With Version 12.2.02 the release policy for Oracle database will change drastically. During his keynote at DOAG 2017 Datenbank Andy Mendelsohn (Executive Vice President for Database Server Technologies at Oracle) said, that there will be no Version 126.96.36.199 but instead Oracle will release a new database version every year and the version number will be the year. Now we got the announcement: The next database release will be 18 (due to the “Release Schedule of Current Database Releases (Doc ID 742060.1)”
This is nothing new because since 2016 this art of versioning is common for PSUs (Patch Set Updates) and Bundle Patches. The patch number is the date on which the patch set has been released, e.g. 161018 stands for the Bundle Patch from October 18th 2016. PSUs and BPs will be renamed as well into Release Updates (former BPs) and Release Update Revisions (PSUs). This change will take place immediate though the first RU / RUR should be available on July 18th 2017.
In my opinion this is a good decision because:
- A better planing because there are new features and enhancements once a year.
- No – or only – release “One’s”.
- It becomes obvious that version 188.8.131.52 is not a patch set but a full featured release.
It will be interesting to see how this numbering is mapped to the compatibilty parameter. And there has been one question from the audience during Andys speech: what about certifications like OCA, OCP, etc? Guess you hopefully do not have to get certified every single year. Let’s see.
But there is one Downside: There are only two RURs per RU. So after 9 month you need to install a new RU to stay in sync with the security pathes.
Unfortunately it sounds like the next releases will become available for Cloud customers first and on premisses few month later 🙁
One last hint: Oracle Database Version xx18 will probably be the version for the next Oracle XE database. Stay tuned.