RDBPROD: Oracle Rdb Newsletter – February 2021
(Doc ID 2763819.1)
Last updated on MARCH 25, 2021
Applies to:Oracle Rdb Server on OpenVMS - Version 7.0 and later
Oracle CODASYL DBMS - Version 7.0 and later
Oracle ODBC Driver for Rdb - Version 3.0 and later
Oracle SQL/Services for Rdb on OpenVMS - Version 7.0 and later
Alpha OpenVMS Porting Environment
Information in this document applies to any platform.
Dear Oracle on OpenVMS Customers,
Welcome to Oracle Rdb Support's Feb newsletter!
This is an update on product news for Oracle Rdb and the Oracle Database on OpenVMS. Since our last newsletter we have shipped 9 Oracle Rdb Product Family releases, 9 Oracle Database on OpenVMS PSUs, held 11 customer events around the world, and held numerous 1-1 customer meetings.
In this newsletter, we have information on all of these deliveries and activities. We will also give you a brief update on how you can run the Oracle Cloud, tell you about upcoming customer events and give you information on Oracle Rdb Training. We have also included information regarding the announcement that Oracle Database 18.104.22.168 is the terminal Oracle Database release on OpenVMS.
Update on Oracle Rdb and the Oracle Database on OpenVMS in the Oracle Cloud:
As we reported in our last newsletter, it is possible today to run OpenVMS and both Oracle Rdb and the Oracle Database on OpenVMS in the Cloud. We have given multiple demonstrations of Oracle Rdb running in the Oracle Cloud at our Forums and Update Day events. It has also now been over a year that one of our Oracle Database customers has been successfully running their OpenVMS-based production applications in the Oracle Cloud. This customer is so pleased with their Oracle Cloud experience that they are now planning to move more of their on-prem operations to the Oracle Cloud.
This is made possible by running a virtual environment using the Stromasys or AVTWare Alpha emulators. In such environments, you can run on x86 based hardware which is a standard platform in the Cloud. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The products released since our last newsletter in most recent order are:
• Rdb 22.214.171.124 Update 1, December 2020
• Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 126.96.36.199 Update 2, December 2020
• Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 188.8.131.52 Update 2, December 2020
• Rdb 184.108.40.206, August 2020
• Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 220.127.116.11 Update 1, August 2020
• Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 18.104.22.168 Update 1, August 2020
• Oracle Rdb Connectivity Manager 22.214.171.124, June 2020
• Oracle Rdb Developer Tools for Visual Studio, 7.4, May 2020
• Rdb 126.96.36.199 , November 2019
Oracle Database on OpenVMS:
What follows are highlights of what is in each of these releases and information on how to access them.
Oracle Rdb 188.8.131.52 Update 1
This Update Kit shipped on December 17, 2020. It provides fixes to 5 bugs:
• A problem where it was possible for the RMU/UNLOAD/AFTER command to bugcheck when processing rows for a table with long record sizes.
• A problem where the RMU Unload After_Image command would incorrectly process the RDB$LM_DATA_LEN and RDB$LM_RECORD_VERSION fields as signed and therefore display values as negative values in the DELIMITED_TEXT, DUMP and TEXT format.
• A problem where the DECLARE CURSOR statement for a LIST cursor may generate an unexpected error.
• Unexpected NULL Returned from MOD and SQRT Functions. The problem occurred once these functions accepted a NULL parameter value.
• Unexpected BUGCHECK when a query contains Multiple COUNT(*) Aggregate Functions. The problem reported was a case where two or more COUNT(*) appeared in a query triggering the multiple aggregates optimization but there was no target index and a bugcheck was generated.
Both the Itanium and Alpha kits are available on My Oracle Support (MOS): Patch 32266579 (Itanium) and Patch 32266569 (Alpha).
Oracle Rdb 184.108.40.206
Oracle Rdb 7.4.1 is the first release of our 7.4 code stream and was released on August 10, 2020. With Oracle Rdb 220.127.116.11 you will be able to continue in Premier Support past the dates published for 7.3. Details of the 7.4 support dates have been published in the Oracle Lifetime Support Policies document (see http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-technology-069183.pdf ).
A partial list of the new features include:
• New System Privileges Feature
• New Database Vault Feature
• New RMU RECLAIM /FREE_PAGES Qualifier Frees Unused Data Page Clumps
• New Named Partition Support for RESERVING Clause
• Enhancements to RMU Unload After_Image (LogMiner) Interface
• Enhancements to the SQL language interface including CREATE OR REPLACE for DEFAULT AUDIT, LIKE table support for CREATE TABLE, and NULLS ordering in the ORDER BY clause.
Problems fixed include corrections for After Image Journaling, Blocked Queries, an Exception After Snapshot File Truncation, RMU errors and SQL errors to name a few.
A full description of the new features and enhancements made in this release and the problems fixed can be found in the release notes.
The kit is available on My Oracle Support patch set number 31721688 for Itanium and 31721697 for Alpha.
Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 18.104.22.168 Update 2 and 22.214.171.124 Update 2
These kits released on December 1, 2020. They include support for Oracle Rdb release 126.96.36.199.0 and Oracle JDBC 19C. They are mandatory when using Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb with Oracle JDBC 19C. When using Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb with Oracle Rdb release 188.8.131.52., it is mandatory to install either update 1 or 2 of these releases.
The kits are available My Oracle Support under the following patch numbers:
• Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 184.108.40.206.0 Update 2 (I64) Patch set number 32215099
• Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 220.127.116.11.0 Update 2 (I64) Patch set number 32215112
• Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 18.104.22.168.0 Update 1 (Alpha) Patch set number 32215130
Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 22.214.171.124 Update 1 and 126.96.36.199 Update 1
These update kits were shipped on August 10, 2020, simultaneously with Oracle Rdb 188.8.131.52. They include support for Oracle Rdb release 184.108.40.206.0. Specifically, the OCI Services dictionary prepare and upgrade utility, RDB$NATCONN_DIC74, has been updated to support the Oracle Rdb 7.4 releases.
You can download the kits from My Oracle Support (MOS) under patch numbers 31721586 for Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 220.127.116.11 (Itanium only), 31721634 for Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb 18.104.22.168 Itanium, and 31721651 for Alpha.
These kits are mandatory when using Oracle SQL/Services and OCI Services for Oracle Rdb with Oracle Rdb 7.4 versions.
Oracle Rdb Connectivity Manager 22.214.171.124
This latest version of ORCM shipped on June 30, 2020. It contains bug fixes for a variety of problems including:
• NullPointerException when Cancelling Remote Tool action
• External Tools with Missing Parameter Format clause
• Rename JDBC Server problem
• Parameters Not Displayed when Editing External Tool
• Event Triggers Deviation and Threshold value Problem
• Create Oracle Trace Threshold problem
• Adding a Port to a SQL/Services Dispatcher
• Incorrect configuration file chosen for an update of tool definition
The kit can be downloaded from My Oracle Support under Patch number 31542398 for Windows and 31542407 for Generic.
Oracle Rdb Developer Tools for Visual Studio 126.96.36.199
This kit contains our latest version of Oracle Rdb Data Provider for .NET and the Oracle Rdb Developer Tools for Visual Studio. It shipped on May 11, 2020. With this kit, support for 64 bit Windows was introduced for both these components. Support for Visual Studio 2017 was introduced starting in the prior release (188.8.131.52). The 184.108.40.206 kit can be downloaded from My Oracle Support under patch 31303758.
Oracle Rdb 220.127.116.11
Oracle Rdb 18.104.22.168 was a significant release containing a list of new features as well as important bug fixes.
A partial list of the new features includes:
• All generated code now stored in separate read-only code pages. This is an important performance enhancement for emulated environments.
• New PCSI Support for Rdb Kit Installation and De-installation
o Includes use of PCSI PRODUCT SHOW HISTORY and PRODUCT SHOW PRODUCT commands
• Updated Support for RDMS$BIND_CODE_OPTIMIZATION
• DUPLICATES ARE NOT ALLOWED Clause Added to ALTER INDEX Statement
• Smaller After Image Backup Files
• New RMU/SET_DATABASE Qualifier /ACCESS=[UN]RESTRICTED
• New RMU Verify Validate Qualifier for FLOAT Data Type Error
• New /ABORT Qualifier for the RMU/SET DATABASE Command
A partial list of bugs fixed in this release includes:
• RCS Bugchecks in DIO$LACB_AIP_ENT_REFRESH After Drop Table or Index
• Unexpected Routine Call Failure Reporting RDB−E−OBSOLETE_METADATA.
• Unable to DECLARE a LIST CURSOR When Table Cursor Renames the Columns
• Unexpected Value in SQLCHRONO_SCALE When SQLDA2 is Reused
• Possible Wrong Result Returned From Aggregate Subselect Clauses
• Unexpected SYSTEM−F−ACCVIO When Processing Complex Query
• Unexpected Ordering of Fields in Extract Records From RMU Extract
• Unexpected Corrupted Files From NFS (TCPIP) Mounted Device
• Unexpected Data Type of Fields in Extract Records From RMU Extract
A full description of all the enhancements made in this release and the problems fixed can be found in the release notes.
Both the Itanium and Alpha kits are available on My Oracle Support (MOS): Patch 30575621 (Itanium) and Patch 30575616 (Alpha).
Oracle 22.214.171.124 Patch Set Updates (DB PSU)
We have shipped 7 PSUs for the Oracle Database on OpenVMS since our last newsletter. As you are probably aware, the release date of the PSU is encoded in the PSU name. For example, 126.96.36.199.210119DBPSU tells you that is an 188.8.131.52 PSU and it was released on January 19, 2021. The PSUs are cumulative, meaning that all the prior PSUs are rolled up into subsequent PSUs. The PSU releases and their corresponding patch numbers are:
• 184.108.40.206.210119DBPSU – Patch 31983472
• 220.127.116.11.201020DBPSU – Patch 31537677
• 18.104.22.168.200714DBPSU – Patch 31103343
• 22.214.171.124.200414DBPSU – Patch 30670774
• 126.96.36.199.200114DBPSU – Patch 30298532
• 188.8.131.52.191015DBPSU – Patch 29913194
• 184.108.40.206.190716DBPSU – Patch 29497421
You can find details on the bugs fixed in these releases in MOS document 1611785.1 entitled “220.127.116.11 Patch Set Updates - List of Fixes in each PSU”.
