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Patch Set Update (PSU) Administration Guide for Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS) (Doc ID 1306505.1)

Last updated on JULY 14, 2021

Applies to:

Oracle WebLogic Server - Version 10.3.4 and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.

Details

Patch Set Update (PSU) Administration Guide for Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS)

Customers frequently want to know what patches we recommend for WebLogic Server (WLS). Traditionally, most WLS patches are one-offs, intended to solve a specific problem, and intended to be applied only when the system is experiencing that problem. However, some patches are more broadly applicable: they might fix a problem that many customers experience, might be particularly critical, or might resolve a security vulnerability, for example. We want to make sure that everyone gets these highly recommended and critical patches into their environment as soon as possible. In order to provide those patches to customers, starting with WebLogic Server 10.3.4 and higher, we are providing PSUs (patch set updates). Patch Set Updates will not be provided for earlier WebLogic Server releases.

Overview of PSUs

PSUs are on the same quarterly schedule as the Critical Patch Updates (CPUs), specifically the Tuesday closest to the 17th of January, April, July, and October.

A PSU is a proactive patch with the following characteristics:

PSUs offer the following features and benefits:

Low-Risk, High-Value Content

PSU patches are intended to be low-risk. This is accomplished by controlling content and thorough testing. Included in the criteria for the bug fixes in the PSU are:

PSU patches do not include changes that require re-certification (for example, fixes that cause optimizer plan changes). If a product is certified to run with a particular WLS version, it is automatically certified to run with that same WLS version with a PSU. For example, Fusion Middleware 11.1.1.6.0 is certified to run with WLS 10.3.6, so it is also certified to run with WLS 10.3.6.0.x.

Fixes that require configuration changes will be provided in the README Post-Installation Steps.

Each PSU has limited new content, typically ranging from 25 to 100 new bug fixes, referenced n the README.

Content is selected from a review of patches with high customer downloads and critical issues that have been addressed by Development and Support. There is no direct request process for customers.

One Integrated, Well Tested Patch

By including the patch recommendations in one patch, Oracle is able to ensure that recommended fixes work well together. Regression tests and stress tests are performed for each PSU.

Baseline Version for Easier Tracking

For PSUs, WebLogic Server is adopting the Oracle standard for version numbering. See <Note 2113018.1> for more information about how WLS implements the Oracle version numbering system.

This enables customers and Oracle Support to refer to just one number, the version, rather than a list of one-off patches or sets of bundles that have been applied.

Any new one-off patches are requested on the five-number version number.

PSUs will be provided ONLY for WebLogic Server 10.3.4 and higher. No PSUs will be provided for any versions prior to WLS 10.3.4.

NOTE: The application of a Patch Set Update does not change the version number of an existing WebLogic Server installation as referenced in the WLS Admin Console, the config.xml file, or the log files of a domain. For example, when the 10.3.6.0.8 PSU is applied, the startup logs for WLS look like this:
Scenario 4

Have installed a prior PSU and interim patches. The interim patches could be for the base release or overlays for the PSU. While installing a new PSU, the patch application tool is reporting some patch conflicts.

Resolution
Same as Scenario 2.

PSUs and One-off Patches

There is no requirement to move to the latest PSU to get a one-off patch of a bug fix. Oracle provides one-off fixes on all PSU versions as long as the release or patch set version is supported for error correction.

Once a PSU is applied, service requests for new problems and new one-off patch requests are filed on the current 5-number PSU version installed.

  • Example 1: PSU 10.3.4.0.1 is installed, and bug 123456 is encountered.
    If a 10.3.4 patch exists for bug 123456 and it does not conflict with the PSU or if there is an existing 10.3.4.0.1 patch, then apply it. Otherwise, do the following:
    1. Request a one-off patch for 123456 on top of 10.3.4.0.1.
    2. Apply the one-off patch after Oracle provides it.

Actions

Obtain Patch Set Updates for Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.4+

For the latest information on the Oracle PSU program in general, including the WebLogic Server PSU, refer to <Note 854428.1>. Starting with WebLogic Server 10.3.4 and higher, we are providing PSUs (Patch Set Updates). Patch Set Updates will not be provided for earlier WebLogic Server releases.

The latest CPU and PSU patches are announced in a quarterly patch availability document from the critical Patch Update Program and as collected in the following document:

<Note 1470197.1> Patch Set Update (PSU) Release Listing for Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS)

Zero Downtime (ZDT) Patching

Zero Downtime Patches are patches that can be applied in a rolling manner across the nodes of a cluster, without requiring the entire cluster to be shut down. This ensures that the application remains available and functional during the patching process. If a WLS PSU readme says a patch is eligible for ZDT, then see the following for more information:

<Note 1942159.1> Introduction to Zero Downtime (ZDT) Patching for Oracle Fusion Middleware / WebLogic Server

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In this Document
Details
 Patch Set Update (PSU) Administration Guide for Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS)
 Overview of PSUs
 One Integrated, Well Tested Patch
 Baseline Version for Easier Tracking
 PSUs and Critical Patch Updates (CPUs)
 PSU Lifecycle
 PSUs and Patch Set Release Coordination
 PSUs and Patch Conflict Resolution
 Installing and Deinstalling PSU Patches
 PSUs and Patches for Fixes not Included in the PSU
 Determining What PSUs are Applied to a Specific Environment
 Patching Scenarios
 Scenario 1
 Scenario 2
 Scenario 3
 Scenario 4
 PSUs and One-off Patches
Actions
 Obtain Patch Set Updates for Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.4+
 Zero Downtime (ZDT) Patching
Contacts
References

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