If, like me, you have an existing WebCenter and SOA Suite 126.96.36.199 installation, that you need to upgrade to the new 188.8.131.52 release, you may find the task a little daunting, as I did. However, a little bit of careful research payed off, and I found that the Installation Planning Guide, particularly this section, are particularly useful and make the process very simple.
First, you need to upgrade your WebLogic Server from 10.3.2 to 10.3.3. There is a WebLogic Server 10.3.3 installer on OTN, but this is not what you need. You actually need to log on to Oracle Support (formerly known as Metalink) and download the Update Installer. Full instructions on how to find it are included in the documentation linked to above.
You need to make sure you download the same kind of installer as you used to install your 10.3.2 server. That means, if you installed the “generic” version, as opposed to the “win32” version or some other version, you need to make sure you download the “generic” updater. If you installed the “linux” version, you need the “linux” updater, and so on.
With that completed, you then need to run the patch installers. In my case, I ran the WebCenter 184.108.40.206 patch installer, then then SOA 220.127.116.11 patch installer.
The WebCenter 18.104.22.168 patch mainly contains fixes and updates, not a lot of new features, however there are some including an iPhone application and better integration with Microsoft Office 2007.
In contrast, the SOA 22.214.171.124 patch adds a lot of new functionality, most notable is the BPM 11g product which is installed as part of the patch, and adds the ability to use BPMN 2.0 in your composites – but that’s a whole other story. The patch also adds the “BPEL domain” support that 10g users would be familiar with, and some other enhancements.
The final step is to run the Patch Set Assistant. This will update your database schemas to suit the new patch.
After these three steps, you can then start up your domain at 126.96.36.199 level! Not so hard after all! Enjoy!
PS: There are some other post installation steps documented that you may want or need to do, depending on your installation. Please be sure to read through them and carry out any extra steps that may apply.