala, Oracle practice manager at Apps Associates LLC in Acton, Mass., highly recommended users upgrade older versions of Oracle Database if only to maintain technical support for their systems. For example, patching and extended support for the final release of Oracle 11g are scheduled to end in December 2020, while the end date for the initial 12.1 version of Oracle 12c is July 2021.

Before upgrading, though, DBAs and IT managers must review platform certifications and supported database combinations for applications like Oracle E-Business Suite, Terala said. Even a minor upgrade could introduce subtle problems that break existing applications, he cautioned. It's also important, he added, to check the initialization parameters for each database release to get a full understanding of the pros and cons, as well as the impact they have on things like indexes and execution of SQL queries.

Bharath Terala

Bharath Terala

Terala also urged organizations to build out a robust release management process that ensures proper testing prior to making any changes to their production databases. And they should be prepared for problems in systems that can result from a database upgrade.

"Having a fallback plan is key in case the team encounters any unforeseen challenges post-upgrade," he said.

Plan for data and process problems

Data integrity should be another top concern in planning Oracle database upgrades.

Read the full article here:

About Apps Associates

Apps Associates is the recognized industry leader for migrating and managing Oracle-to-the-Cloud. With thousands of engagements, Apps Associates brings the knowledge, flexibility and relentless customer-first focus companies rely upon to help them move to the cloud and solve their most strategic and complex business challenges. Acting as an extension of customers’ IT teams, Apps Associates delivers breadth of services and dependability along with unparalleled agility and ROI. Longstanding customers such as Edwards Vacuum, Brooks Automation, Hologic and Take Two Interactive turn to Apps Associates as their trusted partner for the management of critical business needs, providing strategic consulting and managed services for Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, integration, analytics and hybrid cloud infrastructure. Learn more about us at