without a support identifier, you don't have access to the patch. In this case, if you are upgrading to a patched version of your current version, you will need to uninstall your current version before you can install the new patched version. Obviously this means you will need to export any workspaces, applications and any other objects and import them after the new install.
I know it can be a pain to have to do an upgrade this way, but Oracle are a commercial organisation and support licensing is a significant portion of their revenue stream, so I suppose they have to encourage the uptake of support licenses somehow. Anyway, like any other company, free software and services are mainly designed to increase revenue and market prescence in the long term.
The developer base volume and software application user volumes have to be miles apart. :-)
And commercial reality I expect will come from the user volume base (as in users using software built by developers).
It is the era of .99cent apps and that model is effective when you have large consumption. How about all forum users have a registration fee of $2.00? :-)
Anyway's the current scenario is not increasing take-up :-)
e.g. Developer downloads express edition, this comes with a version of apex. Along comes new apex version. Now what is the upgrade path to try/test the new features.
Keep in mind release cycles are shorter nowadays.
We live in the era of VM's now.
I want to be making 1 steps forward (upgrade apex) not 2 step back(export applications and misc, un-install apex) and then 2 steps forward (install apex, import applications and misc).