Install/update oracle fat client on windows

This is a short script with notices about the employment of the 11gR2 patch set 2 (aka oracle fat client on windows x64. That is, saying fat client, I’m talking about the classic client side software collection, featuring oci.dll at most as well as other .net and java and the like things.

I’m definitely not talking about the instant client stuff invented with oracle releases 10g or so.
I already have a running oracle fat client around, such that I’m discussing an update here but quite a lot of information will also be interesting iff you’re planning a fresh installation of the oracle fat client.
Finally, the deployment platform in question is windows 7 x64, which takes importance when examining the different patching strategies that oracle does meanwhile run for *ux (PSU/CSU) and win (none such) plattforms. Let’s get started.

Downloading the necessary files

Your first spot to start from will surely target to Oracle Database Software Downloads where you’ll learn that any related software is only available via Oracle Support.

However, the link to the README given there holds much important information, most prominently:

  • chapter 4 links to the (excellent) document 880782.1, ALERT: Oracle 11g Release 2 (11.2) Support Status and Alerts that will eventually guide you to the download link for the oracle fat client software archive,
  • chapter 2 instead, comprises the links to grasp information about the latest updates to the patch set itself. However, following document 854428.1 Patch Set Updates for Oracle Products does not turn out to be really beneficial for the windows platform. A much better approach is to follow the general oracle web page for critical patch updates as Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Third Party Bulletin or to directly dive into document 161549.1 Oracle Database, Networking and Grid Agent Patches for Microsoft Platforms.

The README also deals with the new patching strategies of In-Place and Out-of-Place upgrades, where the last option is the prefered one now. That is, you’re no longer advised to (say) overwrite your existing installation, iff any, but patch by installing into a new oracle home, transfering any adapted configurations files and stuff over and purge the original one. Me, I follow the advice given and since announced choose the Out-of-Place upgrade. Note that the README may misimpress someone in stating that Out-of-Place upgrade automagically takes care of the aforementioned transfer … well, it does’nt, trust me and rely on yourself.

Chapter 5 of the README also records what installation types will be supported by which archive files of the software stack to be download later, see below. Since I’m only interested in the fat client component, I may only want to download the record entry Oracle Database Client But beware, this information is only correct for the x64 version of the download, the x86 version requires you to download the third part of the archive namely, see later.

Installing the patch set

Ok, having document 880782.1 opened, go near the end of the content and find the windows section. Although I’m running windows x64 here I do still keep to install the x86 version of the fat client since a couple of third party tools like KeepTool or SQLDeveloper may unfortunately abandon any work with the x64 dll’s. Hitting patchset 10404530 leads you to the actual download area where you want to select for x64 or for x86, see above.

Unpack the downloaded archive, run the setup script and follow the wizard as usual. Me, I usually check the Administrator option for installation. It provides just …anything… such that no additional installation run will be necessary in the future (jep, I know, …anything… also includes ancient releases of SQLDeveloper, for example, but I don’t care). Updating the software within the setup never worked for me, so I skip this and execute the update to the latest patch set updates manually afterwards, see below. Do remember that I’m using the Out-of-Place upgrade that requires a new oracle home and a new installation directory, correspondently. Get it going now and do not forget to transfer any adopted files from the old to the new oracle home. For me, I have to transfer tnsnames.ora, sqlnet.ora and glogin.sql.

Updating to the latest patch set updates

Using the windows specific document 161549.1 relieves us from understanding all those differentiations introduced lately for the *ux world of oracle, psu’s and csu’s and counting schemes on the 5th slot of the release number according to the accumulation of psu’s… There is nothing like this for the win world of oracle, just do navigate to the relevant patch set update for your platform, patch set update 23 (17163633) at the time of writing, and hit download. Also, again, open the README file of the downloaded archive and learn for patch set update 23 that: Oracle recommends you use OPatch utility release or later. You can download it from My Oracle Support with patch 6880880. Well, since the Patchset 10404530, just installed, intelligently ships with opatch we’re forced to take another roundtrip to oracle support and catch the latest version of opatch for win x86…

C:\User>set ORACLE_HOME=d:\oracle\product\11.2.0\client_1\
C:\User>set PATH=%ORACLE_HOME%\OPatch;%PATH%
C:\User>opatch version
Invoking OPatch
OPatch Version:

Just replace the contents of the opatch archive downloaded, at the time of writing, with the opatch directory in your even now installed fat client oracle home and check.

C:\User>opatch version
OPatch Version:
C:\User>opatch lsinventory
Oracle Interim Patch-Installationsprogramm Version
OUI version :
Oracle Client

Now we finally have to change into the extracted patch set update directory path to run opatch apply and actually execute the patch set update.

C:\User>opatch apply
C:\User>dir %ORACLE_HOME%\cfgtoollogs\opatch\opatch*.log
C:\User>more %ORACLE_HOME%\cfgtoollogs\opatch\opatch*.log
C:\User>opatch lsinventory
Patch  17163633     : applied on Fri Aug 23 16:29:04 CEST 2013
Unique Patch ID:  16686936
Patch description:  "ORACLE 11G PATCH 23 BUG FOR WINDOWS 32 BIT"
   Created on 30 Jul 2013, 23:46:07 hrs PST8PDT
   Bugs fixed:
     17163633, 16809786, 13070166, 17000486, 16931919, 12646137, 17025419

Do not forget to delete the old oracle home by executing %OLD_ORACLE_HOME%\deinstall\deinstall.bat as requested by the oracle universal installer of the old oracle home and to delete the old oracle home by means of the oracle universal installer from the new oracle home…

Have fun, Peter.


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