Sunday, October 05, 2008

Upgrade Experience for Patchkit 11.1.0.7

The first patchkit for 11g - 11.1.0.7 - came out a few weeks ago, for Linux systems. Unlike most other patchkits, this one contains some new functionalities. Oracle patchkits are usually only bugfixes with al patches regression tested collectively; not added features. This one does have some new (albeit minor) features.

The upgrade was relatively easy but took a long time - about 30 minutes. I encountered one issue and a roadblock. Here is the annoying roadblock

A Very Import Pre-req

Do not forget to check for this pre-requisite. This is the time_zone check, as specified in the patchkit readme file.

SQL> select version from v$timezone_file;

VERSION
----------
4

In my case it returned 4, which means no further action is necessary. Had it returned something else, I would have to follow the instructions mentioned in MetaLink Note 568125.1.




Asking for Email for Security Notification

It was interesting to note that the installer asked me to enter my Email address to send me updates on security. Funny; I get that already anyway. So I ignored and clicked "Next". Nope; it popped a little window asking me to confirm that I do not need email. Sure, I confirmed and pressed Next. No, the same issue, it asked me again to confirm and so on. Vicious circle!

There was a little checkbox below that said "track security via MetaLink" and asked my MetaLink password (not "id", which it presumed to be my email). I checked that box and entered my email and password, and it allowed me to go further.

This is a little awkward. Not everyone will want to get the email. And in any case, a mere email will explain little about the security issues. And why would anyone want to embed his/her MetaLink password in a response file?

Cool Feature: The Pre-upgrade Script

Oracle now provides a script utlu111i.sql in the $OH/rdbms/admin directory. Run this script before you shut the database down for upgrade. It will tell a lot about the issues you may need to fix before trying the upgrade.

The Issue

The issue I encountered was while running the catupgrd.sql script. After applyng the patch, I started up with the UPGRADE option and then executed catupgrd.sql script, which promptly failed. From the error message (which, I unfortunately, I couldn't capture), it was clear that the failure was due to the presence of Data Vault feature. I apparently installed Data Vault option while installing the software. The message says it clearly:

Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.1.0.6.0 - Production
With the Partitioning, Oracle Label Security, OLAP, Data Mining,
Oracle Database Vault and Real Application Testing options

Well, I need to remove it before I can upgrade. It needed a recomp of the Oracle software:

oracle@prolin1$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/lib
oracle@prolin1$ make -f ins_rdbms.mk dv_off

Next, I relinked the Oracle software:

oracle@prolin1$ relink oracle

Now the catupgrd.sql script ran successfully as expected. It took about 1 hour to complete.

SQL> select * from v$version
2 /

BANNER
-----------------------------------------------------------
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.1.0.7.0 - Production
PL/SQL Release 11.1.0.7.0 - Production
CORE 11.1.0.7.0 Production
TNS for Linux: Version 11.1.0.7.0 - Production
NLSRTL Version 11.1.0.7.0 - Production
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