A Question regarding Oracle OPatch Tool (Further Clarification need)

Dear Sir (Experts),

I have another set of questions in my mind about Oracle OPatch Tool.

(1). In Oracle, What are the interim patches?

(2). Apart from interim patches, are there other types of patches?

(3). When I apply patches to Oracle Database, Should I apply all Oracle released Patches one by one relevant to my oracle version? As an example, If Oracle has released 4 patches ( Lets take patch names as A,B,C and D - Here A is oldest patch and D is newest ) to My oracle version,

(3.1). can I apply only newest patch without any dependencies of previous patches?

(3.2). or to apply newest patch, should I apply all old patches definitely?

(4). For further clarification please tell me..Can I use default OPatch tool of my Oracle 10.2 database (Here default means, The OPatch tool installed with my Oracle 10.2 installation) to apply all Oracle released patches relevant to my Oracle version? or should I upgrade my OPatch tool version time to time to apply different patches to same oracle version?

Thank You in advance.
Pradeep.
Pradeep SiriwardanaSystems EngineerAsked:
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schwertnerCommented:
Interim patches are small sets of corrections. They are intended to fix an important error.

Upgrades are collections of such patches, but the are published rarely - once at year or two. They comprise all interim patches and are cumulative.

Most of the intereim patches are cumulative - they comprise old patches.

Every patch explains in the README.html file what version of Orapatch it will use.

To see the current Opatch version:

# opatch lsinventory

Invoking OPatch 10.2.0.3.0

Oracle interim Patch Installer version 10.2.0.3.0
Copyright (c) 2005, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved..


To upgrade the Opatch version:

01. Download, transfer, install latest opatch utility.

     ####  Current state:  ######
   
    # opatch lsinventory

     Invoking OPatch 10.2.0.3.0


     ####    Solution:     ######

     OPatch 10.2.0.5.1:        Download the new Orapatch version in some directory:   /fac_sw/oracle/product/patches/p6880880_102000_AIX.zip

           
     Backup the current OPatch;

          cd /fac_sw/oracle/product/10.2.0.3.0.b.002/db

          mv OPatch OPatch.old

     Transfer the new version:

          cd    /fac_sw/oracle/product/10.2.0.3.0.b.002/db

          cp    /fac_sw/oracle/product/patches/p6880880_102000_AIX.zip  .

          unzip p6880880_102000_AIX.zip

          opatch version

                 Invoking OPatch 10.2.0.5.1

                 OPatch Version: 10.2.0.5.1

                 OPatch succeeded.

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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
To add to the above:

Some patches do not use OPatch.  The readme for the patch will tell you how to install that particular patch.

Also note that some interim patches, normally called one-off patches, are not cumulative.  They might have come out to late to be included in a larger patchset.  The readme for the patch will also tell you this information.
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