Because the Oracle database server continues to evolve and can require maintenance, Oracle periodically produces new releases. Because only some users initially subscribe to a new release or require specific maintenance, multiple releases of the product can exist simultaneously.
As many as five numbers may be required to fully identify a release. The significance of these numbers is discussed below.
Release Number Format
To understand the release level nomenclature used by Oracle, examine the following example of an Oracle database server labeled "Release 220.127.116.11.2."
The significance of each number (reading from left to right) is as follows:
9 is the version number
0 is the new features release number
1 is the maintenance release number
1 is the generic patch set number
2 is the platform specific patch set number
This is the most general identifier. It represents a major new edition (or version) of the software and contains significant new functionality.
New Features Release Number
This number represents a new features release level.
Maintenance Release Number
This number represents a maintenance release level. A few new features may also be included.
Generic Patch Set Number
This number identifies a generic patch set. The patch set is applicable across all operating system and hardware platforms.
Platform Specific Patch Set Number
This number represents a patch set that is applicable only to specific operating system and hardware platforms.
Checking Your Current Release Number
To identify the release of the Oracle database server that is currently installed and to see the release levels of other Oracle components you are using, query the data dictionary view PRODUCT_COMPONENT_VERSION. A sample query is shown below. Other product release levels may increment independently of the database server.
SELECT * FROM PRODUCT_COMPONENT_VERSION;
PRODUCT VERSION STATUS
--------------------------- --------------------------- ---------------------
NLSRTL 18.104.22.168.0 Production
Oracle9i Enterprise Edition 22.214.171.124.0 Production
PL/SQL 126.96.36.199.0 Production
TNS for Solaris: 188.8.131.52.0 Production
It's important to convey to Oracle the information displayed by this query when you report problems with the software.
Optionally, you can query the V$VERSION view to see component-level information.