Should Oracle charge for patches?


I can understand Oracle charging for support and product upgrades, like 9i to 10g. I can even see the point of charging for releases upgrades, like 10gR1 to 10gR2. What I think is a little cheeky is to charge people for regular patchsets.

This line of thought came about because of a post on the Dizwell Forum, where someone mentioned they were running a production system without support. This person is working with because they don’t have access to as a result of not having a support and updates contract. Personally, I think this is more than a little mean of Oracle. Afterall, these patchsets are only fixing bugs in the product that was bought in good faith. Even Microsoft don’t charge for basic Windows Updates, only for version upgrades.

Personally, I believe patchsets on an existing product should be free to those who have a product license. Access to new releases and new product versions could still be restricted.

I just hope I’m never put in th same position as this guy!



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

3 thoughts on “Should Oracle charge for patches?”

  1. All out of my area as I don’t deal with contracts etc, but…
    Is it the case that they would not be licensed to run, or that they don’t have access to support to get the patches.
    I can see that, where an organisation uses an Oracle database solely for a third-party application, that organisation doesn’t need and shouldn’t pay for Oracle support. If something is wrong, they deal with the application’s supplier who may need to deal with Oracle.
    In fact, in that case you probably shouldn’t be downloading the latest patchset until the third-party supplier approves it and makes it available.

    So I do see a place for an Oracle license that doesn’t allow download access to patches, but does allow the later patch version to be used.

    The problem I see here is that the company should take responsibility for keeping it up to date, taking out whatever license is appropriate for that, either with Oracle or through a third-party application supplier.

  2. Given Oracle’s abysmal record with bug fixing in the last 8 years or so – namely their insistence on including bug fixes in upgrades instead of making them available in their native version, it’s really hard to come up with a convincing story for those who may be in a budget…

    If I had to chose a database nowadays I’d certainly not pick them, quite frankly: Oracle is just too expensive for what it offers and their maintenance and support are not worth the paper they’re printed on!

    If I have to pay for crap, I’d rather not pay. Ie, much better to move to MySQL or something similar.

    Sorry, but it needs to be said.

  3. Couldn’t agree more, especially when you see all the hobbyists without metalink logins. They find a bug or need a new patch release to get Oracle working on their system.
    They get nothing and probably turn to another DB.

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