Starting with the 22.214.171.124 patch set, Oracle Database patch sets are full installations of the Oracle Database software. This means that you do not need to install Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (126.96.36.199) before installing Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (188.8.131.52).
Note the following changes with the new patch set packaging:
This feature enables you to upgrade an existing installation of Oracle database to Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (184.108.40.206) into the same Oracle home directory by replacing the existing database files. The patch set application requires more downtime and is not recommended. This upgrade type requires less disk space.
If you select In-place upgrade to upgrade Oracle database to the latest version, then you must:
This feature enables you to install Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (220.127.116.11) in a new, separate Oracle home directory. After the installation is complete, the data from the database in the old Oracle home directory is migrated to the database in the new Oracle home directory.
Out-of-place upgrade process is similar to Oracle database upgrade from one version to another and is the recommended type. The benefits of this upgrade type is that the patch set application requires much less downtime, and is safer when the patch set application must be aborted. This upgrade type requires more disk space to accommodate two Oracle home directories simultaneously.
DBA's Home Page - A website for Oracle, Greenplum and PostgreSQL DBA's > Oracle 11g New Features >