The Shift to Quarterly Updates
At the start of November Oracle announced that the frequency of the Oracle Cloud Apps application update cycles is changing.
Old – Monthly Updates
Up until now we’ve been working with the monthly update cycle, meaning that on the 1st Friday of every month our test environment(s) get the updates which then flow into Production on the 3rd Friday of each month. The upside of this is that we got our fixes every month, however the downside was that we got our fixes every month! This meant two weeks of testing every month testing and a two week ‘blackout’ period where P2T (Production to Test environment refreshes) could not be scheduled.
So, the calendar would look something like this:
where red days are the Test updates, green days are the Production updates and the purple days are the blackout days. Therefore you could only schedule a P2T on the days that weren’t red, green or purple – which worked out at only 8-9 days per month.
New – Quarterly Updates
We’re now in a world where our updates will mostly come quarterly. Is this a good thing? On balance, yes, it probably is. It certainly means less disruption to customers’ business-as-usual activities, less effort required for testing and it gives more alternatives when trying to schedule P2Ts. The downside is – of course – that the fixes arrive less frequently.
Now the calendar looks more like this:
There are a lot more gaps for P2T refreshes in the new calendar.
But I liked the Monthly Updates …
Oracle have provided a solution for this too, in that if you require monthly updates for a period of time – perhaps during implementation – then you can opt back in to the more frequent release cadence. You can only opt back out to quarterly patches when the next quarterly patch comes around, however, so you can’t just take a single monthly patch.
So, if the quarterly updates are due in February and May, but you want the monthly update in March, then you’ll also have to take the monthly update in April before you can return to the quarterly cadence.
Please note: the infrastructure update cadence (as needed, but approximately quarterly) and the upgrade cadence (once or twice a year) has not changed.