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Oracle To Offer A Free Database 370

Posted by Zonk
from the nice-if-true dept.
An anonymous reader writes "ZDNet News reports that Oracle is likely to announce a free version of its Oracle 10g Database. Oracle Database 10g Express Edition will be free for development and production use, and could even be distributed with other products. What does this mean for the future of MySQL and PostgreSQL?" From the article: "By introducing a free entry-level product, Oracle intends to get more developers and students familiar with its namesake database, Mendelsohn said. Those customers, Oracle hopes, will eventually upgrade to a higher-end version."
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Oracle To Offer A Free Database

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  • by defMan (175410) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:33AM (#13914059)
    Database XE is free for runtime usage with the following limitations:
    • Supports up to 4GB of user data (in addition to Oracle system data)
    • Single instance only of Oracle Database XE on any server
    • Only uses and executes on one processor in any server
    • Can use up to 1GB RAM
    • Think embedded DB.. This is just for applications which need a local cache. Dunno how much real muscle this has inherited though..

      MS offered a SQL Server express too. This is probably just a response.
      • by Dan_Bercell (826965) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:33AM (#13914395)
        MS has always offered a free database, MSDE
      • This is just for applications which need a local cache.

        Yes, but Oracle *sucks* for that. SQLite is considerably more appropriate for that kind of usage -- it's much less of a PITA to administer (and Oracle *is* indeed a PITA).

        I'm quite certain this is aimed where they say it is: Open-source databases such as PostgreSQL and MySQL. Many of the instances of either are small installations intended to act as backend to a webapp or five for a small company's intranet -- nothing needing hardware outside of the ran
    • by m4dm4n (888871)
      While the summary asks the question how this will effect MySQL and PostgrSQL, surely the limitations on processors, memory, and instances will make this unusable for shared hosting. While I may be wrong, I bet a lot of people get to know MySQL and PostgreSQL when they get it as part of a package for cheap (and thus almost certainly shared) hosting.
    • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:50AM (#13914151)
      This seems like it's aimed at Microsoft's "free" MSDE rather than open source databases like Postgres or MySQL. The specs are on par with MSDE.
      • by defMan (175410)
        Aha, i didn't know this. That explains the specs a bit more.

        I don't see it as competition to opensource offerings, because a) it's not opensource and b) it's extremely limited. It's main use is to install it on a developer machine to make sure they don't mess with the real database.

        And anyone considering this for embedded should probably go for sqlite [sqlite.org] instead.
      • by EraserMouseMan (847479) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:05AM (#13914590)
        You should RTFA. The strategy is directly aimed at gaining more usage from the people who typically would choose MySQL or PostressSql.

        Microsoft's SqlServer 2005 express has the same strategy. But Oracle is doing this for the same reason Microsoft is --> they are getting jealous of the Open Source database market share.

        My personal prediction is that Oracle's lite version won't catch on because Oracle's db is so dang complicated to set up correctly and the tools stink in comparison.

    • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:05AM (#13914216) Homepage Journal
      The thing about PostGreSQL that trumps the competition, IMHO, is that you can build in support for tools such as Python on the DB server.

      PL/pgSQL bears a resemblance to PL/SQL, and both languages are servicable enough. Oracle cooks in its own JVM. While Java is an undeniably powerful tool, one feels relatively enslaved to the JVM, compared to the bliss of simple, clear Python code.
    • by Goo.cc (687626) * on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:05AM (#13914217)
      I believe that these limitations mirrors Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, which is where they probably got them from.
    • SQL Express (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MajorDick (735308)
      these requirments are nearly Identical to SQLExpress, the renamed MSDE from MS.

      But on a windows system WOW is it handy for building apps with embeeded db , (1000 times better than Access, both in performance reliablity and coding for it.)
      Hopefully Oragle will make it that easy for Unix/Linux?Solaris development.
    • Most LAMP apps and sites live in hosted environment. For many large scale hosts, this licensing will not be attractive, so they'll continue to offer MySQL (and sometimes PostgreSQL). And since that's what's available cheap-and-easy, I suspect the open source databases don't have much to fear.
    • So what? If it comes with the required features, I'll still be able to make sure my product works with Oracle - without paying Oracle a dime. In my view, that's perfectly reasonable - since my customers will buy the expensive Oracle versions..
  • It Could Backfire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by obender (546976) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:33AM (#13914062)
    Unless Oracle puts together a better administration interface than the current bunch of tools people might actually learn to stay away from it.
    • by mysticwhiskey (569750) <mystic_whiskey@h ... m ['tma' in gap]> on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:39AM (#13914092)
      If anyone and his dog could administer an Oracle database, what will happen to the professional Oracle DBA's? THINK OF THE DBA'S!!! ;)
      • by cnelzie (451984)
        That would definately be thinking of the DBAs.

