Using Oracle's Database Upgrade Assistant - dummies

Using Oracle’s Database Upgrade Assistant

By Chris Ruel, Michael Wessler

For some of you, Oracle 12c may not be the first database that you are implementing. You may have Oracle already installed and running. In that case, you might want to consider upgrading your database instead of creating a brand new one. Upgrading your database involves using Oracle’s upgrade tool called the Database Upgrade Assistant (DBUA). The DBUA is a tool that guides you through all the necessary steps to convert your database from an older version to, in this case, Oracle 12c.

Direct upgrades are supported using the DBUA for the following versions of Oracle Database:

  • 11gR2: or later

  • 11gR1:

  • 10gR2:

If your current database does not meet one of the versions above, you will have to first upgrade to one of the supported versions before using the DBUA to upgrade to Oracle 12c. If you must first upgrade your database to a supported version for the DBUA to work, please reference the Oracle Documentation for your specific versions.

If you have determined that you are a candidate for using the DBUA, getting started with Oracle 12c is just a matter of following some simple procedures. The first step you will need to do is to install the Oracle 12c database software on your machine in parallel to your existing version.

Once the new software is installed, you can launch the DBUA and let it take care of the rest of the tasks for you.

To launch the DBUA on Linux:

  1. Open a terminal session on the OS as the Oracle software owner.

  2. Navigate to your new ORACLE_HOME/bin directory. For example, you might type this:

    cd /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1/bin
  3. Lastly, launch the DBUA by typing:


To launch the DBUA on Windows:

  1. Open a DOS session on the OS logged in as the Oracle software administrator.

  2. Navigate to your new ORACLE_HOME/bin directory. For example, you might type this:

    cd apporacleproduct12.1.0dbhome_1bin
  3. Lastly, launch the DBUA by typing:


You will see a splash screen from the DBUA and be taken to a wizard which will guide you through the rest of the steps.

Here is a summary of the steps the DBUA can help you do:

  • Perform pre-upgrade checks and display any necessary warnings

  • Provide you with methods to fix any pre-upgrade requirements

  • Choose your upgrade parallelism (to speed up the process)

  • Run post-upgrade tasks

  • Gather pre-upgrade statistics (to speed up the process)

  • Move files during the upgrade (will add to the overall time)

  • Configure Enterprise Manager

  • Configure pre-upgrade backup options (RMAN and Flashback)

  • Display progress during the process

  • Give you access to the upgrade activity log during the process

  • Give you access to the database alert log during the process

  • Display a detailed results page when the upgrade is complete