Recently I blogged about Upgrading WLS using the Oracle Smart Update utility. We discovered that while this utility will happily patch our developers' machines, we had h3lls own trouble trying to get it to work on our server. After much head scratching, gritting of teeth, yelling, begging and sobbing at our firewall administrators, without a solve, we decided a new approach was required.
As per Andreas Koop's comment in that original blog post, you can in fact run the Smart Update utility in offline mode, which implies you can download the patches and install them from the utility locally without directly connecting to the Oracle web services. However what I couldn't see was how to run the Maintenance Patch option in offline mode. Yet given the offline mode support it seemed reasonable that you could download a patchset from somewhere, and this post details where that's from.
Under Oracle Support's MOS and the HTML version you can click on the Patches and Updates tab.
In MOS under the Patch Search box with the Oracle, Siebel and Hyperion tab selected, click on the Product or Family link. From there as per the following screenshot enter WebLogic Server as the product, pick whichever release you want to upgrade to (not from), and the platform:
From here you can download the relevant patch:
The MOS interface isn't ideal as you can't use download managers for speeding up the stupendous size of the patchsets. Alternatively the HTML version does. The following screenshot shows the equivalent search'n'results under HTML:
From the resulting downloaded zip, extract it and run the exe. This invokes the upgrade installer that looks similar to the normal WLS installer. The installer steps from then on are self explanatory, requiring you to pick the existing WLS home then proceeding with the installation.