1 Planning an Upgrade to Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (

Before you begin an upgrade, you must understand the limitations of the upgrade and how the upgrade will impact your production environment.

Use the following procedures to get a general understanding of how to plan for an upgrade to Oracle Fusion Middleware to 12c (

Upgrade Planning Roadmap

Oracle strongly recommends that you have a well-designed upgrade plan before starting the upgrade process.

Should I upgrade to Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (

If this is a question you are currently asking yourself, then take a minute to review the planning steps described in these sections. Upgrades can be complicated and time-consuming when you are unprepared or unfamiliar with the requirements associated with this release of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Using this planning guide is your first step in designing your upgrade path. The Oracle Help Center and Oracle Technology Network (OTN) have additional planning resources, such as upgrade videos and links to support communities that may also be useful in your upgrade planning.

The following table describes the tasks you may be required to complete during the planning phase of your upgrade. The order in which you execute your upgrade planning tasks may vary depending on your current environment. Use this checklist for the most important pre-upgrade considerations to review. It is important to note that some of the tasks may not apply to your environment.

Table 1-1 Upgrade Planning Roadmap

Task Description Documentation

Understand the differences between Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g and Release 12c.

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g users should understand the conceptual and functional differences between 11g and Release 12c before starting the upgrade process.

Introducing Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c to 11g Users

Review the process flow for upgrading to Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c.

The process flow map shows the primary tasks related to the upgrade process.

About the Basic 12c Upgrade Process Flow

Understand the high-level process of upgrading your existing Oracle Fusion Middleware deployment.

Upgrade is a complex process and involves system downtime. Understanding the overall process can help you plan your upgrade.

About the Basic 12c Upgrade Procedures

Develop a backup strategy that includes all system-critical files before you start the upgrade.

You need to determine which components, files, schemas to back up before you start the upgrade. If a failure occurs, you need to restore your environment back to the original pre-upgrade state.

About Developing a Backup Strategy for Upgrade

Develop a testing strategy.

Moving from a test environment to a production environment can be especially difficult when upgrading. Creating an upgrade testing strategy before you begin the upgrade can prevent unnecessary downtime. For example, consider performing the upgrade on a cloned production environment before executing the actual upgrade.

About Developing an Upgrade Testing Strategy

Plan for system downtime during the upgrade process.

The upgrade process involves an “in place" upgrade for most Oracle Fusion Middleware components. You need to prepare for the system to be down during this time. To test the backup and recovery in case of a failure and to plan the downtime for the upgrade, test the upgrade process and test the restore functionality. This can also help you to plan for the scenario if something goes wrong during upgrade and the system needs to be restored.

About Planning for System Downtime During an Upgrade

About In-Place versus Out-of-Place Upgrades

Verify that you are running a supported hardware and software versions before you upgrade.

The hardware and software hosting your existing Oracle Fusion Middleware deployment must meet certain requirements before upgrading to this release of Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c.

CAUTION: If you cannot meet the hardware or software requirements, do not attempt an upgrade.

About the Supported Upgrade Starting Points

Verify that your database is supported.

The 12c domain requires an Oracle database to store the new schemas. The database version that hosts the schemas used in Fusion Middleware must be supported.

Upgrading and Preparing Your Oracle Databases for 12c

Understand which of your 11g products and features can be upgraded.

You should understand which of your components can be upgraded to this release of Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c.

If you plan to use 11g components with upgraded 12c components, you should understand how the upgrade could impact interoperability or compatibility.

Products and Features Available in Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c

Products and Features Not Available in Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c

Consider the impact on deployed applications and components.

If you will continue to use Fusion Middleware 11g components in your upgraded 12c environment, you should review and understand any potential interoperability and compatibility issues.

About Your Certification, Compatibility, and Interoperability Requirements

Understand the basic rules and any restrictions for your upgrade.

To prevent any potential problems with your upgrade, you should understand some basic rules and restrictions.

About Component Upgrade Restrictions

About Domain Upgrade Restrictions

Understand where to go to get the latest product distributions and upgrade tools.