We did not ship any individual OpenVMS-specific patches in this timeframe.
Oracle Database 18.104.22.168 - Terminal Release on OpenVMS
We sent a letter to the Oracle Database on OpenVMS customers on our mailing list on October 26, 2020, announcing that 22.214.171.124 will be the terminal release on OpenVMS. For those who did not see the letter, the contents are included here:
Dear Oracle Database 11g on OpenVMS Customers,
We are writing to inform you that Oracle Database 126.96.36.199 will be the terminal Oracle Database release offered on the OpenVMS platform. MOS DOC ID 742060.1 has recently been updated to reflect this development. Oracle 188.8.131.52 is currently in Extended Support (ES) until December 31, 2020 and there is an ES fee waiver in place until that time as described in Oracle Software Technical Support Policies:( see http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/057419.pdf). These changes only apply to Oracle Database on OpenVMS; the Oracle Rdb database product release and support plans are not affected by this announcement.
In order to give you additional time to plan for the future, we are providing "limited patch support" of 184.108.40.206 on OpenVMS for Calendar Year 2021. No additional fees will be imposed for this added year beyond the standard Premier Support costs you pay today. Enrollment isn’t required for this additional support other than maintaining an active Support contract. You simply contact Oracle Support when needed, as you do today, and apply patches as they become available.
By ‘limited patch support’, we mean the following:
• Oracle will provide code fixes or workarounds to correct newly discovered issues that result in Severity 1 production incidents for Oracle Database 220.127.116.11 instances.
• Oracle will continue to evaluate security-related risks and other newly discovered vulnerabilities that could potentially impact 18.104.22.168 instances and provide critical security patches or updates that Oracle deems appropriate.
The added coverage during 2021 does not extend to new certifications, third-party products, or any Java/JDK functionality including Java components embedded in the database. Coverage also excludes any updates related to cryptography and network encryption. This offering does not include standard Security Patch Updates (SPUs).
After December 31, 2021, 22.214.171.124 on OpenVMS will continue to be supported in the indefinite Sustaining Support phase. In this phase, all existing patches are available, but no new patches are produced. Oracle Support will help you resolve issues, provide pre-existing workarounds or find new workarounds for any problems encountered.
Customers wishing to discuss their options going forward are welcome to contact us at email@example.com.
Oracle Database on OpenVMS Engineering
One option we are recommending to customers is to continue running their application using the 11g Client on OpenVMS speaking to a back-end Oracle 19c database server on another platform (e.g. Oracle Linux). Oracle 19c is our long-term support database release with support into 2027. The 11g client is supported with patches (PSUs) through 2021 and after that, it remains supported in Sustaining mode. This would give customers a supported configuration for the next 6 years and provide time to plan for an eventual move of their application tier to another platform.
As stated in the letter, if you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent and Upcoming Customer Events:
Oracle Database on OpenVMS and Oracle Rdb Engineering spoke most recently at local user group meetings in France and Sweden via Zoom. The dates of these events were:
France: Webinaire VMS Generations, November 12, 2020
Sweden: Swedish User Group Meeting, November 19, 2020
Our VMS Generations presentation was recorded and can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCEot-bOu8Vm1dpEnjbj-Xg. Note that all of the presentations at this event were given in French.
The other customer events we have held since our last newsletter was:
• Oracle on OpenVMS and VSI Update Sessions:
- Vienna, Austria, December 2019
- Paris, France, December 2019
- Brussels, Belgium, December 2019
- Utrecht, Netherlands, December, 2019
- Irvine, CA, USA, October 2019
- Scottsdale, AZ, USA, October 2019
• Swedish OpenVMS User Group Meeting, May 2019
• UK OpenVMS User Group Meeting, May 2019
• Connect IT-Symposium, Germany, May 2019
As you can see, the number of events we held in 2020 was reduced when compared to pre-covid times. We have had some preliminary discussions with VSI and other partners on events we will hold this year. The likely timeframe will be sometime during the 4th quarter of the calendar year. However, because of the ongoing covid pandemic, these will be virtual web-based (Zoom) events. We will be sending out announcements for the events as our plans become more definite.
Oracle Rdb Training:
Oracle Rdb training is provided by our training partner JCC Consulting. For an overview of the training offered at JCC, go to http://jcc.com/services/training.
Courses can be customized for delivery at customer sites or other public venues. The course schedule is established and based on expressed needs and all courses are given by experienced seminar leaders who are also experts on the topics. To indicate your needs, please go to http://jcc.com/seminar-request.
If you have any product questions, please contact Oracle Support or send us an email at email@example.com.
Oracle Database on OpenVMS and Oracle Rdb Engineering
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Oracle Rdb Engineering
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