April 15th was patch day again. New security patches, patch sets, release update and whatever they are named became available. On the same day Oracle announced that for 188.8.131.52 a “Limited Error Correction Support” will be offered.
Limited Error Correction Support
According to Oracle the reason for this support extension is to give customers more time to upgrade from version 184.108.40.206 to version 19. It doesn’t include version 18 or any other release. The support extension will start on December 1st 2020 and will last until March 31st 2022. And it only includes security patches and fixes for severity 1 issues. It’s not an equivalent to extended support which is available for the long term support releases like 220.127.116.11 or 19. More details can be found in My Oracle Support MOS Note:742060.1 and of course in Mike Dietrich ‘s blog (https://mikedietrichde.com/2020/04/15/oracle-12-2-0-1-support-extended-with-limited-error-correction-support). And also the plublicly available Lifetime Support Technology Document http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-technology-069183.pdf has been changed accordingly.
Quote from the Lifetime Support Technology Document:
Oracle Database 18.104.22.168: Premier Support error correction provided for the period of December 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022 will be limited to Severity 1 production fixes and security fixes delivered via the Quarterly Release Update (RU) process.
Standard Edition and RAC
My general opinion is that there are good reasons to upgrade to version 19. Not only that it’s supported until March 2023 or with extended support until March 2026. But with 19c Real Application Clusters (RAC) is no longer available in Standard Edition Two. More infos can be found here: https://www.carajandb.com/en/blog/2019/no-rac-for-standard-edition
Those customers who are using Standard Edition with RAC have more time to look for an alternative. Most recently Markus Michalewicz (Oracle Senior Director of Product Management) announced a new High Availabilty Solution for Standard Edition: https://blogs.oracle.com/maa/standard-edition-2-announcing-standard-edition-high-availability. But that doesn’t exist yet. PostgreSQL might be an alternative. But such a migration will probably take some time as well.
Many customers will greatly appreciate this announcement. Thank you Oracle! But this shouldn’t imply that there is no need to continue contemplaning the upgrade or migration of your existing database. Oracle version 20 will no longer support NON-CDB databases. It’s time to become familiar with the Multitenant Database architecture. As announced last year you can run up to three pluggable databases in one CDB without any additional options even in Standard Edition. Some more facts about that are listed here: https://www.carajandb.com/en/blog/2019/multitenant-for-everybody/