Upgrade Oracle APEX from 4.2.3 to 4.2.4


Oracle recently released version 4.2.4 of its Application Express (APEX) software.  This post is to document how to upgrade Oracle APEX from 4.2.3 to 4.2.4.

The Oracle APEX installation to be upgraded has the following specification:

  1. The operating system of the server is CentOS 6.5.
  2. The Oracle Database version is Oracle XE 11gR2.
  3. Oracle APEX is served using the APEX Listener, via GlassFish 4.

Download and read the Patch Set Notes

First things first, read up on the patch set notes here.

Download and unzip the Patch Set

Next, the patch set is downloaded via Oracle Support.

The downloaded patch set is then extracted.

[oracle@server ~]$ unzip p17607802_424_Generic.zip

Backup database

The database is backed up as a precaution if the patch is unsuccessful.

I prefer a cold and consistent backup to ease the recovery process.

[oracle@server ~]$ rman target / nocatalog

Recovery Manager: Release - Production on Tue Jan 7 12:33:41 2014

Copyright (c) 1982, 2009, Oracle and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

connected to target database: XE (DBID=2709648321)
using target database control file instead of recovery catalog

RMAN> shutdown immediate

database closed
database dismounted
Oracle instance shut down

RMAN> startup mount

connected to target database (not started)
Oracle instance started
database mounted

RMAN> backup database plus archivelog;

RMAN> alter database open;

database opened
RMAN> exit

Recovery Manager complete.

Prevent access to the APEX instance

No users should be using the APEX installation while it is being upgraded.  Access to the instance should be limited.  In this particular case, since APEX is served by the APEX Listener which is hosted by a GlassFish instance, user access is prevented by shutting down the GlassFish instance.

[oracle@server ~]$ sudo service glassfish4 stop
Shutting down glassfish4: Waiting for the domain to stop ...
Command stop-domain executed successfully.
                                                           [  OK  ]

The above command is used to control the GlassFish installation only if the corresponding service init script has already been correctly created.  An example on how this is done can be found here.

Apply the patch set

Now, set the current directory to the patch directory, and apply the patch.

[oracle@server ~]$ cd patch
[oracle@server patch]$ sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release Production on Tue Jan 7 16:07:39 2014

Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Express Edition Release - 64bit Production

SQL> @apxpatch.sql

The patch will now be applied, and the process will take a few minutes.

Copy patch directory contents into APEX directory

After the patch process is completed, it is time to copy the contents of the patch directory into the original APEX installation directory.

[oracle@server patch]$ cp -R * /path/to/apex/

This will include the images directory as well, and if the path to the APEX directory is the same one used to originally create the images WAR file, the WAR file need not be recreated.

Restart GlassFish

The final step is to restart the GlassFish instance.

[oracle@server ~]$ sudo service glassfish4 start
Starting glassfish4: Waiting for domain1 to start .....................................................
Successfully started the domain : domain1
domain  Location: /home/gfish/glassfish4/glassfish/domains/domain1
Log File: /home/gfish/glassfish4/glassfish/domains/domain1/logs/server.log
Admin Port: 4848
Command start-domain executed successfully.
                                                           [  OK  ]

Now the APEX installation is successfully updated to version 4.2.4, and is ready to be accessed.

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