• Fixing an existing issue

• Adding a new feature or functionality

• Updating to a higher maintenance level

• Applying the latest product enhancements

• Providing interoperability to new technology stacks

• Determining the source of an issue

• Applying online help

Patch File Structure
Patches generally consist of a top-level directory that may contain several files, and one or more subdirectories. The top-level directory is named <patchnum>, where <patchnum> is the number of the patch. The most important files in the top-level directory are: README.txt, README.html and the unified driver file (named u<patchnum>.drv).

Readme File
The README.txt or README.html file describes what the patch does. If the patch contains manual steps, then the readme file provides information on using Oracle Patch Application Assistant (PAA) to generate customized installation instructions. If the patch does not contain manual steps, the readme file provides instructions for running AutoPatch to apply the patch.

Unified Driver File
The unified driver, named u<patchnum>.drv, contains the commands necessary to change files and database objects, and to generate new objects. It contains a sequential list of copy, database, and generate instructions, which are arranged in sections. You typically run the unified driver on all APPL_TOPs. AutoPatch runs only the actions that are required for the current APPL_TOP. However, there may be scenarios where you run only the applicable portion of the driver. In these cases, the readme file directs you to run PAA to generate the specific instructions.

Patch Formats

Individual bug fix:
A patch that fixes an existing issue.

Product family release update pack (product family RUP)
An aggregation of patches on a given codeline created for all products in specific product family for a specific point release. For example, R12.FIN_PF.A.1.

Release update pack (RUP)
A cumulative aggregation of product family release update packs on a given codeline created across Oracle E-Business Suite after the initial release. For example, 12.1.1.

Pre-upgrade patch
All upgrade-related, high-priority patches consolidated from all the products within a product family. Pre-upgrade patches are released as needed.

Consolidated upgrade patch
All upgrade-related patches consolidated from all the products in a product family. These patches are released as needed and are only available for upgrading a Release 12 system from one point release to another.

In Release 12, Oracle E-Business Suite patches are grouped into codelines. A codeline begins with a point release (for example, Release 12.0) consisting of a unique set of product features, and progresses to include all the patches created to maintain that point release. The initial Release 12.0 point release introduced codeline A. Additional point releases introduce new codelines, each identified by a unique letter. For example, Release 12.1 introduced codeline B, and Release 12.2 is expected to introduce codeline C

Patches associated with codelines not only implement a set of product features for that point release, but also provide fixes to that set of features. We describe this unique set of product features for a point release as a codelevel and assign it a unique number. The following diagram illustrates how codelines and codelevels might be associated with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.