Autopatch PART I

how to patch an Oracle EBS
Oracle EBS is set of many application. The technology stack consists of Application filesystem, database  and IAs server.  We often need to patch it either to fix a bug or upgrade it. This article we are presenting the basics of  patch and how patching is done in Oracle EBS env
What is patch ?
When a customer reports a problem or TAR (Technical Assistance Request) a support analyst investigates the problem. If a patch doesn’t exist to fix the problem, the problem is logged as a bug. Development researches the bug and creates a patch.
How the patches are applied in EBS

Patches in Oracle Applications are applied using the adpatch utility, this is referred to as AutoPatch. AutoPatch is also used to apply release updates. Release updates are large patches that fix bugs for all products. Release updates may also add new functionality and the release number is incremented (i.e., 11.5.9 – >11.5.10  or 12.1.2 to R12.1.3). The adpatch utility executes the *.drv files in order to apply the patch.

Autopatches patches has  three types of driver files: Copy, Database, and Generation in old release .But now we have single driver file which serve all the three portion. The Copy driver copies replacement files and links executables. The Database driver updates the database with SQL scripts and other programs. The Generate driver generates forms, reports, and message files. This is also the order that driver files should be applied: Copy, Database, Generation. Other components of a patch may include: Readme.txt, replacement files, SQL scripts or binary executables. Always read the Readme.txt file. Some patches may include a special version of the admin utilities, such as, adpatch or adadmin.A fourth/another type of driver file is now available with 11i and above This driver simplifies copying Java classes and updates java files. The format is (Release 11i and above).

The readme file for a patch should include a description of the problem being fixed and how to apply the patch. The readme may require the use of included admin utilities (usually adpatch). The patch driver file includes a list of files that have been altered and a list of patches included in the patch set.

Types of application patches
Stand-alone (one-off) Patch: Addresses a single fix or enhancement. Stand-alone patches are released only when there is an immediate need for a fix or enhancement that cannot wait until an aggregate bundling is available. Although stand-alone patches are intended to be as small as possible, they usually include any dependent files that have changed since the base release in order to form a complete patch that can be applied by any customer. The actual number of files changed will depend on the current code level on the system to which the patch is being applied.

Rollup Patch (RUP): An aggregation of patches that may be at the functional level, or at a specific product/family release level. For example, a Flexfields rollup patch contains all the latest patches related to Flexfields at the time the patch was created. A Marketing Family 11.5.9 rollup patch contains all the latest Marketing patches released since, and applicable to, 11.5.9.

Mini-pack: An aggregation of patches at the product level. For example, Inventory Mini-pack G (11i.INV.G) contains all the latest patches for the Inventory product at the time the mini-pack was created.Mini-packs are cumulative.

Family Pack: An aggregation of patches at the product family level. For example, HR Family Pack C (11i.HR_PF.C) contains all the latest patches for products in the HR family at the time the family pack was created. Family packs are cumulative.

Maintenance Pack: An aggregation of patches for all products in the E-Business Suite. For example, Release 11.5.10 Maintenance Pack contains all the latest code level for all products at the time 11.5.10 was created. Maintenance packs are numbered sequentially such as 11.5.8, 11.5.9, 11.5.10, and are cumulative.

Patches can also be organized by purpose.

Diagnostic Patch: Used to gather additional information when a product failure cannot be reproduced by Oracle. The additional information will assist Oracle Support Services and Oracle Development in resolving the failure.• Interoperability Patch: Allows Oracle Applications to function properly with a newer version of the technology stack. Interoperability patches are typically required with new version of the database or Applications technology stack.

Translated Patch: A non-English version of a patch. Release 11i supports 30 non-English languages. Customers who are using languages other than English, need to apply the corresponding translated patch(es) for the languages they are using in addition to any base US patch(es).

Merged Translation Patch: Provided in real time (without requiring a translator) in the event a translated patch is not available when a customer needs it. A merged translation patch is applied just like a fully translated patch. The fully translated patch is escalated and is usually available within 24 hours. It can be applied safely on top of a merged translation patch.

Translation Fix: Provided in the event a translation word choice is inappropriate. A translation fix is applied just like a translated patch, except there is no corresponding base US patch.

New Feature Patch: Introduces new functionality and/or products. It is applied using standard patching utilities.

Please read followings link for more about application

Autopatch part -2

AD utilities-3

Autopatch -4

Autopatch -3

Troubleshooting Autopatch failures

How to reduce the Patching downtime

What is Adop in R12.2

R12.2 adop explained in detail

Distributed AD

40 Adpatch questions every DBA should know