            Have you ever seen a Database "constructed" by someone who knows nothing about Database design?

            Easier to use tools will make it all the much easier for Oracle DBAs to quickly repair and rebuild or begin anew a DB created from a person with a Microsoft Access 101 class under his/her belt.
        • by oni (41625) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:43AM (#13914834) Homepage
          Have you ever seen a Database "constructed" by someone who knows nothing about Database design?

          That would describe 90% of the databases I've ever seen. Then people are amazed when they realize that there are questions that their data CANNOT answer, not because the information isn't there, but because of they way they've organized it.

          I'll give examples if anyone is interested.
      • Yeah, well I am an OCP DBA from version 8 through 10g and I'll be the first one to tell you to *keep your mouth shut* It's a piece of cake to manage these databases and the big DBA secret is that any moron can do this job. Oracle goes out of their way to make it all completely freaking whacked-out complicated to do anything, but it's still just command line nonsense. Spend 15 minutes reading the concepts manual, pirate a copy of T.O.A.D. and you can be a DBA too.

        You wanna know what it takes to be an Or
        • by kpharmer (452893)
          While it's true that keeping a tiny oracle vanilla database running can be very simple - especially if you don't care much about the data, and aren't developing on it (canned app).

          It is not simple to admin if:
          - you've got development trying a lot of different ideas - and you're spending all your time researching issues
          - you've got a ton of data
          - you've got business critical data and need to configure for maximum reliability
          - you get into a slightly
    • Actually their new plug in for Visual Studio is not bad at all. Personally I think it is better then JDevelloper, provided you don't code Java, of course. The main thing I have against Oracle is that I can't make e.g. an Access file which works out of the box on every computer. You always need to get the drivers set up properly first, and you can't do that without (local) administrator rights. That is where MS (obviously) can shamelessly profit from their monopoly.
    • by YoungHack (36385)
      > Unless Oracle puts together a better administration interface than the current bunch of tools people might actually learn to stay away from it.

      Boy that's no kidding. I've used their real database, and there's no way I would voluntarily choose it for any project of my own. Free wouldn't make a bit of difference to me.
      • Sad Statement (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Stone316 (629009)
        I don't know where to start with a statement like this.. If I had mod points I definately knock it down.

        The problem with developers like this guy is that they don't like to think that the DBA has an important role. IT is getting too large these days for people to be able to be good at everything. Its simply impossible. There isn't enough time in a day for one person to architect, design and support most software applications end to end.

        Administering an Oracle DB isn't that difficult but its a full time j
  • SQL For Fun? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Goo.cc (687626) * on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:34AM (#13914070)
    I've been meaning to ask this for a while on Slashdot, but how many people here use a SQL database as part of a hobby or for fun?

    I currently have PostgeSQL running on my Tiger box. I initially installed it just to experiment with SQL and database normalization, but now I keep my comic book inventory on it. (I know that this is like swatting a fly with a nuclear weapon but I enjoy using PostgreSQL and it is FREE software.)

    As for Oracle's announcement, I think that it can be a good thing, provided you are willing to live with their restrictions and only need support for Linux (x86?) and Windows.
    • I think any coder with a bit of common sense uses SQL for personal use. It's so diverse and so easy to use. I used to run a large music site off the back of SQL, but have used SQL for all sorts of easy storage. Put on a local server with phpmyadmin it's really useful.
    • I can't imagine storing relational data in anything other than a server-based SQL database at this point. I have a hammer and everything looks like a nail to me.

      Since I work all day every day with SQL Server databases, it's more of a nuisance for me with non-commercial projects to go to Access or similar non-server-based offerings.
    • I initially installed it just to experiment with SQL and database normalization, but now I keep my comic book inventory on it.

      Welcome to /. O Kindred Spirit! Your journey has been long, but now you have found us and you may rest.

      I know that this is like swatting a fly with a nuclear weapon

      That's a game scheduled for release at Christmas.

