Oracle Database 9iR2 goes and 11gR1 comes

On the 11th of July Oracle launched Version 11 of their RDBMS software. I just received an email from Oracle stating an count-down of 11 until the software will be available for public download. Well 11 could mean 11 hours or 11 days 🙂

The release of a new software version is primarily an marketing thing. From an technical point of view it is more interesting to look at version 9iR2 which reached its final phase in the product life cycle. Odd thing, 9iR2 represents still the majority release for production installations. I would guess that around 70 to 80% of the databases of my customers run with 9iR2.

As a software developer I can understand that Oracle keeps the time frame for an product life cycle quite short. The market forces you to make major releases which include some new and cool features. On the other hand they have to support that piece of software on a lot of platforms. For instance 9iR2 was available on OpenVMS or OS/390. If you have to support more than two versions of your software, software testing and support become a real nightmare.

So you still have 9iR2 in production? My advice would be to upgrade to the Terminal Patch Set within the next six month. You should also evaluate the Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) in a timely fashion. Good would be if you could manage to be aware of the problems that are fixed with a CPU in a time frame of 4 weeks after the CPU got released. Depending on how critical the fixed problems are to your environment, you should be able to roll-out the CPUs within 3 months.