Before you begin the upgrade, visit the Oracle Help Center and the Oracle Technology Network and become familiar with the location of product documentation, videos, and other important planning resources.

About Obtaining Product Distributions for Your Upgrade

About the Upgrade and Configuration Tools

Introducing Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c to 11g Users

Introduction to Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c concepts and terminology for existing Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g users.

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g users need to understand the changes to existing 11g terms, as well as new terms and concepts introduced in 12c.

Common Fusion Middleware Terminology Changes

Several key concepts and terms have been redefined in 12c. It is important that you understand the new terminology before you begin your upgrade. In addition, many terms have been deprecated.

See New and Deprecated Terminology for 12c.

Upgrade and Patching Terminology Changes

The upgrade and patching definitions used in Fusion Middleware 11g have been redefined in Release 12c. Review the changes to the terms below to ensure you understand which path you should take to update your existing environment.

  • A major release comprises new, innovative, standard-compliant features. A major release may introduce new certifications and language support, as well as a newer Database Required Support Files, JDBC driver, and JDK dependency. For example, upgrading from 11g to 12c is a major release, while upgrading from to 12c ( is a minor release.

  • A minor release in 12c consists of a smaller set of significant new features in addition to bug fixes to existing functionality. After you upgrade to a minor release, all the existing product configurations are supported and new configuration options may become available.

  • In Release 12c, an upgrade is performed to acquire new features, enhancements, and bug fixes for a supported Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g deployment. The following examples show supported upgrade paths:

    • Moving from or to

    • Moving from to

    • Moving from to

  • In Release 12c, a Fusion Middleware patch set is released to address bugs. Patch set releases do not contain new features. Patch sets replace or add a new set of binaries to an existing installation.

    Patching with OPatch describes the new patching terminology for Release 12c.

Using the 12c Documentation Library Resources

Upgrade documentation is organized by tasks in the 12c documentation library. The task-specific pages provide direct links to common upgrade procedures and related documentation.

You can refer the Oracle Fusion Middleware Library for additional information.

About the Supported Upgrade Starting Points

Your pre-upgrade environment must be at a supported version of Oracle Fusion Middleware before you can upgrade.

An upgrade starting point is a specific version of Oracle Fusion Middleware that you must be running in order to upgrade to the latest version of Oracle Fusion Middleware. If you are not running a version of Oracle Fusion Middleware that is a supported upgrade starting point, then you must first upgrade to a supported starting point using documentation from a previous release.

Supported Upgrade Starting Points for Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c (

Review the supported releases for the Oracle Fusion Middleware components you want to upgrade.

All of your Oracle Fusion Middleware components, servers and databases must be certified versions. While the majority of Fusion Middleware components will have the same supported starting points, some components may differ. Always review the contents of your pre-upgrade domain to ensure you have versions supported for upgrade.

Supported Oracle Fusion Middleware Releases

You can upgrade to Oracle Fusion Middleware Release12c ( from the following previous versions of Oracle Fusion Middleware:

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware,,,, and

    If you are upgrading from a previous 12c release, you must perform a full upgrade to move to12c ( . Do not attempt to update the existing 12c domain by installing the 12c ( distributions into the same Oracle home. Upgrading the domain to is not a patch set installation.

  • Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, and


Review your component-specific upgrade guides for more information about supported starting points for the components you wish to upgrade.

Supported Oracle WebLogic Releases

When planning a WebLogic Server version upgrade, you should review the Fusion Middleware Supported Systems Configurations page on Oracle Technology Network (OTN) to ensure that your upgraded environment is supported by Oracle.

For more information, see the following:

Verify That the JDK Is Certified for This Release of Oracle Fusion Middleware

At the time this document was published, the certified JDK for 12c ( was 1.8.0_131.

Refer to the Oracle Fusion Middleware Supported System Configurations information on the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) to verify that the JDK you are using is supported.

