Oracle Patching terminology

This article provides a summary from recent changes on Oracle Patching terminology

Why patching Databases?

Database patching is required to keep the database software up-to-date and secure. Patching involves applying updates or fixes to the database software to address known vulnerabilities, bugs, or performance issues.

Database patching is important for several reasons:

Security: Outdated database software can be vulnerable to security threats such as hacking, data theft, and malware. Patching helps to address these vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of security breaches.

Performance: Patching can improve the performance of the database software by addressing bugs or issues that can slow down the system or cause errors.

Compliance: Many regulations and industry standards require regular patching of database software to ensure compliance. Failure to patch can result in penalties, fines, or legal consequences.

Stability: Patching can help to ensure the stability and reliability of the database software, reducing the risk of system failures, data loss, or downtime.

In summary, patching is a critical process for maintaining the security, performance, compliance, and stability of the database software. It is important to establish a patching schedule and process to ensure that updates are applied in a timely and efficient manner.

Oracle Patching

Oracle offers Critical Patch Updates (CPU) and Patch Set Updates (PSU) which are cumulative patches that included priority fixes as well as security fixes. This terminology will be used for the Oracle Database, Enterprise Manager, Fusion Middleware, and WebLogic.

Oracle CPU

Critical Patch Update (CPU) now refers to the overall release of security fixes each quarter rather than the cumulative database security patch for the quarter. Think of the CPU as the overarching quarterly release and not as a single patch.

Oracle PSU

Patch Set Updates (PSU) are the same cumulative patches that include both the security fixes and priority fixes. The key with PSUs is they are minor version upgrades (e.g., to Once a PSU is applied, only PSUs can be applied in future quarters until the database is upgraded to a new base version.

Oracle SPU

Security Patch Update (SPU) terminology is introduced in the October 2012 Critical Patch Update as the term for the quarterly security patch. SPU patches are the same as previous CPU patches, just a new name. For the database, SPUs can not be applied once PSUs have been applied until the database is upgraded to a new base version.

Oracle Bundle Patches

Bundle Patches are the quarterly patches for Windows and Exadata which include both the quarterly security patches as well as recommended fixes. References: Patch Nomenclature for Oracle Products [ID 1430923.1]

More information can be found at the Glossary