    • MS-SQL server and/or Oracle are one of the first applications I install on a new computer. However I am a DBA and database developer.
      As for what this will do for Oracle probably not that much. You could already could get a free licensed copies for development purposes, this allows distribution which is nice. This will be nice for the few times when you need to include a server based database with your application, but unless it is major application with multiple users give me a file based system and let
  • hopefully.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by icecow (764255)
    'hopefully' is code for 'by then they somewhat locked in'
  • Restrictions? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mysticwhiskey (569750)
    I guess it all depends on the restrictions applied to the "free" version. Is it crippled in any way? Does distribution of the free version require certain conditions (ie development criteria, use of application, etc)?

    The article states hardware restrictions of "one processor, with 4GB of disk memory and 1GB of memory", so this may automatically disqualify applications of a certain scale.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:37AM (#13914081) Homepage Journal
    ... this is crippleware. It's no threat to MySQL, PostgreSQL, or any other open source DBMS, because the developers of those databases are working to put as many features as possible into their free products, while Oracle is deliberately taking features out. This will probably be a good resource for people who want to learn Oracle on their own time, or organizations already using Oracle that want to test a new rollout without having to pay additional fees via Oracle's baroque pricing scheme, but that's about it.
    • by popeyethesailor (325796) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:46AM (#13914130)
      Well, Oracle has always been freely available for non-production use.. They even mail out their entire range of software(DB, App server,dev tools etc) free of cost.

      I once received 10g for linux, and the box had every latest release of Oracle software for Linux. They're quite developer-friendly; just as MS is. For production use however..
      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:52AM (#13914162) Homepage Journal
        Sounds to me like the difference is that you're allowed to use this new edition for (limited) production use as well. Now, I'm sure there are a ton of small shops currently using the free, "non-production" edition for production apps, but of course they're not really supposed to; this gives them a legal route. But I still think the deliberately crippled nature of the product makes it unattractive relative to the open source contenders, in terms that even PHB's will understand: "Boss, if we go with 'free' Oracle, we're going to run into that disk space limit pretty fast, and then we'll have to pay $$$."
      • by pci (13339)
        Oracle is only free for non-production use if you are in ISV.
        If you do in house programming, you are still suppose to buy licenses for Development.
    • by KiloByte (825081) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:11AM (#13914251)
      The problem with Oracle is, it doesn't scale at all. It is meant to do grid computing, but can't really do anything smaller.

      How often do you need to use a cluster for your data? If you are a major organization, then you will, but the majority of installations are pretty small. Firewall/website logs. Customer data. And so on.

      I have once developed a workshift-tracking application for a company with around 200 employees. A couple of years later, the total data takes 17MB. Why would you use Oracle if MySQL works faster and takes 1% of the resources? A minimal installation of Oracle 10g takes ~800MB of memory, and will take over ten hours to install on a machine with 512MB ram, on the other hand, on my firewall (486, 32MB ram) MySQL can handle Apache logs (only about 200k hits, though) taking a split second for any reasonable query.

      Oracle works better for clusters.
      MySQL works better for a single machine.

      MySQL is a lot faster. Oracle takes distributed processing a lot better.
      But uhm, where does a crippled version fit in the picture?
      • This is probably a good way to learn Oracle's nuances and help you on your way to become a DBA for Oracles bigger stuff.

        This is not in response to OSS (since they target two distinct markets: MySQL low-end, Oracle/DB2 high-end). Rather, this is likely in response to the MSDE (and the SQL Server 2005 version thereof), and the free DB2 products.

        This version is licensed for commercial use (unlike all the other free stuff oracle gives away), so they are probably hoping people will develop for this and eventuall
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:37AM (#13914082)
    Clearly, Oracle has bought a major disk drive company. Have you ever downloaded or tried to install Oracle? It's easily 10 Gigs of useless crud, wrapped around a few CD's of material actually relevant to your particular setup. For Linux, they publish it as a set of binary bundles that have to be strung together so that you can *then* take apart the tarball. What a waste of disk space!

    The approach shows up in everything they do. Build a huge, conglomerated edifice of software to provide the one brick you actually need, rather than keeping components modular and portable. It's like making people install a whole radio station just to get a pair of headphones.
  • Nice (Score:2, Informative)

    by Delifisek (190943)
    And I'm not sure free Oracle better than mysql for Lamp (laop ?) project.

