Oracle Education announced on March 13 the retirement of several certification tracks, including both the OCA and OCP level 9i database management certifications. In fact, release 9i has been obsolete since the release of Oracle 10g in 2003, so these tracks are intended to be discontinued. With retirement, none of the exams leading to any of the 9i certifications will be available after July 31, 2013. The specific exams that will be retired are:
- 1Z0-007: Introduction to Oracle9i: SQL
- 1Z0-031: Oracle9i Database: Fundamentals I
- 1Z0-032: Oracle9i Database: Fundamentals II
- 1Z0-033: Oracle9i database: performance tuning
Oracle professionals pursuing the Oracle 9i DBA track have wondered what effect this retirement will have on the process of achieving their certification. The impact of the announcement and what actions to take depend on where you are currently in the certification process.
- If you have your 9i OCP certification – For people who have already passed all the tests and submitted their hands-on training papers, the retirement of the 9i job means nothing at all. Oracle certifications and exam results do not expire when an exam is ended.
- If you have passed all exams, but have not followed the training – Oracle will not grant the OCP certification until your training is completed and the paperwork is submitted. No training vendor is likely to offer 9i classes after the closing date, so plan and complete the required hands-on training before July 31 if you want to complete your 9i OCP.
- If you have the 9i OCA – For candidates who have obtained OCA certification, there are two exams (1Z0-032 and 1Z0-033), plus hands-on training that must be taken to become an Oracle 9i OCP. Both exams must be completed before July 31st. As mentioned above, it is unlikely that the training will be available after that date. If you want to complete your 9i OCP, there is little time to waste.
- If you have not yet started working towards the OCP – If you have not yet started preparing for your Oracle DBA certification track, I recommend following a release that is newer than 9i. You probably don’t have enough time to meet the requirements for the 9i OCP. The 10G track will be available for a few years, and the 11G track will likely be available for the next ten years.
For candidates who have their 9i Associate certification, an upgrade to the professional level has more value than just the increased prestige. There is no upgrade path for OCA certifications. However, upgrading OCP certifications to the next release requires a single test and requires no training. This means that if you become an Oracle 9i Database Administrator Certified Professional, one exam (1Z0-040) will upgrade your references with Oracle 10G. A second test (1Z0-050) will upgrade your credentials to 11G. Oracle will release 12C later this year. At that point, a test will become available to upgrade to 12C (presumably 1Z0-060). Becoming an Oracle Certified Professional administrator and keeping your certifications current is a strong indication that you have knowledge of the Oracle database and are committed to keeping your skills current.