If your JDK is not supported, or you do not have a JDK installed, you must download the required Java SE JDK, from the following website:

Make sure that the JDK is installed outside of the Oracle home. The Oracle Universal Installer validates that the designated Oracle home directory is empty, and the install does not progress until an empty directory is specified. If you install JDK under Oracle home, you may experience issues in future operations. Therefore, Oracle recommends that you use install the JDK in the following directory: /home/oracle/products/jdk.

For more information on the difference between generic and platform-specific installers, see Understanding the Difference Between Generic and Platform-Specific Distributions in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Download, Installation, and Configuration Readme Files.

Supported Oracle HTTP Server Releases

You can upgrade your supported Oracle HTTP Server 11g release or 12c release to the latest release as a part of the Oracle HTTP Server product distribution. For more information about upgrading Oracle HTTP Server to Oracle Fusion Middleware Release 12c (, refer to the following:

Supported Database Versions

If you are not using at least the minimum supported database version, you must upgrade your database to one of the supported versions before beginning a Fusion Middleware upgrade.

For information about the latest database versions supported by Oracle Fusion Middleware Release 12c (, see Upgrading and Preparing Your Oracle Databases for 12c.

What If I'm Not Running the Supported Oracle Fusion Middleware Components?

If you are not running the supported Oracle Fusion Middleware components, you must first upgrade any unsupported Fusion Middleware components within your environment to a supported upgrade starting point before you begin the 12c upgrade process.


Do not attempt to use any unsupported Fusion Middleware 11g components in your upgraded environment.

To determine if your supported 11g or 12c components have any compatibility issues in this release, see About Your Certification, Compatibility, and Interoperability Requirements.

Patching and upgrade documentation for previous releases is available on the Oracle Technology Network (OTN):

Oracle documentation

About the Basic 12c Upgrade Process Flow

You should understand the high-level upgrade procedures and tools used to upgrade to the 12c Fusion Middleware Infrastructure.


The flowchart is meant to illustrate a basic upgrade. The tasks you perform to complete your component-specific upgrade may vary from the example shown in this section. The component-specific upgrade documentation provides detailed information about the specific tasks that are required to upgrade the component.

About the Basic 12c Upgrade Procedures

Understand the basics of how to upgrade an Oracle Fusion Middleware deployment to 12c. Consult your component-specific upgrade documentation for the procedures you will perform for your upgrade.

A typical upgrade of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g or previous 12c releases to this Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c release is described in this topic. There may be additional steps depending on the components that you are upgrading, but this gives you a general understanding of the upgrade process.

You can find the detailed upgrade procedures in the component-specific upgrade guides.

Table 1-2 Understanding the Basic Upgrade Process

Task Tool Used

Create a complete backup copy of your existing deployment.

Complete all of the required pre-upgrade tasks for your environment.

Pre-Upgrade Checklist in component upgrade guides

Install the product distributions in a new Oracle home.

Oracle Universal Installer (OUI)

Run a pre-upgrade readiness check to determine if your deployment is ready to be upgraded. Upgrade Assistant (UA)

Create new schemas for your Fusion Middleware components.

Use the Repository Creation Utility (RCU) for schemas that require custom settings such as additional tablespace size, for example.


Use the Upgrade Assistant to create missing or required schemas using the default schema settings. Schemas are created during the upgrade process.

Upgrade the 11g or previous 12c database schemas for the components you will be upgrading.

Upgrade Assistant (UA)

Reconfigure the domain.

Reconfiguration Wizard

Upgrade component configurations.

Upgrade Assistant (UA)

Perform all required post-upgrade tasks.


Verify that the upgrade is successful. At a minimum, verify that the servers and node manager start and your applications functions as expected.


About the Standard Upgrade Topology for 12c

The standard installation topology is provided as an example and is not the only upgrade topology supported for the product.

Each Oracle Fusion Middleware Release 12c upgrade guide features a standard upgrade topology. Standard upgrade topologies are based on the standard installation topology described in the component-specific installation guides. Each install guide provides specific instructions for achieving the standard topology; if your needs differ, then refer to the supporting documentation.

