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A feature release contains new features, bug fixes, and security fixes.

It may be used to update any prior feature or sustaining release.

These examples show three high-level quarterly software maintenance plans over a four year cycle using typical intervals between releases.

— Minimize risk by applying critical and security fixes as they become available, and adopting new feature releases as late as possible.

For example, patchmgr updates Exadata storage servers and database servers to Exadata version 12.2.1.1.0, or Exadata Infini Band switches to version 2.2.4-3.

Software update tool that applies a Proactive Bundle Patch to an Oracle Grid Infrastructure home or Oracle Database home.

An interim patch is one-off bug fix made available to customers who cannot wait until the fix is included in a sustaining release or feature release.

You should plan to update your Exadata software on a regular basis.A sustaining release may be used to update any prior feature or sustaining release.You can update directly to sustaining release 12.1.2.3.4 from any prior release from 11.2.3.3.1 to 12.1.2.3.3, inclusive.For example, you can skip two or three releases and update directly to a newer release.Oracle recommends that you update database servers twice a year.The forth digit represents a patch set release, for example, 12.2.0.1 or 12.1.0.2. However, some minor new features and change in functionality may be included in a patch set release.

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