Following the announcements at OpenWorld last week here are my thoughts on the changes to the new software version numbering structure…

All DBA’s should understand the general structure and update cycle for the Oracle Database an Grid Infrastructure versions. The major version and release number have followed a certain pattern which has become familiar to everyone so we can predict the future (to some degree) when it comes to new releases, patch sets, support periods and terminal releases. However, Oracle has now changed the numbering structure (to avoid unlucky number 13 no doubt!) Gone is the 5 number representation of the Oracle Database and Grid Infrastructure version, and in comes a new 3 number replacement. So what does the new format mean?

The first number is the Release, this is represented by the last 2 digits of the year it is released in and will be a means of introducing new features on a more frequent basis, it will also incorporate Patchsets.

The second number is the Release Update, including important features and critical fixes, which is effectively a replacement to the Patchset Updates.

The third number is the Release Update Revision, this includes security and regression fixes, replacing the Bundle Patches.

As of July 2017, Oracle is modifying the Proactive Patch program for Database and Grid Infrastructure release 12.2 and later. The primary goal is to provide customers with a more flexible way to:

  • Adopt bug fixes when needed
  • Keep current with quarterly security updates once their environment becomes stable

This will provide a more structured approach to providing new features, security updates and bug fixes on a predictable basis. RUs and RURs will be provided each January, April, July and October.

Oracle recommend a more comprehensive update for test / dev and early production rollouts using the RU, although most may adopt RUR’s for more stable production environments.

It is now possible to switch back and forth between RUs and RURs, whereas this is not possible with PSUs and BPs. Both RUs and RURs contain all security fixes, eliminating any security vs stability debate.

Opatch will continue to be used to package and install RUs and RURs.

Zero application downtime can be achieved when patches are applied using RAC rolling or Data Guard/GoldenGate switchover techniques.

The release and support schedule can be tracked through MOS, particularly as the new format no longer gives us that familiar and predictable structure that we’ve become accustomed to. I suggest you add MOS note 742060.1 to your favourites! In this note you will find the release schedule, release roadmap and patching end dates, to help you make decisions on version upgrades and in understanding the support periods in relation to the release lifetime.

The post Oracle skip unlucky 13 with new Database version structure appeared first on Explorer | Award Winning UK Oracle Partner.

Oracle XE 12c becomes Oracle XE 18c - 18-Oct-2017 07:10 - Morten Braten
Oracle Database, Express Edition (XE) is a free version of the Oracle Database, currently available as version 11g (11.2) for Windows and Linux.
A planned new version of Oracle XE based on 12c (12.2) was first mentioned back in 2013. Now we are in 2017 and Oracle has changed its version numbering, aiming for yearly releases of the database, which means that after 12c comes 18c (in 2018) and 19c (in 2019) and so on.

According to information coming out at this year's Oracle OpenWorld, the next version of Oracle Database Express Edition (XE) will therefore be Oracle XE 18c.

Below are the details known so far about this upcoming version. Disclaimer: I've collected this information from tweets and blogs, so nothing is official yet. Time will tell as to what is true. UPDATE: Gerald Venzl from Oracle has confirmed the below to be "all true" :-)

  • The next version of Oracle Express Edition (XE) will be 18c. (Source: Chris Saxon, Twitter)
  • Oracle XE 18c is expected in Q1 of 2018. (Source: AMIS blog). UPDATE: Oracle XE 18c "is currently planned between March and August 2018 and might change". (Source: Gerald Venzl, Twitter)
  • There will be yearly releases of Oracle Express Edition (XE), ie Oracle XE 19c in 2019, etc. (Source: Franck Pachot, Twitter).
  • There will be simultaneous releases of XE for Linux and Windows. (Source: Gerald Venzl, Twitter)
  • Limits for XE 18c will be 2 GB of memory, 12GB of storage (with basic/advanced compression bringing real capacity up to around 40GB), 2 CPUs and 4 pluggable databases. (Source: AMIS blog and Lucas Jellema, Twitter)
  • Express Edition (XE) will actually include "nearly all" of the features from Enterprise Edition (EE)! (Source: Franck Pachot, Twitter and Chris Saxon, Twitter).
  • Express Edition (XE) will still be free for both development and production. (Source: Chris Saxon, Twitter).
  • There will be no support (except through community/forums) for XE, and no bug fixes/patches. Still, with a yearly release cycle that means bugs will be fixed by upgrading to the latest release. (Source: Franck Pachot and Bob Bryla, Twitter)

