Oracle Sustaining Support and other support tiers

The Challenge Of Aging Software Support Contracts: understanding the three levels of Oracle support with a closer look at Oracle Sustaining Support​ and what's included, and what's not.
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Picture of Written by Brad Smith

Written by Brad Smith

Client Delivery Lead for Oracle at Blue Crystal Solutions

The Challenge Of Aging Software Support Contracts: A Closer Look At Oracle Sustaining Support​


Software support contracts are an integral part of the modern IT landscape. They ensure that your customized, paid-for software continues to function smoothly and securely. However, over time, the value of these contracts can diminish as vendors cut back on support services while increasing fees. In particular, Oracle customers often face this predicament, even with the vendor’s promise of lifetime support. In this article, we explore the nuances of Oracle’s support tiers and discuss the benefits of third-party support as a viable solution.

The Three Levels of Oracle Support


Oracle offers three levels of support, each with its own set of features:

Premier Support: This level provides comprehensive support for new Oracle products for a period of five years, including product updates, technical assistance, and support resources. This includes:

  • Major product and technology releases
  • Technical support
  • My Oracle Support
  • Updates, fixes, security alerts, data fixes, and critical patch updates
  • Tax, legal, and regulatory updates
  • Upgrade scripts
  • Certification with most new third-party products/versions
  • Certification with most new Oracle products

Extended Support: Customers can opt for extended support for an additional three years, but at an extra cost. It extends the lifespan of specific software releases.

  • Major product and technology releases
  • Technical support
  • My Oracle Support
  • Updates, fixes, security alerts, data fixes, and critical patch updates
  • Tax, legal, and regulatory updates
  • Upgrade scripts
  • Certification with most existing third-party products/versions
  • Certification with most existing Oracle products
  • Extended Support may not include certification with some new third-party products/versions

Sustaining Support: Sustaining Support is available if you continuously maintain and pay annual fees for technical support related to your Oracle program licenses. Oracle’s Sustaining support includes:

  • Access to Oracle online support tools
  • Upgrade rights
  • Pre-existing fixes
  • Assistance from technical support experts

      and does not include:

  • New updates, fixes, security alerts, data fixes, and critical patch updates
  • New tax, legal, and regulatory updates
  • New upgrade scripts
  • Certification with new third-party products/versions
  • Certification with new Oracle products
  • 24 hour commitment and response guidelines for Severity 1 service requests
  • Previously released fixes or updates that Oracle no longer supports

The Pitfalls of Sustaining Support

Despite Oracle’s assurance of continued support, Sustaining Support has its limitations. It does not include essential elements such as new program updates, security alerts, critical patch updates, tax, legal, and regulatory updates, and new upgrade scripts. In essence, you continue to pay annual maintenance fees but receive significantly reduced support. This can lead to increased challenges in maintaining compliance and implementing necessary enhancements.

Oracle’s Strategy vs. Yours

Like many other enterprise software providers, Oracle is steering customers toward cloud-based solutions and software-as-a-service offerings. While this shift aligns with Oracle’s revenue goals, it may not be in the best interest of organizations heavily invested in legacy applications and workloads. Customisations and fine-tuning built over the years can be jeopardised when pressured into adopting a new platform with different pricing structures.

Many IT leaders are concerned about implementing vendor subscription-based licensing models. Yet, many feel compelled to do so, often without a clear return on investment insight. Contact us for more information on gaining independence from vendor-dictated roadmaps, improving the quality of Oracle support, and reducing overall IT costs.

Learn more about Oracle’s Lifetime Support Policy.

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When our Logistics client required a comprehensive health check and ongoing support for their two critical Oracle databases which supported the JD Edwards Logistics package essential for their distribution function, Blue Crystal Solutions were able to step in and remove the risks of instability, lack of future support, performance issues, non-scalable custom code and more.

Before digital archives, the nation's scientific data was stored in hard copies, susceptible to destruction. Yet, even with modern cloud storage like AWS, consistent updates and security measures are crucial to safeguard information. Blue Crystal Solutions (Blue Crystal) aided our Australian Federal Government client to securely upgrade and migrate biodiversity data.

We are continuing to grow and are looking for an Application Support and enhancement team member to join our Adelaide based team.

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Australian owned and operated since 2004, we provide information technology services locally, nationally and beyond.

We are a specialised supplier of Cloud, Application, Database & Infrastructure, Operating System Management, Modernisation and Transformation services. With security at the forefront of everything we do, we can also work with your cyber teams to significantly improve your security posture whilst ensuring all your services with us are fortified by our integrated outage protection and 24×7 monitoring tool, BlueDiamond

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