Technologies that Enable Change

    By: Seth Miller on Dec 22, 2016

    The IOUG membership is a diverse group holding many different titles. Regardless of whether you are a developer, manager, C-level or administrator, your organization’s databases are an integral part of or your company, which is why SELECT devotes so much content to the Oracle Database. My conversations with professionals about Oracle Database 12c are always interesting — ranging from, “It’s the most stable release in a decade,” to “I’m not touching it until release two,” to “I’d rather go back to spreadsheets than install that.”

    Oracle Database 12c Release 1 became generally available June 2013. Despite having been an early adopter of 12c, even I do a double take when I realize it’s been out for almost three-and-a half-years already. It’s no mystery that customer adoption of Oracle Database 12c has been slow, and it’s also no secret that part of that hesitation has to do with the negative experiences many had with the first release of 11g. While the first release of 12c is notably better than 11gR1, that stigma will only fade with time and experience.

    If you have been following the announcements from Oracle OpenWorld this year, you have seen that Oracle announced the release of Oracle Database 12c Release 2 – well, kind of. For the first time in Oracle’s history, they are releasing a version of their flagship product in their public cloud first. According to the announcements and a number of conversations between myself and Oracle Product Managers, there is no official release date for the full installable version of 12cR2. It is clear, that Oracle is 100 percent invested in cloud architectures and is encouraging customers to move into public, private and hybrid cloud computing.

    In hopes of fast migrations to the newest release, Oracle sometimes gets a little ahead of itself. According to Oracle Support documents prior to October 2015, premier support for 11gR2 would end in January 2015, just more than five years since its release and extended support would end January 2018. Given that 12cR1 was released more than three years after 11gR2, far longer than any of the previous five releases, the extended support fee was waived until February 2016. The adoption of 12c was likely much slower than Oracle had anticipated — so much so that the support for 11gR2 was revised. In October 2015, Oracle announced that not only would the fee for extended support for 11gR2 be waived until June 2017, but extended support would now be offered for an additional two years, ending December 2020. This extra time and waived fee should ease customers’ transition into 12c but don’t sit back for too long, four years isn’t that far away.

    By far the largest architecture change with 12c is the multitenant option, also referred to as container database (CDB). With the release of 12.1.0.2, Oracle revealed that the non-CDB (non-multitenant) architecture is deprecated.

    This language in the documentation was recently updated to reflect that non-CDB is not only deprecated but will no longer be available after 12c Release 2. It says, “The non-CDB architecture is deprecated in Oracle Database 12c, and may be de-supported and unavailable in a release after Oracle Database 12c Release 2. Oracle recommends use of the CDB architecture.”

    The move to a multitenant is one of the most difficult transitions for administrators that have been using the same database architecture for decades. A clear example of this is not being able to log into a pluggable database using operating system authentication (/ as sysdba). A pluggable database can only be accessed by connecting to the container database and running an alter session command or by connecting directly to the PDB over OracleNet. A change this big is nothing to fear. It becomes second nature so quickly that you won’t even realize you are doing it. Once you are connected, you might be surprised at how similar everything looks.

    While change is inevitable and seems to be increasing in velocity and scope, it is still difficult for companies and their administrators to transition between software releases, especially when those releases flip the traditional architecture on its head. IOUG is committed to helping its membership overcome these obstacles through content like the articles in SELECT, presentations at conferences and local events, webinars held regularly throughout the year, subject specific information through special interest groups, and by facilitating knowledge transfer through networking among the IOUG membership.

    Most technical professionals learn best by doing, which is why IOUG dedicates the first day of the COLLABORATE conference to pre-conference workshops where attendees can get hands-on experience with Oracle products. In 2016, four out of six pre-conference workshops involved Oracle Database 12c and 2017 promises not to disappoint. Register early and take advantage of these highly attended workshops.

    Like any other release, Oracle Database 12c has advantages and disadvantages — look for upcoming SELECT articles with more on new features. The landscape of IT is changing and with it, the technologies that enable that change continue to evolve.

    Released: December 22, 2016, 1:12 pm | Updated: June 2, 2017, 9:32 am
    Keywords: Department | 12c | Seth Miller


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