I wrote a post a few months ago where, amongst other things I mentioned my views on Oracle database versions, releases and patchsets. To summarise my points.
- What we used to know as releases (12.1, 12.2) are now so big they are essentially new major versions, despite what the version numbers suggest. That’s reflected both in the content and the time between them.
- What we used to know as patchsets are now more similar to what we used to think of releases. Remember In-Memory Column Store was introduced in 18.104.22.168, and it’s now one of the headline features of 12.1. Hardly just a few bug fixes. 🙂
Something happened a couple of days ago that reenforced this in my head. I was asked a question about certification on Twitter. I answered and linked to this FAQ. To be on the safe side I did a quick read through the FAQ to make sure it was still aligned with my views and checked some of the links, specifically to the certification page. While I was there I checked out the beta exams and I saw “1Z1-074: Upgrade Oracle DBA 11g/12c to 12cR2”. That’s right, an upgrade exam to take you to 12cR2. 🙂
We don’t normally get an upgrade exam between releases, although it did happen between 8 and 8i, which by version number at least was just a second digit increment (8.0 to 8.1).
On the one hand, there is a massive amount of new stuff in 12.2, which is more than worthy of making it 13.1 and therefore requiring a new certification. On the other hand, a lot of the functionality seems more evolutionary than revolutionary. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just the majority of the features feel like they are finishing off functionality that would have been in 12.1 if they had got it done in time. I may live to regret that statement as I delve more into 12.2. 🙂
For those who are yet to upgrade their 11g certification, you now have a choice of going to 12c then 12cR2, or directly to 12cR2. For those that already made the jump to 12c, you are going to get tested on the 12cR1 stuff again when you upgrade to 12cR2. 🙂