Oracle 12c End of Life: Roadmap & Strategy when Upgrading to EBS R12.2.x

Databases are constantly delivering new and expanding features to address modern business demands. Thanks to this evolution, it’s safe to say that databases also become far more complex.

The day-to-day of providing ample support for high-performance databases, address system compatibility, safeguard your data, and ensure said data is available always, well, you have your hands full.

Database workloads require expertise, strategy, planning, and management, and when adding a monumental feat to the mix like the upgrade to Oracle EBS R12.2.x, there’s a lot of things to cover to ensure your process is as headache-free as possible.

Oracle will be terminating support for Database 12c in July 2022, prompting EBS users on the 12c database to take swift action and plan ahead for every option available they need to consider before, during, and after the upgrade.

Charting your database roadmap

With the Oracle 12c end of life right around the corner, clients need to take concrete steps to upgrade to Oracle Database 19c, Oracle’s designated Long Term Release, as soon as possible.

Oracle Database 19c was released back in 2019, as database releases follow a 2 digit release numbering scheme based on the release year. For example, 18c was released in 2018, 19c was released in 2019, and 21c was released in, you guessed it, 2021.

Databases receive release updates and revisions on a quarterly basis, including optimizer, performance, security, and other critical fixes, as well as targeted fixes for regressions or security fixes. Traditionally, Oracle provides five years of Premier Support for a release family and three years of extended support.

Here’s a release schedule for Oracle Databases that illustrates when specific databases are supported. For example, extended support for Oracle Database 19c is targeted to end in 2027.

So, how do you go about your Oracle 19c database upgrade? Here’s an outline that you can use as the basis of your database upgrade planning efforts.

  1. Create a robust 19c database upgrade project plan with your internal teams and specialized consultants to determine the best path for your upgrade, taking costs and resources into account.
  2. Review app and infrastructure code changes needed to adhere to 19c standards.
  3. Review desupported and deprecated features no longer available in 19c.
  4. Review the usage of services.
  5. Capture production baselines that you can later use for post go-live benchmarking or 19c testing when looking at performance regressions.
  6. Define maintenance windows and approved downtime windows.
  7. Optimize your database upgrade so it’s in line with maintenance cycles.
  8. Perform a deep-dive of 19c operating system requirements. As of now, these stand as follows:
    1. Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL) 7+
    2. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7/8
    3. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 and 15
      1. SLES 12 / SLES 15
    4. AIX 7.1 / 7.2
  9. Review the 19c multitenant architecture: container and pluggable database
  10. Assess the multitenant architecture which includes consolidated databases, reduced resource footprints, as well as CPU and memory, reduced maintenance and patching tasks, improved cloning, PDB snapshots, pluggable databases, and more.
  11. Decide which upgrade path to take. You can either convert your existing non-container database to a pluggable database before the upgrade or plug your database to a 19c container database, perform the 19c upgrade, and convert non-container databases to pluggable databases, post upgrade.
  12. Use the auto upgrade tool (currently on version 21.1.2 and that requires Java 8 runtime) to automate your upgrade across your environments.
  13. Review the EBS 19c database interoperability aspects, entries that need to be transformed into directory objects, and the database upgrade assistant to perform the upgrade.

Now that everything’s planned out, what are the 19c database upgrade steps? We’ve got you covered as well with this condensed list of steps of the 19c database upgrade:

  1. Perform pre-upgrade validations
  2. Apply pre-requisites
  3. Create parameter files
  4. Create and/or install the new 19c database home
  5. Apply the latest patches to the 19c database home
  6. Data setup
  7. Install the autoconfig/JRE 8
  8. Create a container database
  9. Run a datapatch on the container database
  10. Create entries for the container database
  11. Upgrade the database using the database upgrade assistant
  12. Perform patches after the upgrade
  13. Perform post-upgrade tasks
  14. Create a pluggable database
  15. Create container database entries
  16. Run the autoconfig tool on the application tier

ITC can help you take your database upgrade efforts from zero to hero. Through our resource-sharing models, we can split portions of the upgrade with your internal teams or take on the project fully so you don’t worry about anything. Depending on your unique needs, we can tailor a specific delivery solution that takes costs, risks, and knowledge transfer into account.