If you never upgraded a database or it has been a while since you did it, I suggest that you get familiar with AutoUpgrade. Other methods of upgrading still exist, but AutoUpgrade is the only recommended method!
AutoUpgrade is a tool that comes in a single file named
autoupgrade.jar. You find it in your Oracle Home in
$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin. You should always download the latest version of AutoUpgrade from My Oracle Support and put it into your Oracle Home, thus overwriting the existing file.
AutoUpgrade is fully backward compatible, and a newer version of AutoUpgrade can upgrade databases to a previous version. In this example, AutoUpgrade is version 21.3.211115, but notice the information in build.supported_target_versions:
$ java -jar autoupgrade.jar -version build.hash 081e3f7 build.version 21.3.211115 build.date 2021/11/15 11:57:54 build.max_target_version 21 build.supported_target_versions 12.2,18,19,21 build.type production
Version 21 of AutoUpgrade can upgrade your database to Oracle Database 21c and previous releases.
Now, you are ready to analyze your Oracle Database for upgrade readiness and eventually upgrade it. This short YouTube video explains the process.
Finally, you can watch a short demo of a database upgrade.
But the best way to learn is to do it yourself. You can use our Hands-On Lab for this purpose. You can find an overview of the lab and the lab instructions on Mike Dietrich’s blog.
You can run the lab in two ways.
The Hands-On Lab comes as a self-contained VirtualBox image that you download and run on your own computer. It requires around 100 GB of disk space and a fairly modern computer. Nothing fancy, but it doesn’t run smoothly on arcane hardware. Get started here.
You can run the entire lab in just a browser using Oracle LiveLabs. You can do it in our Cloud Free Tier so that it will be completely free. Our workshop on Oracle LiveLabs is called Hitchhiker’s Guide for Upgrading to Oracle Database 19c.
Watch this video and learn how to provision a lab in Oracle LiveLabs.
If you get stuck in the lab or just want to watch and let Mike Dietrich do all the typing, you can watch this recorded session of the complete hands-on lab.
Once done with the lab, you can start on these additional ressources:
- Webinar AutoUpgrade to Oracle Database 19c is the next step for you. It has a lot more details about AutoUpgrade.
- Webinar Upgrade Internals explores the inner workings of an Oracle Database upgrade.
- The Quick Start Guide is a few pages worth reading if you are new to database upgrades.
- Our YouTube playlist contains hours of videos about upgrading your database to Oracle Database 19c.
P.S. Remember – it is better to fail in our lab than in production…