Overview of Converting Databases During Upgrades

There are four methods you can use to convert databases during Oracle Database upgrades.

The following table lists methods that you can use to convert upgrades, including references to availability issues. It also provides references to the documentation that describes how to carry out each upgrade method.

Table 1-3 Methods for Converting Databases During Upgrades

Method Description Reference

Oracle Data Guard Transient Standby (Physical Standby) database

Use an existing physical standby database to perform a database upgrade by temporarily converting it to a logical standby database, and then converting it back to a physical standby.

Oracle Database Upgrade Guide, “About Upgrading Using Standby Databases”

Oracle GoldenGate synchronization of production and standby databases for zero downtime upgrades Use Oracle GoldenGate with software upgrades and with Oracle Database data migration procedures to carry out a synchronization approach to maintaining availability during an upgrade:
  • Use RMAN restore and upgrade to set up a standby database running the earlier release software using an existing backup

  • Upgrade the standby database to the new Oracle Database release

  • Move the entire database and synchronize the standby database with the production database using the following tools:

    • Oracle Data Pump

    • Transportable Tablespaces (TTS)

    • CREATE TABLE AS SELECT (CTIS) to create new tables and populate them with rows from specified queries.

    • INSERT AS SELECT (IAS) to create nonpartitioned tables

  • Use Data Load/Unload to load data into the new database release, and unload data from the old database release

Oracle GoldenGate documentation, and relevant Oracle Database documentation

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control

Starting with Oracle Database 12c, Oracle provides Cloud Control support for performing database upgrades. This option requires that you purchase the Enterprise Manager Lifecycle Management Pack.

Online help in Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control


Upgrades of Oracle Grid Infrastructure (Oracle Clusterware and Oracle Automatic Storage Management) are carried out separately, before Oracle Database upgrades. You must complete Oracle Grid Infrastructure upgrades before you upgrade Oracle Database installations. Other features installed with Oracle Database can have additional upgrade requirements.