Patches, Upgrades and Migrations, Oh, My!

Patching, Upgrading or Migrating your Oracle Database can leave you feeling that you're in the midst of the same tornado that swept Dorothy into the Land of Oz; and you might run into some of the same characters as well. Here's how SharePlex, Quest's Award Winning Database Replication product, can give you the heart, courage and wisdom to find your way back to Kansas, or wherever you and and your data can live happily ever after.

What is SharePlex

SharePlex is a database replication tool that can make sure that data in two or more Oracle databases stays "synchronized", with little latency or delay between when a change introduced in the source database is propagated to the target database(s).    There are a number of use cases for SharePlex, I'll detail how it can be used for patches, upgrades and migrations here.   For further information about other use cases, click here.

Patching Oracle and Oracle Applications

For the most part, patching is not very intrusive, and can often be performed against a running database or application; or, if you have RAC or DataGuard, those tools can be useful.   However, if you're running Standard Edition or have a small Oracle footprint, some of those options might not be available,   Add a mission-critical application that can't tolerate outages, and you may need some additional assistance.   

SharePlex can help here by allowing you to set up a separate database, that we call a :"target", synchronized to your production database, stop replication while you apply the patches to the target, then restart your application and catch up.  Once the databases are synchronized again, you can move your users to the new database, which usually takes less time than applying the patches.

The same process, with a bit more rigor, can be applied to upgrades, which we'll cover next.

Database Upgrades

Database upgrades, for example, from Oracle 12.2 to Oracle 19.6 can be a bit more complicated, and may require more extensive testing.    If you're upgrading from an earlier version, say, Oracle 10, or perhaps even Oracle 9; using tools like DataGuard, or even Oracle Database Upgrade Assistant may not be feasible, because you'd have to update to an intermediate version first, with all the ensuing downtime.

Again, SharePlex will help you create a separate database that you can then upgrade and test without subjecting your users to long and unpredictable outages; and by setting up "reverse replication", you can eliminate the risk of  lost data if you discover issues AFTER you've moved your users and need to fall back to your older version.


A migration, perhaps from Solaris to Linux or from an on-premise AIX system to a cloud service, can be a long and scary journey.  This 4 minute video  will show you how SharePlex can help you "follow the yellow brick road".    

Here are some other customer case studies that show how SharePlex helped them patch, upgrade and migrate their Oracle databases, with little downtime and no data loss.

Additional Resources

I you find this useful as you plan you next patch, migration or upgrade.  Here are a few more videos that show how customers like you have used SharePlex to avoid downtime and reduce risk.

Hotwire Uses SharePlex for Zero Downtime

Payment Processor uses SharePlex for Zero Downtime Migration

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