The most important new feature in Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 is the ability to patch a running system, instead of having to take the system down for a significant period of time while the patches are applied.
A release update pack increments the third section of the release number, for example to 12.2.1 or 12.2.2, and consists of a cumulative aggregation of product family release update packs created across Oracle E-Business Suite since the initial (base)release.
A product family release update pack is an aggregation of patches created for a specific product family after the initial release, and designated by the release number followed by the product short name and a letter. For example, in ‘R12.ATG_PF.B.DELTA.3′, ’12’ is the major release number, ‘ATG_PF.B’ means ‘Applications Technology Product Family pack B’, and ‘delta.3’ means this is the third rollup patch on top of Applications Technology Product Family pack B.
A codelevel is essentially a rollup patch with a name that looks like a version number. Higher codelevels include all fixes from lower codelevels, plus additional fixes. For example, R12.AD.B was the second release of AD in Release 12.R12.AD.B.1 was a higher codelevel, which included all code in R12.AD.B plus more fixes; R12.AD.B.2 was a higher codelevel again, which included all code in R12.AD.B.1, plus further fixes.
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2 introduces Online Patching, which greatly reduces the need for such downtime. All Oracle E-Business Suite patches in Release 12.2 are applied using this new model.
Key features of Online Patching include:
• Oracle E-Business Suite patching operations are carried out while the applications are in use and users are online.
• Oracle E-Business Suite patching is performed using the new adop (AD Online Patching) utility.
• A short period of downtime is required, but this amounts to little more than a restart of the application tier services: the time the applications are unavailable is measured in minutes rather than hours, and this can be set to be at the most convenient time, for example outside normal business hours.
• Maintenance Mode is not needed or used in Release 12.2.
In contrast, the online patching model is designed to minimize downtime by allowing patching operations to be performed while users remain on the system.
Overview of Online Patching Implementation
In traditional patching, application of a patch is a single logical operation. In online patching, it can be thought of as a series of related steps:
1. A copy is made of the code of the running system that resides in both the file system and database.
2. Patches are applied to the copy while users continue to access the running system.
3. The copy becomes the new running system.
4.The original running system (now obsolete) is recycled for use in future patching cycles.
These steps constitute the online patching cycle. To implement this mechanism, various changes have been made to the Oracle E-Business Suite infrastructure.
The Online Patching Cycle
The online patching cycle is divided into five phases:
The key actions in the various stages of the online patching cycle can be summarized as follows:
• Synchronizes patch edition and run edition on the file system.
• Creates a new patch edition in the database.
• Executes patch drivers to update patch edition.
• Patches applied: can be one or many, including customizations.
• Compiles invalid objects.
• Generates derived objects.
• Configures patch edition file system to be the new run edition file system.
• Configures patch edition of database to be the new run edition.
• Restarts application tier services.
• Delete obsolete code and seed data to recover space.