Oracle Database 18c Released : How to Get Started

Just in case you missed it, Oracle Database 18c was released on Friday. You can read the announcement in this post.

How to Get Started

You might be a bit disappointed if you don’t have an Oracle Cloud account, or an engineered system. Not to worry. You can try Oracle Database 18c on Live SQL.

The documentation is already available. You should probably take a look at the new features doc.

Just a few things to manage your expectations.

Oracle Database 18c is Oracle 12c Release 2 (

In the old terms, Oracle Database 18c is a patchset for Oracle 12.2. For quite some time it’s been known Oracle have moved to a new release model for most products, including the database, with the version number now including the year and the quarter etc. How the version numbers now work is explained in MOS Doc ID 2285040.1. The release schedule for these database versions is shown in MOS Doc ID 742060.1.

So before you lose your mind about how few new features there are for a “6 number jump in version”, just think for a second! All this has been reported for months. Mike Dietrich first wrote about the new versioning system in August last year. Many of the announcements at OpenWorld 2017 mentioned 18c was with a different name. None of this is a surprise if you’ve been following the news. 🙂

Oracle Database 18c is Not an Autonomous Database

If you follow me you will have seen these posts.

I can’t believe I’m still seeing this confusion. What has been released in the Oracle 18c database, not the Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Service. The product that’s been released is a DBaaS release of 18c, so it’s pretty much what you will get to run on-prem. It’s not autonomous! Once again, none of this is a surprise if you’ve been following the news. 🙂

Oracle Database 18c : Cloud First

The debate about “cloud first” has been going on for some time. I wrote a couple of pieces about it in 2016.

I think the cloud first approach worked out well for 12.2. I don’t remember a release that has been this stable before the first patchset for ages. I think some of that is down to the fact it was released to the cloud first, and the first on-prem release contained a bunch of bug fixes found during that cloud first release.

Another gripe I’ve heard is we aren’t getting 18c until part way through the year, so we will probably get 18.2 or 18.3. By the time we get 18c, the 19c release will practically be due. 🙂 My thoughts on this are:

  • If the first on-prem release is 18.2 or 18.3, but it is stable and usable because a load of bugs have been fixed, and hopefully few new ones have been added, that’s great. I don’t want to use a beta for production.
  • It’s going to be a yearly release, so even if the on-prem version of 18c were to be released on 31st December 2018, you’ve still only got a year before the December 2019 on-prem release of 19c. Obviously I’ve made those dates up to prove a point. That point being it’s a yearly release cycle, so complaining about it coming at “X” months into the year is a bit stupid. The focus should be on the quality of the release.

Personal Feelings About the Release

It couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

You may have noticed I’ve seemed a little quiet on the website front. In fact I’ve recently written 19 articles that are live on the site, but haven’t made it to the front page. Most of them are covering older subjects, or what I call backfill. Many of those articles are covering features that have been available since Oracle 8i, but still relevant now. Since they are not “new”, they’ve not been promoted to the front page of the website, and I’ve not pushed them out on social media. I like to stay in the habit of writing, even if I’m struggling to find things I care to write about. I’m not saying I’ve written everything there is to write about 12.2, but I’ve written about pretty much everything I care to write about at this point.

The new release should give me an opportunity to write about something I can promote without feeling stupid. 🙂



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

2 thoughts on “Oracle Database 18c Released : How to Get Started”

  1. Hi,
    do you have any news about Oracle 18c certifications?
    When they will be available?


  2. Hi.

    I doubt they will be available until after the general release. I don’t even know if there will be an explicit certification, since this is a patchset (18c = and there is already a 12.2 certification.



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