Because Oracle Database continues to evolve and can require maintenance, Oracle periodically produces new releases. Not all customers initially subscribe to a new release or require specific maintenance for their existing release. As a result, multiple releases of the product exist simultaneously. As many as five numbers may be required to fully identify a release. The significance of these numbers is discussed in the sections that follow.
Release Number Format
To understand the release nomenclature used by Oracle, examine the following example of an Oracle Database server labeled "Release 10.1.0.1.0".
Example of an Oracle Database Release Number
Major Database Release Number
The first digit is the most general identifier. It represents a major new version of the software that contains significant new functionality.
Database Maintenance Release Number
The second digit represents a maintenance release level. Some new features may also be included.
Application Server Release Number
The third digit reflects the release level of the Oracle Application Server (OracleAS).
Component-Specific Release Number
The fourth digit identifies a release level specific to a component. Different components can have different numbers in this position depending upon, for example, component patch sets or interim releases.
Platform-Specific Release Number
The fifth digit identifies a platform-specific release. Usually this is a patch set. When different platforms require the equivalent patch set, this digit will be the same across the affected platforms.
Checking Your Current Release Number
To identify the release of Oracle Database that is currently installed and to see the release levels of other database components you are using, query the data dictionary view PRODUCT_COMPONENT_VERSION. A sample query follows. (You can also query the V$VERSION view to see component-level information.) Other product release levels may increment independent of the database server.
It is important to convey to Oracle the results of this query when you report problems with the software Database Administrator Security and Privileges
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