If most, or even some, of the above is true, this is really great news! I understand we should thank Gerald Venzl at Oracle for this, as he is the guy working on bringing us all this goodness! Thanks in advance, Gerald! :-)

In the first part of November, my colleague David Peake and I are taking the Oracle APEX & Oracle Database Cloud message to a number of Oracle user groups and communities who are graciously hosting us as part of the Oracle Developer Tour Latinoamérica.  These are countries for which there is growing interest in Oracle Application Express, and we wish to help support these groups and aid in fostering their growing APEX communities.

The dates and locations are:
  1. Panamá, November 1, 2017
  2. Colombia, November 2-3, 2017
  3. Ecuador, November 7, 2017
  4. Paraguay, November 8, 2017
  5. Brasil, November 9-10, 2017
  6. Argentina, November 13-14, 2017
You should consider attending one of these conferences if:

  • You're a CIO or manager, and you wish to understand what Oracle Application Express is and if it can help you and your business.
  • You're a PL/SQL developer, and you want to learn how easy or difficult it is to exploit your skills on the Web and in the Cloud.
  • You come from a client/server background and you want to understand what you can do with your skills but in Web development and Cloud development.
  • You're an Oracle DBA, and you want to understand if you can use Oracle Application Express in your daily responsibilities.
  • You know nothing about Oracle Application Express and you want to learn a bit more.
  • You're experienced with Oracle Application Express and you want to learn what's in the future for Oracle APEX.

If you have any interest or questions or concerns (or complaints!) about Oracle Application Express, and you are nearby, we would be very honored to meet you in person and assist in any way we can.  We hope you can make it!

P.S. I couldn't make it to Panamá, but David will be there, so please join him.

Atual's K21 technologies offering some quality of Oracle training. Below are the upcoming Oracle training:

Apps DBA : Install | Patch | Clone | Maintain :

Apps DBA Webinar:…/appsdbawebinar/062687

Oracle GoldenGate Training
Whats new in Exadata X7 - 17-Oct-2017 08:58 
Oracle announced its new Exadata Database Machine X7 during OOW 2017.  Lets walk through quickly about the key features of X7.

Key features
  • Up to 912 CPU core and 28.5TB memory per rack
  • 2 to 19 DB servers per rack
  • 3 to 18 Storage servers per rack
  • Maximum of 920TB flash capacity
  • 2.1PB of disk capacity
  • Delivers 20% faster throughput from earlier models
  • 50% more memory capacity from earlier models
  • 10TB size disk. (10TB x 12 = 120TB RAW per storage server). The only system in the market today with 10TB disk capacity
  • Increased OLTP performance : about 4.8 million reads and about 4.3 million writes per second
  • Featuring an Intel Skylake processor with 24 cores 
  • Enhanced Ethernet connectivity: supports over 25GbE
  • Delivers in-memory performance from Shared Storage 
  • OEDA CML interface
  • New Exadata Smart Software : Exadata 18c

ODTUG Elections – Vote Now! - 16-Oct-2017 11:19 - ODTUG
Elections for the 2018-19 ODTUG Board of Directors are underway — vote now!Exercise your right as an ODTUG member and vote for the board. This may be the most important thing you can do for ODTUG.
APEX Office Print 3.1 released - support for Docker - 16-Oct-2017 05:18 - Dimitri Gielis
Last week we release APEX Office Print (AOP) 3.1, our best release ever :)

AOP was already the easiest and most fully integrated printing and exporting solution for Oracle APEX, but with every new release we allow you to customise the way you use AOP a bit more and add more advanced functionalities.

As more and more bigger companies are using AOP, we focussed in this release more on enterprise features, for example, native HTTPS support, end-to-end and customisable debugging, a new queuing system for large amounts of prints and overall performance enhancements and general improvements.
You can read more about this release in our release history.

One other addition I want to highlight is the ability to run AOP in a Docker configuration.
The Docker image is available for our Gold and Enterprise license.

Docker is the world’s leading software container platform. If this concept is new for you, you can read more at What is Docker?

In the previous days Martin Giffy D'Souza blogged about How to Setup Oracle DB 12.2 Docker Container and Docker Oracle and APEX and Roel Hartman talked about Dockerize your APEX development environment. Those are some excellent posts how to get started with Docker in an Oracle Database and APEX context.

