Oracle Database releases are categorized by five numeric segments that indicate release information.
Oracle Database releases are released in
version_full releases. The version is designated in the form major release numeral.0.0.0.0. The release version is the annual release designation of the database software. For example: 2018 is the release year, and the release version is
version_full release is updated using numeric segments that change, based on the annual release designation of the software, the quarterly release update version (RU), and the quarterly release updates revision (RUR).
version_full releases are categorized by three numeric segments, which are divided by periods. The first, second, and third numerals provide information about the Oracle Database releases, starting with Oracle Database release 18c:
First numeral: Oracle Database major release number. For example: Oracle Database 18c; Oracle Database 12c. Starting with Oracle Database 18c, the first numeral indicates the initial year in which an Oracle Database version is released. For example: 2018 is the initial release year for Oracle Database 18c (18.104.22.168.0)
Second numeral: Oracle Database Release Update (Update) in Oracle Database 18c and later releases. For example: 18.3 is Release Update 3. In releases before Oracle Database 18c, the second numeral designates a maintenance release number. For example: Oracle Database 12c release 1 (12.1); Oracle 12c release 2(12.2).
Third numeral: Oracle Database release updates revision (Revision). For example: 18.1.1.; 18.2.1, 18.3.0
Fourth numeral: Oracle Database increment version. This nomenclature can apply to updates in future releases, and it applies to all releases earlier than 18c. For example: 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199,
Fifth numeral: This numeral is reserved for future use.
Oracle strongly recommends that you apply the most recent release update (Update) or bundle patch or patch set update to your source and target databases before starting an upgrade, and before starting a downgrade.
The following illustration shows each part of a release number, and what each numeral represents:
Figure 1-2 Example of an Oracle Database Release Number
Description of "Figure 1-2 Example of an Oracle Database Release Number"