By Franck Pachot

Let’s look at Release Schedule of Current Database Releases (Doc ID 742060.1) is planned for 2HCY2016 on platforms Linux x86-64, Oracle Solaris SPARC (64-bit), Oracle Solaris x86-64 (64-bit).
2HCY2016 starts next week but we can imagine that it will not be released immediately and anyway we will have to wait a few months to download the on-premise(s) version. Add another couple of months to get at least one Proactive Bundle Patch to stabilize that new release. So maybe we can plan for production upgrade on Jan. 2017 for Linux platform, and Apr. or Jul. 2017 for Windows platform, right? How does that cope with and end of support?

Is delay for 12.2 a problem?

My opinion is that long time for new release is not a problem. Most of customers want stable supported release, not new features available only with options and that may introduce bugs. As long as we have support, PSUs and Proactive Bundle patchsets, everything is ok. We can’t blame software regressions after upgrade, and at the same time look forward to get new releases in a short period of time.
So in my opinion, waiting 6 months or 1 year to get 12.2 is not a problem except for book authors that wait for the general availability of 12.2 to release their book 😉

Is ‘cloud first’ a problem?

I don’t think that ‘cloud first’ is a problem by itself. We will have to learn 12.2 features and test them before upgrading our databases, and the Oracle Public Cloud is good for that. But I fear that customers will feel forced to go to the cloud, which is wrong. Was the same when was released for Enterprise Edition. They feel forced to qui Standard Edition but that was probably not the goal. Especially when those that have quit Standard Edition One did it to go to open-source RDBMS.

Is ‘multitenant first’ a problem?

Yes, ‘cloud first’ may mean ‘multitenant first’ because that’s the only architecture available for 12c on the Oracle DBaaS. First, you can install a non-CDB if you choose ‘virtual image’. And anyway, OPC trial is the good occasion to test 12.2 and multitenant at the same time. Let me repeat that multitenant architecture has lot of features available without the multitenant option.

Upgrade planning

Back to the ground, the problem in my opinion is the incertitude.
Free extended support for ends on 31-May-2017 and we don’t know yet if we will have a stable (i.e with few PSUs) 12.2 release at that time for on-premises, especially for Windows which will come later than Linux.
Remember that on Windows came two months after the Linux one. And another two months for AIX. support ends on 31-Aug-2016 and 12.2 will not be out at that time, at least for on-premises.

So what?

Customers that expected to get 12.2 before the end of or support will now (since the announcement of 2HCY2016 last month and the ‘cloud first’ recent announcement) have to plan an intermediate upgrade to before going to 12.2. And because of the ‘Release 1’ myth, they are afraid of that. Our mission, as consultants and Oracle partners, is to explain that the myth has no reason behind it. Look at Mike Dietrich blog about that. Hope you will be convinced that version, releases and patchsets can bring regressions and should be carefully tested, whatever it’s the 1st, 2nd or 4th number on the version identification that is incremented. New ORACLE_HOME is new software.

Then, once in you will have the time to plan an upgrade to 12.2 after learning, testing, changing administration scripts/procedures/habits to the era of multitenant. And you will be ready for the future.

The customers in that do not want to plan that intermediate upgrade will have the option to pay for extended support which ends on 31-DEC-2019.