    Oracle requires lots of attention to work. (O course if nobody touces it will work for ages) Any misuse may halt entire db.

    Anyhow, I'm not sure that kind of movements stops even slows MySql and PostgreSQL.

    And this kind of movements shows us FEAR...

    Even DB giant Oracle was fear from MySql and Posgre SQL

    Well done boys well done...
    • Any misuse may halt entire db.

      Lol Such as?
  • Weak passwords? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bigtallmofo (695287)
    Will the free version of Oracle be subject ot the same weak Oracle password encryption [com.com] scheme that the commercial version is?

    I've duplicated a number of techniques in the SANS article [sans.org] to make me leery of password security on my Oracle machines.
  • by samuel4242 (630369) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:44AM (#13914115)
    The main reason I like MySQL is it works five minutes after I finish downloading it. And it's much smaller than Oracle so I can download it quickly. I spent two days trying to make Oracle work on an Linux box and it never did. The price ain't the only reason I like open source. :-)
    • MySQL doesn't work. It is up and running five minutes; significant difference.

      Yes, I work day to day with MySQL, due to the cost of migration. No, I don't feel good about routinely having to deal with corruption in production databases. It's not acceptable. Yes, it also happens with InnoDB.

      Eivind.

  • by flipper65 (794710) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:45AM (#13914123) Homepage
    By all means, dive into Oracle, it will be a pleasure to see the Ellison flames replace the Gates flames.
  • I am choosing Oracle over MySQL. Why? Because SCO is still refusing to sheild MySQL users from lawsuits that directly result from this deal with SCO. Note: I am not asking to be protected from whacko frivolous lawsuits, I am asking that MySQL protect us from a lawsuit by SCO that results from SCO making the allegation that MySQL placed commercial SCO code in MySQL in violation of _this_ agreement.

    If MySQL is super confident that this deal cannot possibly result in any lawsuit to us, they can easily indemnif
    • No one can indemnify you from delusional lawsuits, unless they have the spare money to fend it off or to succeed well enough to take back their court costs from the plaintiff. MySQL developers just don't have that kind of spare money.

      Also note, SCO's lawsuit is draining their corporate sponsorship from Microsoft dry, and it's pretty clear from their income statements that they are being sponsored by Microsoft. Take a look over at http://groklaw.net/ [groklaw.net] for details. They don't have the resources to file another
      • No one can indemnify you from delusional lawsuits, unless they have the spare money to fend it off or to succeed well enough to take back their court costs from the plaintiff. MySQL developers just don't have that kind of spare money.

        That's fine. I understand that. Then don't enter into agreements (especially with known scum with a dark history of suing _users_ of GPL software).

        If I can't afford my rent, I dont go gambling with other people's credit cards in known swindling casinos.
  • by Dekortage (697532) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:46AM (#13914127) Homepage

    So MySQL and PostgreSQL have been free... then IBM announces a free version of DB2... then Microsoft says it's going to release SQL Server Express for free. So Oracle is playing catch-up. I wouldn't expect a major migration from MySQL to anything else; the conversion costs would be too high. But in the future, choice is a good thing.

    • They gave it the stupid name for it's free SQL, MSDE, or Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine. It has no UI, everything is done by vendor tools and CLI.
      http://www.microsoft.com/sql/msde/default.mspx [microsoft.com]
      • MS Access is "supposed" to be the interface to it. Access is actually a very nice interface and handles all of the SQL Server (2000) features extremely well, from simple views to complex stored procedures and macros.

        I haven't yet had a chance to play around with SQL Server 2005, but I understand that the entire .NET framework and runtime has been deeply integrated with it, and as such, all .NET languages can be used to create first class database objects like stored procedures, and even custom data types.
  • Are they starting an arms race against MySQL?
  • by OpenSourced (323149) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:55AM (#13914170) Journal
    I think that's a smart move by Oracle. From a long time ago they have allowed full download of their databases for testing purposes. I have a copy of Oracle 9 running in my machine to make tests of software I develop. So my customers with Oracle have better service. Probably some copies of the database will end up as production units, but few companies will trust its bussiness data to an illegal piece of software.

    So Oracle has realized that the free availability hasn't cut into their sales. The next step is logical. You give away an entry-level database (entry-level users would probably use an illegal copy, or worse, an open source db), and then wait till the needs grow and they need the real thing. If the needs don't grow, well, who need those little-bussiness-that-don't-grow as customers, anyway ?

