back to article What's your point, caller? Oracle fiddles with major database release cycle numbers

Big Red has changed its database release cycle, scrapping names that see decimal points and numbers added on for an indeterminate amount of time, instead plumping for annual releases numbered by the year. So what would have been Oracle Database 12.2.0.2 will now be Oracle Database 18; 12.2.0.3 will come out a year later, and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Semantic Versioning

    Practical, widely used and well understood versioning scheme that immediately identifies the risk and effort of an upgrade cycle?

    Nah we'll just use the year instead

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Semantic Versioning

      Given that a simple increment of the fourth decimal version could have 13K fixes along with new features, they were nowhere near a versioning system "that immediately identifies the risk and effort of an upgrade cycle", so the yearly versioning is indeed an improvement over what they had before.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Semantic Versioning

        I was suggesting that if they're going to switch to something, they should probably switch to something sensible. Is it so hard to make API compatibility guarantees in 2017?

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Semantic Versioning

      "The approach puts Oracle only about 20 years behind Microsoft in adopting a year-based naming convention "

      I make it about 1998 years...

  2. DaLo

    "The shift between 12.1.0.1 to 12.1.0.2 introduced 13,000 fixes as well as “huge and important new features such as Oracle In-Memory”, he said..."

    Ah yes, the small point release that could have cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/24/oracle_in_memory_database_feature/>https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/24/oracle_in_memory_database_feature/

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How are we supposed to know if it's a x.1.x.x release and hence only for Americans as no sane person would install a x.1.x.x Oracle DB? Last time I made that mistake was 10.1.0.4 oh disk corruption in asm when you add a new volume how I don't miss you.

    1. Mint Sauce

      SQL Developer

      Well that explains why SQL Developer recently jumped to version 17.

      Our dbas are also in the 'wait 'til R2' club. Yearly upgrades? Ha, yeah but no but, not going to happen...

    2. Steve Knox
      Trollface

      Be More Concise!

      How are we supposed to know if it's a x.1.x.x release and hence only for Americans as [N]o sane person would install a x.1.x.x Oracle DB? Last time I made that mistake was 10.1.0.4 oh disk corruption in asm when you add a new volume how I don't miss you.

      There you go!

  4. theblackhand

    I for one...

    ...welcome a 50% improvement in the newest software version.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I for one...

      50% in what?

      Performance??? ROFL

      Licensing costs??? Probably.

      IMHO Oracle has been going downhill since 7.3.4

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: I for one...

        18 is 50% better than 12

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I for one...

          that explains the price increase too :-)

  5. PowerBenny
    Pint

    Applies to other product lines?

    I've just spent about three years trying to get our Fusion Middleware environments upgraded from 11.1.1.6 to 11.1.1.7 and what started as a pro-active upgrade in 2014 became one trying to bring us back into support in 2017. The prospect of having to do that every year is so terrifying that I'm shutting down now and heading straight to the pub.

  6. Amorous Cowherder
    Unhappy

    Shame to see Oracle go this way but they've only themselves to blame. I started my DBA career 22 years ago on Oracle but since them I've grown to love other DB systems, PostgreSQL and SQL Server being my favourite.

    If Oracle really want to make a difference then how about they follow MS's lead and put a few more toys in the box for free rather than charging for every single tiny little option. Oh and while they're at it, how about they stop installing options without asking customers and then when you're audited claim the customer installed XYZ and then taking the customer to the cleaners for a dirty great chunk of cash! The day we got severely audited by Oracle and crucified was the day I lost my love for Big Red and decided to learn MySQL, PG and SQL Server.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hah, everyone knows an Oracle upgrade is a once-in-a-decade event with the amount of effort involved. And security patching? Not needed, this isn't Microsoft software.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Not needed, this isn't Microsoft software."

      Uhm, but MS SQL server on top of Windows Server (current versions) have had the fewest vulnerability totals of any commercial DB + OS combination for every year in the last decade!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    superstition

    You can't do 13.xx because of superstitious westerners, and you can't do 14.xx because of superstitious easterners.

    So then you'd skip from 12 to 15 (which is what Sybase did), or you could come up with a new numbering scheme.

    Who really cares?

  10. JJKing Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    Big numbers are hard.

    Judging by their product, maybe the programmers (and I use that word loosely in this case) had trouble counting past Version Number 12,203.

  11. jedaustin

    "In fiscal 2016, Oracle reported a 12 per cent drop in annual sales of new software licences, and its most recent results for fiscal 2017 revealed a further 5 per cent drop."

    Maybe adopt a more sane and affordable licensing model :)

    If Oracle doesn't it'll go the way of Netware.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: If Oracle doesn't it'll go the way of Netware.

      Not sure if that is a deliberate provocation, but I think it unfair to compare Oracle with Netware.

      If Netware had achieved its objectives then we really would not be in the mess we are in today.

      (I can elaborate on that, but I have to go on-site now to sort out a networking emergency).

  12. Joe 35

    You dont buy a version number, you buy the DB edition

    The article has this bit wrong, it wont act "as a revamp as a way to boost sales of database licences" because when you buy a licence (and as long as you continue to pay maintenance) you can upgrade to a later version of the same edition (Standard or Enterprise mostly) without any charge.

    So for examples customers dont have to shell out to Oracle to go from 7 to 8 to 11 to 18. (this is aside the other numerous costs of upgrades of course). But for once, no Oracle cost.

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