Among other things I manage this Oracle 184.108.40.206.0 Win32 instance we use for development that I’ve been trying to get it patched for ages – finally getting a hold on the CSI (Customer Support Identifier), getting my account setup at http://support.oracle.com, I could finally start looking for the patches.
Apparently the old online patching system through the Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) might have been scrapped (requires a Metalink account and goes to http://updates.oracle.com) and now they have this Oracle Configuration Manager utility to gather the information from your system and uploading it into your web support account, leaving you with the download and the actual patching.
From what I see in the video tutorial it also keeps track on the configuration changes, so if you’re having problems you can compare points in time and see what has changed meanwhile (that should come in handy), as well as creating support requests right from there (that should be quite useful to Oracle support people having access to all that information about your system).
My installation already had an %ORACLE_HOME%\ccr folder with an older version of the OCM, I just renamed that to .old and extracted the new version in a new ccr folder (apparently the OCM package is actually a zip inside a zip?!). Ran setupCCR.exe and the rest of the stuff to get it up and running (see link below to Managing Oracle blog post, a short version of the OCM installation steps from Oracle documentation). Once that done you will see a new OracleOraDb11g_home1ConfigurationManager Windows service that apparently will look for configuration changes on daily basis and upload them into your Support account.
I could see then the information up on support.oracle.com and easily find the patches for my system, from the Patch Recommendation panel – in my case Patch 8970709: ORACLE 11G 220.127.116.11 PATCH 18 BUG FOR WINDOWS 32 BIT. You can also get recommendations by drilling down to the instance level in a Target Health panel, broken down by severity with detailed information upon selection.
Well, now waiting for the weekend to apply it (and hopefully not breaking too many things :-), I’ll make sure to read the patch README in detail and definitely backup the ORACLE_HOME and the C:\Program Files\Oracle folders – I must confess I don’t like Oracle software very much, I found it quite fiddly and broken down in so many pieces, with looking for details on a problem a bit of a nightmare, far from easy compared say to the likes of Microsoft SQL, but I guess Windows is not really their primary target, nor untrained developers :-)
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eSeminar - Why Use The Configuration Manager In My Oracle Support for IT – detailed video on OCM features and integration with Oracle Support web console
Download Oracle Configuration Manager – access from support.oracle.com account > Collector
Managing Oracle blog - Using Oracle Configuration Manager – details on how to install / configure OCM and taking the initial collection
Patching using My Oracle Support
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