    I see the thing as mainly good for the users and developers. Of course it'll cut into Open Source databases, but they'll still have their niche. After all, you should be careful with what you do with this free Oracle. Oracle can change its mind in two year's time and leave you with all your data and processes in a database that won't be supported or upgraded anymore. You'd have fallen into Oracle's trap. That's much more difficult to happen with an Open Source database.

  • I've used 8i and 9i in the past, without much thought or care as to how it got where I was using it from, or how costly it was to the respective company. Could someone from the trenches clue me in as to typical Oracle licensing practices? Like, if I want a box that can take 5 connections or 50,000.
    • Re:Oracle Licensing (Score:5, Informative)

      by mzito (5482) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:27AM (#13914369) Homepage
      Oracle is licensed by the processor or by "named user", not by simultaneous connections. For standard edition, its $15k per processor, or $300 per database user (plus a minimum of 5 users). For enterprise edition its $40k per processor or $800 per named user, with a minimum of 25 named users per processor in the system. This is before you add any of the expensive options like RAC, Partioning, etc. that can add $20k each to the price.

      There's also standard edition one, which is cheaper than either and supports some of the advanced features of both. It's designed to compete with some of the SQL server shops that have HA requirements but aren't willing to pay for oracle enterprise edition.

      Of course, all of these prices are list, and for good negotiators, discounts upwards of 50% off list are not uncommon.

      Thanks,
      Matt
      • Holy hell, that's outrageous. The fact that they can pull 50% off list for negotiators just shows how much profit they're making off of the project. I'll stick with MySQL... or CowboyNeal with postits and crayons.
  • Sounds to me like Oracle's market share is dropping and they're doing what they can to hold on. Besides, they make the bulk of their money from support fees, not the database itself. If you do anything serious with their software, you'll NEED that support. It's been my experience that Oracle is so much more difficult to configure and optimize that I'll just stick with MySQL and other database products when needed. I am completely convinced that unless you require a feature only present in Oracle or unless y
  • by reallocate (142797) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:59AM (#13914192)
    Offering gratis but capable versions of closed proprietary software may or may not turn out to be a good marketing move, but it would certainly separate those who like FOSS from those who like freebies. Given the fact that the vast majority of FOSS users have no interest in modifiying source code, or the capability, I suspect most of us fall into the freebie camp.
  • You couldn't pay me to use Oracle. I'm not sure what they expect to gain by this, but it certainly isn't my respect. If they want to generate more interest, they can make a product that works and doesn't require you to hire an Oracle-certified specialist to maintain all the little quirks and problems.

    Go ahead, -1 flamebait or troll or whatever, I just really don't like their database software, and especially now that MySQL has the features that it does in version 5 and from what I hear PostgreSQL has been
  • Switch? Hell No! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brennz (715237)
    I don't like the idea of switching to Oracle because it is not open source.

    I can't sweet talk Oracle devs into including some new feature I want, not without going through loads of bureacracy. I can't submit patches to the Oracle code base. I have to worry about rampant security flaws. I have to pay way too much if my DB gets bigger. I have to put up with mediocre performance.

    No thanks.

    I am sticking with PostgreSQL. I can hop into #postgresql on irc.freenode.net and talk to bruce momjian about feature
  • Super! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lao-Tzu (12740) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:04AM (#13914210) Homepage
    As a software developer in the petroleum industry, I find that all of our clients use Oracle for their database needs. The release of this product will allow us to test and tweak applications to work against Oracle without purchasing the database. This works out great for us. I don't want to use Oracle in any way, but now I have the capability to use it in the most minimal way that will allow me to sell and support software.

    My prefered database system is PostgreSQL. It would seem that no level of marketing skill can convince anyone in this industry that Free Software has value. Funny...
  • I won't be using any non-Free (note the capital F) database for either myself or my contract clients. Oracle, DB2, and Microsoft SQL Server may be free (note lowercase L) of charge for some limited range of uses, but none of them are Free as in Rug. You know the rug I'm talking about. It's the one that proprietary vendors like to pull out from under the people who get hooked on proprietary products.

    Been there, done that, won't ever do it again.
  • by vhogemann (797994) <victor AT hogemann DOT com> on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:06AM (#13914222) Homepage
    I'll not touch it.