The component-specific upgrade guides provides specific instructions for configuring an upgrade topology; if you choose to customize your selections during installation or configuration, references to supporting documentation will be provided to help you accomplish your tasks.

More information about standard topologies can be found in Using the Standard Installation Topology as a Starting Point.

About Developing a Backup Strategy for Upgrade

It is important to include in your upgrade plan a strategy for creating, storing and restoring a backup in case the upgrade fails.


If your backup and recovery plan does not include executing a complete database restoration, review Special Considerations for Online Backup and Recovery. You may need to perform additional pre-upgrade tasks to facilitate the online recovery.

Oracle recommends that you create a complete backup of your pre-upgrade environment before you begin an upgrade. While outside the scope of this document, you can learn more about Oracle Fusion Middleware backup and recovery strategies in these sections of Administering Oracle Fusion Middleware

About Developing an Upgrade Testing Strategy

Performing pre-upgrade testing on a cloned environment provides important data that can be applied to your overall production upgrade plan. Part of your testing strategy must also include restoring a backup of your pre-upgrade environment.

Some additional benefits include:

  • Uncover and correct any upgrade issues.

  • Practice completing an end-to-end upgrade.

  • Understand the upgrade performance and how purge scripts can help.

  • Understand the time required to upgrade metadata and other artifacts

  • Understand the database resource usage (such as temporary tablespace; PGA, etc).

About Creating Schemas with the Upgrade Assistant

Use the Upgrade Assistant to create missing schemas during the upgrade. The Upgrade Assistant applies the default schema attributes. If your schemas require customized settings, use the Repository Creation Utility (RCU) to create the schemas before starting the upgrade.

During the upgrade, the Upgrade Assistant (UA) can detect when component schemas are missing and must be created before the upgrade. The Upgrade Assistant can create these schemas for you using the default tablespace and temporary tablespace settings. To customize these settings you must run the Repository Creation Utility to create the schemas. If missing schemas are detected the Create Schemas screen appears. The Create missing schemas for the specified domain option is enabled by default. The Upgrade Assistant will attempt to create the missing schemas for the domain using the database connection details and schema owner name provided.

If there are schemas in the source domain, then UA uses the existing schema prefix for the new schemas. If there are no existing schemas, then UA prompts you for schema information.

However, if you do not want the Upgrade Assistant to create these schemas for you, deselect this option and click Next. You will have to run the Repository Creation Utility to create the schemas.

About Using the Upgrade Assistant to Perform a Readiness Check Before an Upgrade

You can run the Upgrade Assistant in -readiness mode to detect issues before you perform actual upgrade. This can be done using the Upgrade Assistant Wizard or by using a response file to perform a silent upgrade. Performing a readiness check is optional, but Oracle highly recommends that you run one before each upgrade. Note, however, that the readiness check cannot be performed on standalone domains.

The Upgrade Assistant readiness check performs a read-only, pre-upgrade review of your existing Oracle Fusion Middleware schemas and Oracle WebLogic configurations.

You can run the readiness check while your existing Oracle Fusion Middleware domain is online (while other users are actively using it), or offline.

Readiness checks can be run any number of times before any actual upgrades are attempted. However, do not run the readiness check after an upgrade has been performed, as the report will not provide valid results.


Oracle recommends that you run the readiness checks during off-peak hours to prevent possible performance degradation.

Understanding the difference between the Examine Phase and a Readiness Check

The examine phase of the upgrade process is a separate operation from running a readiness check. Typically the readiness checks are more thorough than the checks performed during the Upgrade Assistant’s examinantion phase. The readiness check is a read-only process performed before you start the actual upgrade, while the Examine phase occurs just before you click Upgrade in the Upgrade Assistant UI and identifies potential issues with the schemas and configuration data.


If you perform an upgrade and encounter issues that prevent a successful upgrade, you may have to revert to your backed-up, pre-upgrade environment and start the upgrade again. Running the readiness check can help identify some of these issues and prevent extended system downtime.

