Two Surprises on Upgrading Oracle to

Yesterday we migrated one of the customers Oracle servers from 11.2 to It was a single instance server, the volume of data wasn’t very impressive and it was also a Standard Edition installation. So, nothing special, nothing scary. We though it would be a simple task. Hmmm… Let’s see.

What Oracle Edition?

Licensing, editions, options… I’m starting to get annoyed by all these non-technical topics. But, that’s life, we have to deal with them. In this particular case, the customer asked us to upgrade their standard edition database running on to Oracle Super, but guess what? There’s no plain Standard Edition or Standard Edition One released for, just for The only available edition on is Oracle SE2 (Standard Edition 2) and, apparently, that’s the only standard edition Oracle is committed to support for the next releases. For details, please see Note: 2027072.1.


The upgrade was a success, at least this is what we thought. Well, bad luck. In the morning the customer reported that a schema which is supposed to be replicated every night was not there. Ups! We analysed the logs and we could notice that the impdp utility was complaining that the source dump couldn’t be accessed. What? The import was configured to use the DATA_PUMP_DIR oracle directory which was configured to point out to a specific location on the database server. After the upgrade it was changed to $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/log. Great! I wasn’t aware of this. Most likely, we hit the following bug:

Bug 9006105 - DATA_PUMP_DIR is not remapped after database upgrade [ID 9006105.8]

It’s an unpublished bug, so I can’t see much besides what is already shown in the subject. However, in the note they claim that they managed to fix it in and Well, apparently not.


As always, Oracle upgrades are such a joy. Expect the unexpected… Anyways, I’m starting to have doubts that using the DATA_PUMP_DIR directory is such a good idea. In the light of what happen, I think it’s always better to create and use your own oracle directory. Not to mention, DATA_PUMP_DIR can’t be used from within a pluggable database if you plan to use this option on a 12c database.

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