    Not trying to be a troll here, but why use Oracle when they won't support our Distro of choice (Debian)?

    At work we have good experiences with Firebird, we have several databases, some over 1.6GB size, with more than 50 concurrent connections. And there was no downtime or corruption problems since the thing went to production, almost 3 years now.

    Ok, Oracle has big advantages over Firebird. But they're worth moving away from Debian, a distro we trust and are confortable with? Are these advantages worth the extra money spent on licences for Oracle and it's supported Linux distros?

    I work at a public institution, the healthcare department of Rio de Janeiro City, and there's barely enought money to run the hospitals, to buy medicine and such. Sure we could use this free Oracle, but we made such a long way until now using only OpenSource solutions. Why would we change now?

    Just my 2c.
  • by ahodgkinson (662233) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:10AM (#13914245) Homepage Journal
    Given the perceived popularity of MySQL, Oracle obviously feels it needs to react in order to prevent a slide in its market share. This is interesting, given that Oracle is one of the world's largest software companies and makes most of its money selling top-end systems to large enterprises, which isn't (yet) MySQL's playing field.

    MySQL is good enough for many smaller software projects and is therefore capturing mind share in the developer world. Oracle obviously realizes this leads to a trickle up effect as software developers with MySQL experience will probably start to recommend it for other, larger, projects.

    Oracle is trying counteract this by attempting to capture developer's mind share, rather than battling directly for market share. This is a long-term strategy and its success will depend on how well Oracle interacts and reacts with the Open Source developer community.

    From the few comments posted here, mainly those stating how big and complex the Oracle system is, I wonder if Oracle actually gets it. If the learning (and administering) curve is really that steep, Oracle may be better off if it releases a light (in size and complexity) version that is easy to get up and running on small projects. A second recommendation would be to make sure Oracle 10 is included by default on most popular Linux distributions (which will be difficult, given it's size and complexity).

    While I am impressed by Oracle's move, I'll be surprised if it gets them the gains they are hoping for. I don't think they realize the commitment this move will require in the Open Source world in order to be successful. Open Source is one of the few playing fields where actions still count more than PR.

    This makes me wonder if another major software company will follow with a drastic reaction when the Linux desktop and the Open Office suite are truly ready for prime time.

    We live in interesting times!

  • by waif69 (322360) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:15AM (#13914280) Journal
    If you look at the EULA you will see that this has a time restriction. "...provided to you by Oracle solely for evaluation purposes until January 31, 2006."

    Obviously this is just a ploy to get developers to write apps on Oracle then, when the application has gotten fat, they will have to pay the fees for a version of Oracle that can support the app or rewrite the whole thing.

    I think that only good reason to obtain 10g is to learn Oracle. If I was working at a company that was moving to Oracle, or at least talking about it, I would DL this to learn it for improved job opportunities.

    Just my $.02.
    • I could be wrong, but I think this time limit may be due to the fact that the current release is a beta. This way, they can effectively force people to move on up to the full fat edition when the time comes.
  • By introducing a free entry-level product, Oracle intends to get more developers and students familiar with its namesake database.

    More like, intends to get more developers familiar with its namesake database to increase supply of Oracle-experienced staff and therefore lower cost.
  • Question (Score:3, Informative)

    by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:22AM (#13914327) Homepage
    Could this be a badly disguised jab at the good burgers from Sybase [sybase.com], who offer their flagship product, slightly restricted, under the name Adaptive Server Enterprise Express Edition (cough) [sybase.com] (Link takes you to the registration form) since almost a year?

    In my opinion Oracle is one of the least trustworthy software vendors and I sure as hell wouldn't bank my company on them, regardless of the price they ask.

  • by doedel (852791) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:31AM (#13914388)
    Well, it doesn't affect them at all. And not Mr. Mendelsohn got that wrong but TFA and our /. poster.

    You could download and test Oracle's DBs for free for quite a while - but only now you can use them for free in a production environment. That's clearly aimed at MS' offerings like MSDE and SQL Server Express and not at MySQL or PostgreSQL.

    Also Oracle is an enterprise DB and MySQL, PostgreSQL or even MS SQL Server can not be compared to it in that regard. This also means you need trained staff to administer it - forget about just downloading and using it. Tried to get a demo of Oracle's XML Publisher working - I know what I'm talking about ;-).