The most important reason for us to make an APEX Office Print docker image available was to ease the installation of multiple AOP instances even more and give the possibility to scale AOP in an enterprise way.

Here's a video how you are up and running with our AOP docker image in less than a minute:

You also find the detailed steps in the AOP documentation.

Juergen Schuster and Martin Giffy D'Souza did a podcast with me end of August, where I talk a bit about AOP and our development too.

If you are not yet on APEX Office Print 3.1, go and download the latest version, even when you are not enterprise, it's worthwhile the upgrade. We updated our AOP Sample Application with some new examples too.

Happy printing and exporting from Oracle APEX with AOP :)

Oracle Data Visualization Update - 16-Oct-2017 04:39 - Explorer

Throughout 2016, I posted a series of blogs introducing Oracle’s recent additions to its Data Visualization portfolio – Data Visualization Cloud Service (DVCS) and Data Visualization Desktop (DVD).

My summary blog at the end of that series, highlighted that throughout 2016, Oracle appeared to be focusing its attention on developing DVD rather than DVCS.  A series of releases to DVD (up to at that time) had extended the product functionality, whereas DVCS remained largely unchanged.

DVCS New Features

I felt that this was a shame because DVCS was more easily suited to collaborative working, and was a better fit for organisations expanding their Cloud operations.

But, in June this year, Oracle upgraded the features of DVCS to be more in line with DVD version  So DVCS now includes, amongst other things, the following features that were previously available in DVD:

  • Advanced Analytics functions  such as forecasting, clustering and outliers
  • Redesigned Data Sources page
  • .csv files as data sources
  • Extended list of available visualisation types
  • Data Flows, that allow data sources to be joined or transformed, with the new data flow referenced by the Visual Analyzer (VA) project
  • Smart Insights used to gain quick visual insights into the data sources and how best to represent the data using the VA Prepare canvas
  • Print canvas
  • Output visualisations to PDF or Powerpoint
  • Import/Export individual VA projects

Further details of many these features are illustrated in my earlier blogs.

Database Connectivity

One of the most significant enhancements to DVCS, in the upgrade since last year, is the ability to connect directly to a database. Previously a tool, such as DataSync, was needed to create a data source from database data.  However, there are caveats.

At the moment, the database connections available are limited to Oracle databases, and because DVCS is in the Oracle Cloud, a network connection is required between the database and the cloud where DVCS is running.

Therefore, in order to connect to a database, the options are to:

  1. Use a database, which is already in the Oracle Cloud, such as Oracle DBaaS
  2. Make your database accessible over the internet (not typically recommended)
  3. Set up a VPN between your data centre and the Oracle Cloud, which requires running VPN in the cloud as well as your data centre
  4. Employ Remote Data Connector (RDC), which opens secure connections between Oracle Cloud and on-premise databases using certificates/SSL.

Unfortunately, option c) is only available to Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) and option d) is only available using BICS or OAC.

Since option b) is undesirable, the only feasible current option is to connect to a database in the Oracle Cloud.  However, this is a step forward for DVCS.

I was able to create a connection to a cloud database, the steps for which are identical to connecting to an on-premise database using DVD.  These steps are described in my earlier blog about managing data sources.


While DVCS has seen a significant upgrade, there have also been a few enhancements to DVD (version 3 released at the end of June).

  • New connection types available: Oracle Docs, OData, generic JDBCs and ODBCs
  • Improved Oracle Application data source: select columns from subject areas
  • Transform data with more date formatting options
  • Accepts any separator for delimited text data
  • Enhanced Data Flows including new steps and saving data flows directly as database connections
  • VA enhancements: automated confidence intervals for trend lines, setting default time level for date columns, more controls on chart properties, new boxplot and waterfall visualisation types
  • New Console to manage custom plugins and map layers


While DVD still remains ahead of DVCS in terms of Data Source availability and VA functionality, with the latest upgrade of DVCS it is closing the gap.  This is great news.  With this additional functionality, including the ability to connect to your cloud databases, plus the ability to share your content more easily than DVD, including embedding content into other web-based applications, DVCS has become a much more attractive product.

Next time I will demonstrate how to integrate your DVCS visualizations with your APEX applications.

Trial Data Visualization

Both DVCS and DVD are available to use to trial / evaluate:

Other Links



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