By definition, a patch is simply a set of changed files which are issued to correct some glaring bugs in the issued version. In most cases, a patch will NOT cantain any new features. However, since Exponent is continually being developed, some new features may 'creep in' with the fixes. Also, some features which were not fully implemented may be completed. Patches are usually only distributed when a significant issue must be corrected.
A patch 'package' ONLY applies to the software version it is named after, and can only be applied to that installation. Patches are always cumulative, meaning that Patch #3 contains all the changes found in Patches #1 and #2, and those patches are NOT required. If you are performing a 'fresh install', you do NOT need to run the installation/upgrade procedure until after you (re)extract the version package and the most recent 'patch' package.
Parent Help Topic
One of the most complicated questions is 'should you upgrade to the newer version?' In most instances, you should upgrade to the most recent 'patch' issued for your current version. Upgrading to a 'new version' (number) is more complicated: ...