Understanding the Readiness Report

The readiness check generates a formatted, time-stamped readiness report so you can address potential issues before you attempt the actual upgrade. If no issues are detected, you can begin the upgrade process. Oracle recommends that you read this report thoroughly before performing an upgrade.

Report Information Description Required Action
Overall Readiness Status: SUCCESS or FAILURE The top of the report indicates whether the Upgrade readiness check passed or completed with one or more errors. If the report completed with one or more errors, search for FAIL and correct the failing issues before attempting to upgrade. You can re-run the readiness check as many times as necessary before an upgrade.


This is the date and time that the report was generated.

No action required.

Log file location

This is the directory location of the generated log file.

No action required.

Readiness Report location

This is the directory location of the generated readiness report.

No action required.

Names of components that were checked

The names and versions of the components included in the check and status.

If your domain includes components that cannot be upgraded to this release, then do not attempt an upgrade.

Names of schemas that were checked

The names and current versions of the schemas included in the check and status.

Review the version numbers of your schemas. If your domain includes schemas that cannot be upgraded to this release, then do not attempt an upgrade.

Status: FAIL

The individual readiness check test detected an issue.

Do not upgrade until all FAILED issues have been resolved.

Status: PASS

The readiness check test detected no issues.

If your readiness check report shows only the PASS status, then you can upgrade your environment. Note, however, that the Readiness Check cannot detect issues with externals such as hardware or connectivity during an upgrade. You should always monitor the progress of your upgrade.


You can also run the readiness check in -response mode to perform a silent readiness check using a response file.

About Planning for System Downtime During an Upgrade

Before you develop a successful upgrade strategy for your Fusion Middleware deployment, it is important to understand the impact of the upgrade on your production environments. Also, the factors that might impact the overall downtime during an upgrade, for example, size of your database and speed of system’s infrastructure

Carefully consider the following when planning your downtime:

  • The Upgrade Assistant requires that you shut down administration and managed servers for the entire duration of the upgrade.

  • Run the pre-upgrade readiness check before you begin your actual upgrade to identify potential upgrade issues. If you encounter upgrade issues during the actual upgrade, then you must restart the upgrade process from the beginning. This includes recovering and redeploying from your backup files. You must consider this while planning and calculating the downtime.

  • After upgrading the component schemas, the Reconfiguration Wizard is used to reconfigure the domain. After the domain is reconfigured, the Upgrade Assistant requires all servers and components to remain shut down during any configuration upgrades. In 12c, servers and components are down during the entire upgrade process.

About In-Place versus Out-of-Place Upgrades

During a Fusion Middleware upgrade, the existing domain is overwritten, in place. Oracle recommends that you perform your upgrades in-place instead of creating a new, separate domain.

An in-place upgrade updates and overwrites the existing 11g or 12c files in your pre-upgrade environment. For example, upgrading schema and domain directories are performed in-place. During an out-of-place upgrade, however, you maintain your pre-upgrade Oracle home directory. In either case, the new binaries are installed in a new Oracle home directory and the schemas will always be upgraded in place.

The upgrade to Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c includes upgrading both the midtier and schemas. You cannot perform a midtier-only or schema-only upgrade.

The following list describes how the upgrade is performed on each component:

  • Oracle Home Binaries - upgraded out of place

    You install the Oracle Infrastructure (which includes WebLogic Server and JRF) and other 12c distribution binaries in a new Oracle home. The upgrade of binaries is considered Out-of-Place because the pre-upgrade binaries are not overwritten.

  • Starting Point (Source) Schemas - upgraded in place

    The schemas in your pre-upgrade deployment are upgraded in-place, which means that the Upgrade Assistant updates and overwrites the schemas during the upgrade process. The servers must be down during this process.

  • Domain Directory Reconfiguration - upgraded in place

    The existing domain is upgraded in-place. During the upgrade you identify the location of the existing domain and the domain is reconfigured to point to the new 12c Oracle home directory.


