Oracle Education announced the retirement of several certification tracks on March 13, including both the OCA and OCP-level 9i database administration certifications. Release 9i has been effectively obsolete since the release of Oracle 10g in 2003, so the retirement of these tracks is due. With the retirement, none of the exams leading to either of the 9i certifications will be available after July 31, 2013. The specific exams being 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 that are pursuing the Oracle 9i DBA track have been asking what effect this retirement will have on the process of obtaining their certification. The impact of the announcement and what actions you should take depend on where you currently are in the certification process.
- If you have your 9i OCP Certification — For people who have already passed all of the tests and submitted their hands-on training paperwork, the retirement of the 9i track means nothing at all. Oracle certifications and exam results do not expire when an exam is retired.
- If you have completed all of the exams, but have not taken the training — Oracle will not grant the OCP certification until your training has been completed and the paperwork submitted. No training vendor is likely to offer 9i classes after the cut-off date, so you should schedule and take the required hands-on training before July 31st if you want to complete your 9i OCP.
- If you have the 9i OCA — For candidates who have completed the OCA certification, there are two exams (1Z0-032, and 1Z0-033), plus a hands-on training course that must be taken to become an Oracle 9i OCP. Both exams must be taken before July 31st. As noted above, the training is unlikely to be available after that date either. If you want to complete your 9i OCP, there is little time to waste.
- If you have not yet begun working toward the OCP — If you have not yet started to prepare for your Oracle DBA certification track, then I would recommend pursuing a release newer than 9i. You are likely to run out of time before completing 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.
For candidates that have their 9i Associate certification, upgrading to the Professional-level has value beyond 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 has no training requirement. This means that if you become an Oracle 9i Database Administrator Certified Professional, then one exam (1Z0-040) will upgrade your credentials to include Oracle 10G. A second test (1Z0-050) will upgrade your credentials to 11G. Later this year, Oracle will be releasing 12C. At that time, a test will be made available to upgrade to 12C (presumably 1Z0-060). Becoming an Oracle Certified Professional administrator and keeping your certifications current is a strong indicator that you are knowledgeable in the Oracle database and committed to keeping your skills current.