Monday, December 21, 2015

Oracle, please bundle OPatch with PSUs/SPUs!

OPatch is an Oracle-supplied utility that is used by DBAs to apply patches (PSUs/SPUs/Bundles etc.) to Oracle installations. It is the only supported and documented way to apply Oracle PSUs and SPUs. Of course, it is recommended and required as well.

Before applying Oracle patches, we need to verify that the OPatch version recommended by Oracle in PSU/SPU README is already there on the server.

If it is not, then we will need to download the recommended version of OPatch. (By the way, we don’t attempt to use the non-recommended OPatch!) The fastest way to download OPatch that I know of is to get it directly from  URL. You still need to choose Oracle software version and platform. After downloading it to your PC, you will need to copy it to the server through VPN tunnel using copy or ftp utilities, rename the old OPatch directory under Oracle Home, move it there and then unzip it. Quite a few tasks! Of course, takes time!

So my questions, or request to Oracle is to bundle the OPatch with Oracle patches (PSUs/CPUS etc), eliminating all the additional steps mentioned above. OPatch will be moved to the server along with PSUs/SPUs. No need to move it separately. We can easily save 15 minutes or so of our time. Why not? It is the first step towards automation.

DBAs do spend considerable amount of time applying quarterly patches. The time saved could be used elsewhere to improve the health of the databases! Not possible now. Hopefully, in near future!