• Later Oracle Database releases can access earlier Oracle Database releases. However, this access is only for upgrades. For example, Oracle Database 12 c release 2 can access an Oracle Database 11 g release 2 (22.214.171.124) database if the 126.96.36.199 database is started up in upgrade mode. • Oracle Database Client can be installed in the same Oracle Database home if both products are at the same release level. For example, you can install Oracle Database Client 188.8.131.52 into an existing Oracle Database 184.108.40.206 home but you cannot install Oracle Database Client 220.127.116.11 into an existing Oracle Database 18.104.22.168 home. If you apply a patch set before installing the client, then you must apply the patch set again. • Structured organization of directories and files, and consistent naming for database files simplify database administration. • Login home directories are not at risk when database administrators add, move, or delete Oracle home directories. • You can test software upgrades in an Oracle home in a separate directory from the Oracle home where your production database is located. About Multiple Oracle Homes Support C-2 Oracle Database Installation Guide
C.3 About the Oracle Inventory Directory and Installation The directory that you designate as the Oracle Inventory directory (oraInventory) stores an inventory of all software installed on the system. All Oracle software installation owners on a server are granted the OINSTALL privileges to read and write to this directory. If you have previous Oracle software installations on a server, then additional Oracle software installations detect this directory from the /etc/oraInst.loc file, and continue to use that Oracle Inventory. Ensure that the group designated as the OINSTALL group is available as a primary group for all planned Oracle software installation owners. If you are installing Oracle software for the first time, then OUI creates an Oracle base and central inventory, and creates an Oracle inventory using information in the following priority: • In the path indicated in the ORACLE_BASE environment variable set for the installation owner user account • In an Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA) path (u[01–99] /app/ owner where owner is the name of the user account running the installation), and that user account has permissions to write to that path • In the user home directory, in the path /app/ owner , where owner is the name of the user account running the installation For example: If you are performing an Oracle Database installation, and you set ORACLE_BASE for user oracle to the path /u01/app/oracle before installation, and grant 755 permissions to oracle for that path, then Oracle Universal Installer creates the Oracle Inventory directory one level above the ORACLE_BASE in the path ORACLE_BASE/../oraInventory , so the Oracle Inventory path is /u01/app/ oraInventory . Oracle Universal Installer installs the software in the ORACLE_BASE path. If you are performing an Oracle Grid Infrastructure for a Cluster installation, then the Grid installation path is changed to root
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