What's your point, caller? Oracle fiddles with major database release cycle numbers

www.theregister.co.uk | 8/11/2017 | Staff
superdudea (Posted by) Level 3
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Analysis Big Red has changed its database release cycle, scrapping names that see decimal points and numbers added on for an indeterminate amount of time, instead plumping for annual releases numbered by the year.

So what would have been Oracle Database 12.2.0.2 will now be Oracle Database 18; 12.2.0.3 will come out a year later, and be Oracle Database 19.

Approach - Oracle - Years - Microsoft - Naming

The approach puts Oracle only about 20 years behind Microsoft in adopting a year-based naming convention (Microsoft still uses years to number Windows Server, even though it stopped for desktop versions when it released XP).

In between the major versions, there will be quarterly release updates - bundles of critical fixes - and release update revisions - which will be security and regression fixes to a release update.

Bundle - Patches - Patch - Set - Updates

These will replace, respectively, proactive bundle patches and patch set updates, and are understood to be on the same patch schedule (January, April, July and October) as they are at the moment.

On the face of it, the move away from the long and complex numbering could be a good way of simplifying what an outdated and confusing system.

Instance - Release - Customers - Something - Release

For instance, an annual full release should stop customers getting something half-finished in the first release.

It could also offer more predictability, compared with previous major database releases - Oracle Database 10 came out in 2004, 11 came out three years later, after which there was a six-year gap before 12 was released.

Great - Catch

Great - where’s the catch?

Well, Big Red will surely be using the revamp as a way to boost sales of database licences - a crucial part of its business - which have been in decline for two years running.

Oracle - Cent - Drop - Sales - Software

In fiscal 2016, Oracle reported a 12 per cent drop in annual sales of new software licences, and its most recent results for fiscal 2017 revealed a further 5 per...
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