    Oracle recommends that you perform your domain upgrades in-place. However, if an Out-of-Place domain upgrade is required, see Performing an Out-of-Place Domain Directory Upgrade. Schemas are still upgraded in-place.
  • Domain Component Configuration - upgraded in place

    After the reconfiguration of the existing domain, the Upgrade Assistant is used again to upgrade any remaining domain component configurations that require an upgrade in the new 12c Oracle home directory.

About Your Certification, Compatibility, and Interoperability Requirements

It is important to check the cross-product interoperability and compatibility, system requirements, and certification requirements before starting the upgrade procedure.

  • For information on supported operating systems, databases, web servers, LDAP servers, adapters, IPv6, JDKs, and third-party products, see Certification Matrix for 12c (

  • For cross-product interoperability and compatibility, see  Understanding Interoperability and Compatibility. This document contains important information regarding the ability of Oracle Fusion Middleware products to function with previous versions of other Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle, or third-party products.

About Component Upgrade Restrictions

It is important that you understand which of your integrated components can be upgraded to the latest version of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Oracle strongly recommends that you practice the upgrade on a cloned production environment before you attempt to upgrade the production environment.

Additional upgrade considerations are documented in Understanding Interoperability and Compatibility.

About Domain Upgrade Restrictions

Some domains cannot be upgraded to 12c because of known limitations and configuration changes from the previous Oracle Fusion Middleware releases.

Do not attempt to upgrade a domain that is not supported. The upgrade will fail and you will have to recover from backup. For example, if you have in your existing domain a component at an unsupported version, then that domain cannot be upgraded to this release.

Other restrictions may apply. Oracle recommends that you review your component-specific upgrade guides and the release notes to ensure that your domains are not impacted by these restrictions.

About Obtaining Product Distributions for Your Upgrade

Product distributions can be obtained from either the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud or from Oracle Technology Network.

Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c software is available as a series of product distributions. A distribution is an archive with an installer that installs a pre-defined set of Oracle Fusion Middleware products and feature sets. Feature sets include the products and services that are automatically installed when their corresponding product is selected.

For more information on distributions and feature sets, see Understanding Distributions, Products, and Features.

For more information on which site you should visit to obtain your distribution, see the Oracle Fusion Middleware Download, Installation, and Configuration Readme Files page.

About the Upgrade and Configuration Tools

Oracle Fusion Middleware 12c provides a suite of installation, upgrade, and configuration tools that automate many upgrade-related tasks.

The following tools are installed as part of the product distribution:

Table 1-3 Installation, Upgrade and Configuration Tools

Tool Name Use this tool to...

Oracle Universal Installer (OUI)

Install the 12c product distributions and feature sets.

Each major component has its own installation guide. These guides provide specific details about using the Universal Installer with the component.

Oracle Upgrade Assistant (UA)

Upgrade schemas, component configurations, and standalone system component configurations. Users upgrading from 11g should note that the separate Patch Set Assistant utility is no longer used for upgrading schemas.

Each major component has its own upgrade guide. These guides provide specific details about using Upgrade Assistant with the component.

Repository Creation Utility (RCU)

Create schemas in your database. Depending on what you are upgrading, you may need to create schemas before you can run the Oracle Reconfiguration Wizard. The Repository Creation Utility is included in each 12c distribution, unlike Fusion Middleware 11g, which required a separate download and installation of RCU.

There are new 12c schemas that may need to be created for all components before an upgrade. Consult your component-specific upgrade documentation for more information.

Oracle Configuration Wizard

Create the WebLogic domain. The Configuration Wizard simplifies the process of creating and extending a WebLogic Server domain.

If you are upgrading a standalone system component, such as Oracle HTTP Server (OHS), do not use the Configuration Wizard to configure your domain. The Upgrade Assistant is used to create and configure the standalone domain.

Oracle Reconfiguration Wizard (New in 12c)

Reconfigure a domain that is using Oracle WebLogic Server.

When you use the Reconfiguration Wizard to reconfigure a domain, the WLS core infrastructure and domain version are automatically updated.


Apply patches in 12c.

There are no patch set installers in 12c. The Oracle Universal Installer is used to install all major and minor releases.