    So if your shop is already using Oracle's DBs this is a nice offer for the occasional small project. But for everyone else, just stay with what you know and love - whether it's MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server or something else.

  • This could be a great boost to smaller compiere ERP [compiere.org] solutions. This is a cool GPL ERP system, but it runs exclusively on Oracle. Different portings projects is in place, all very interesting, but not production quality yet. The catch is that a lot of the system is in stored procedures etc.
    Convincing a business to cough up the high price for an Oracle license to use an unknown, yet brilliant ERP solution, is tough..
    This will allow us to set up Compiere for a business for the price of the hardware and consult
  • Oracle is proceeding in a very smart fashion to eliminate MySQL, which I'm sure they see as their biggest threat. (Yes, for all your Oracle zealouts out there, Oracle can do this, and Oracle can do that, and the other thing, that MySQL can not; but for 99.9% of web based database-driven applications, MySQL works great and does everything you need.)

    First, they buy up the InnoDB, which is the engine behind MySQL that offers the more advanced features (ones most likely to compete with Oracle), surely bringing
    • I don't think Oracle are MySQL are in the same market.
      As someone else cited, an Oracle license starts at around $15k.

      Also you'll need at least one dedicated DBA to keep it ticking.

      The pricetag alone reserves oracle for the "big guys" while MySQL is your average-joe database.
      And feature-wise MySQL can't hold a candle to the big O either...

      So, no, MySQL is not really threatening Oracle at all, right now.
  • Tester's heaven (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Craig Ringer (302899) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:35AM (#13914410) Homepage Journal
    Whether or not you'd like to use Oracle yourself, this is good news for software developers. It means they can deploy and test against a running version of Oracle with no need to worry about "developer program" memberships, trials that expire, and similar crud.

    This'll be very helpful for me in ensuring that my code is portable across databases (at least PostgreSQL and Oracle).
  • To me, it seems like one of mysql's greatest strengths is that it will run on cheap web-hosts. So a lot of F/OSS web apps, like CMS systems, run on mysql.

    I don't see the situation changing because these semi-free testing version databases.

  • ...lever Postgres from my cold dead fingers before I give it up. Well, that or pay me to switch :o).

    I don't doubt for one minute this free version of Oracle will be just as hard to maintain and use as the non-free version so why would anyone developing a small application use it over Postgres or MySQL?

  • For me it's pretty clear. MySQL is very easy to set up and use, and I'm already comfortable with it. It really does everything I need it to (plus a ton of other things I'm sure are there that I just don't use). So for me to switch to Oracle really serves no benefit. The reason I bring it up is because I'm sure there are a lot of other stubborn people out there like me that won't be willing to switch or have no motivation to do so. I think MySQL will be just fine, regardless of the Oracle opportunity ou
  • The amount of swap space on a default RHEL4 / FC4 / CentOS 4 with 2GB of memory seems not to be enough for Oracle 10g XE.

    "This system does not meet the minimum requirements for swap space. Based on the amount of physical memory available on the system, Oracle Database 10g Express Edition requires 3039.0 MB of swap space. This system has 2046 MB of swap space. Configure more swap space on the system and retry the installation."

    A simple workaround. [gumi.iki.fi]
  • It can only run servers with one processor, with 4GB of disk memory and 1GB of memory.


    This means for a true free system, you still need a DB with no limits.

    What this will allow is for apps written for just Oracle to run a bit for no cost.

    This doesn't really change things.
  • by mnemotronic (586021) <mnemotronic AT netscape DOT net> on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:40AM (#13914811) Homepage Journal
    Many companies have dedicated I.T. departments with at least a few people who are Oracle admins. Once a company has faith in a product (or has built s significant infrastructure upon a product), it becomes very difficult to switch the foundation. Giving away a small edition that would, from the sales pitch, appear to compete head-on with MySql and PostGRE, is a smart move. Take the case of a company where there are developers considering or starting their own "stealth" db apps - I don't mean the Oracle db admins, I mean the engineer who read about PHP and MySql and wants to try a small task-tracking system for his group. She or he knows that the company uses, and has blessed Oracle, so that might lend some weight to using the XE package rather than the "unproven" (from the IT department's point of view) FOSS database. In addition, Oracle has an enormous amount of administrative tools and documentation. MySQL and PostGRE really can't compare in that arena (IMHO). The downside, in my experience, is that Oracle administration really does require someone who has take a heap of Oracle admin classes.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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