CPU Patches and Minimum Baselines

As you may or may not be aware, your environment has to meet a minimum baseline before you can apply CPU patches.  Typically Oracle supplies patches for both the latest patch set of a product and the previous patch set for a certain grace period. For example, below is clip taken from the EBS ECS Policy document  (Note: 1195034.1):
In addition, a given release update pack for the Applications Technology
product family will be treated as the minimum baseline 18 months after its
release. Specifically:

The Applications Technology RUP from 12.1.2 (R12.ATG_PF.B.Delta.2, Note
ID 845809.1) becomes the minimum prerequisite baseline on July 1, 2011.

The Applications Technology RUP from 12.1.3 (R12.ATG_PF.B.Delta.3, Note
ID 1066312.1) becomes the minimum prerequisite baseline on February 1,
So the grace period for the ATG product family is 18 months.   ATG_PF.B.Delta.2 is the current baseline, however, after Feb. 1st the new baseline is ATG_PF.B.Delta.3.    That means if your not already on Delta.3, your going to upgrade before or as part of the July CPU release.

For other products the grace period may be different.  For example, for the database it is a minimum of 3 months, maximum of 1 year.  For more details see:  Database, FMW, EM Grid Control, and OCS Software Error Correction Support Policy [ID 209768.1]

The January 2012 CPU release information can be found here:

For Fusion Middleware and Database customers the best way to find this information is to keep an eye on the “Final Patch History” section of the patch availability document.  

For E-Business Suite customers make sure you read the yellow highlighted sections of the patch availability document.

We use E-Business Suite, Weblogic, Grid Control, Database and Fusion Middleware products.  So some key dates for us are:
  • January 2012:
    • Oracle Fusion Middleware
    • Oracle WebLogic Server
    • E-Business Suite:  ATG_PF.B.Delta.2
  • April 2012:
    • Oracle Fusion Middleware
    • Oracle WebLogic Server
  • July 2012:
    • Oracle Database
The reason I mention this is because it catches people off guard all the time.  Upgrading to new baselines can add a significant amount of time to applying CPU’s, and its nice to make sure management, business owners, etc have as much time as possible to prepare.