Oracle Database 18c : Deprecated and Desupported

I was looking through the list of deprecated and desupported features along with terminal releases in Oracle Database 18c and there were some surprises.

This won’t be a complete list, so I would advise you to check it out for yourself (starting here), because what is important for me may not be for you, and vice versa. In no particular order, and not taking it too seriously, here we go.

  • Deprecation of Oracle Multimedia : I guess we could see this coming. There was a comment by someone important in a previous OpenWorld briefing that sounded to me very much like, “But you store images on the file system!” I commented to a couple of people at the time, and even went to speak to some folks on a demo stand who weren’t best pleased, and here we are. Of course you can still store stuff in BLOBs and CLOBs, but it seems Oracle have given up on trying to do more than be a data bucket for multimedia stuff. Now this isn’t one of those, “we’ll deprecate it, but never remove it”, messages. The docs say it will not be present in 19c. Looking at the release docs, 19c is the equivalent of, so it will be removed during the lifespan of the 12.2 product. I know we are not meant to think of the old numbers anymore, but I think that is interesting.
  • Package DBMS_XMLQUERY is deprecated : I’m including this for the purposes of nostalgia. It’s a long time ago, but I think DBMS_XMLQUERY was the first XML-related package I used for generating XML in an Oracle database, although I had already done some XML parsing in 8i. It’s a good thing this is going, because it had a natural successor in DBMS_XMLGEN for a long time. Having it around only serves to confuse. Even so. 🙁
  • Terminal Release of Oracle Streams : Streams have been deprecated for a long time, but 18c is the terminal release for it. The doc says, “Oracle Streams will be desupported from Oracle Database 19c onwards”, so in the lifespan of the 12.2 patchsets it will disappear. As soon as it was deprecated Streams was dead to me, but I still hear people talking about using it.
  • STANDBY_ARCHIVE_DEST and UTL_FILE_DIR desupported : Oh the bad old days, how I miss them. Everyone had TB and Rickets, but you could leave your back door unlocked! Screw your 24X7 operations, I’m bouncing the database because I want to add a new path to the UTL_FILE_DIR initialisation parameter. I actually had someone ask me about this a few months ago. Out with the old. I’ll get my coat!
  • Returning JSON True or False Values using NUMBER is Desupported : Returning 1 and 0 instead of ‘true’ and ‘false’ when speaking about JSON sounds silly to me, so I’m all in favour of this. I guess it will be annoying for those that have just got to grips with doing JSON in Oracle and have to refactor their code already because they chose the wrong path.
  • Oracle Administration Assistant for Windows is Desupported :  I only threw this one in because I know people lose their minds when some tool that is already long past its sell-by date is removed from the Windows implementation. Let’s start a Twitter campaign with #BringBackTheToolWeNeverUse and stick it to the man. 🙂

No time to worry about what they are getting rid of. There’s all the lovely new stuff you don’t understand yet. That’s really what you should be afraid of! 🙂



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

2 thoughts on “Oracle Database 18c : Deprecated and Desupported”

  1. Hey Tim,

    Something jumped to my mind when I was reading about Oracle Streams being deprecated. On the Oracle Docs website it says the following: “Oracle GoldenGate is the replication solution for Oracle Database.” Now, this is very nice, but wasn’t Oracle streams included in your EE license whereas GoldenGate requires an additional product license? And last time I checked, GoldenGate was everything but free. Oracle already pulled this trick with CDC as well. I don’t mind them deprecating features and coming up with better solutions. But I’m less enthusiastic about it when the old features were included in my license whereas the new ones force me to spend extra money. Or am I missing something?

  2. Erwin Knop: No, you are not missing something. That is the case. I guess from Oracle’s perspective this comes down to the effort it takes to support old features they no longer care about. If they say they support something, that means they have to run the regression tests for each patch and upgrade. Sounds simple, but I’ve heard some interesting stories about how long it takes to run a full regression of the Oracle database. Getting rid of old functionality makes a lot of sense for them. Maybe not for the consumer.

    This is why I think the non-CDB architecture will go quicker than some people think. Keeping it effectively means Oracle have to do double the regression testing. That can’t make sense for them.

    I can totally see why customers would be angry about losing something they think they paid for, but I can see the argument for getting rid of the old crap to. 🙂



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