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Oracle To Offer A Free Database 370

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
  • Nice (Score:2, Informative)

    by Delifisek ( 190943 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:37AM (#13914084) Homepage
    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...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 31, 2005 @08:44AM (#13914116)
    Just wanted to share! They really need to work on the developer experience. I'm no MS apologist, but SQL Server is an absolute dream by comparison - and there'e a free version too.
  • 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 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 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:04AM (#13914211)
    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 [] instead.
  • by pci ( 13339 ) <vince DOT power AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:05AM (#13914213) Homepage
    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 smittyoneeach ( 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 ( 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.
  • 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.
  • by LLuthor ( 909583 ) <> on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:20AM (#13914313)
    PostgreSQL also can embed a JVM for writing stored procudures and user functions and aggregate functions, but its not very well supported (yet). PG does have quite a few companies behind it so I doubt it will stay that way for long.

    PG probably has the best language support of all DBs. Is there any major language that doesn't have a PG interface in 8.1?
  • 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 [], who offer their flagship product, slightly restricted, under the name Adaptive Server Enterprise Express Edition (cough) [] (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 LLuthor ( 909583 ) <> on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:23AM (#13914330)
    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.
  • 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.

  • by Dan_Bercell ( 826965 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:33AM (#13914395)
    MS has always offered a free database, MSDE
  • by Ledis ( 720981 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @09:51AM (#13914494)
    What are you talking about? Oracle 10g Linux is 638MB in size. And I have downloaded and installed it many many times on five different platforms.
  • by CedricVonck ( 693142 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:32AM (#13914761)
    Like the title of my reply already said ... you can almost download any tool of Oracle for free. (except the Apps Suite) Only for development purposes like stated on [] You can download the _entire_ Oracle 10g2 Production Relase DB, the developer suite, and so on & .... It is only a problemn when you use it in your company. My 0.02$ Regards
  • "... I always come up against limitations that I can't live with..."

    May I ask, what features do you need that aren't in SQLite [] or PostgreSQL []?

    Another question: I wonder if the free version of Oracle will work with Compiere ERP + CRM [], at least for testing?

    Here is a Comparison of Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL DBMS [].

    ZDNet article: Oracle to offer free database [].

    I was not able to find the list of limitations on the Oracle web site. Anyone?
  • by Jaseoldboss ( 650728 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @11:24AM (#13915144) Homepage Journal
    It's in the Data Sheet (pdf warning). /xe/pdf/dbxe_datasheet.pdf []

    • Available on 32-bit Linux and Windows
    • Installs using native installers
    • English (single byte character set) and International (Unicode) versions available with support for 10 major languages
    • Supports up to 4GB of user data
    • Utilizes a single CPU on multi-processor or multi-core machines
    • Can use up to 1GB RAM (single instance only)
    • Fully upgradeable to other Oracle Database 10g editions
    • Oracle Text for efficient text-based searches
  • Re:First Post (Score:0, Informative)

    by dbucowboy ( 891058 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @12:07PM (#13915487) Homepage
    So I guess Google isn't big enough to need oracle yet? They're still using MySql for everything...
  • PHP and Oracle (Score:4, Informative)

    by sinkemlow ( 843906 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @12:24PM (#13915628)

    Exactly. I'm an amature PHP coder, which means I cut my teeth on PHP and MySQL. Last year, however, I was forced into a position where I needed to working with an Oracle database. I spent a couple of hours reading up on OCI8 and after a quick recompile of PHP, I was working with the Oracle database through PHP.

    After getting the basic framework of the PHP application together, my reaction was, "Wow, so this is what they mean when they say *real* database." I had very little difficulties working with the new database, and very quickly began to appreciate the extra features Oracle had to offer. After about a week of working with Oracle, I found it quite hard to fall back into the old PHP+MySQL routine (although the mysqli extension has made this easier).

    So I would say the average PHP light coder should have no problems transitioning to an Oracle database. I sure didn't.

  • Re:It Could Backfire (Score:2, Informative)

    by kpharmer ( 452893 ) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:10PM (#13917530)
    > Actually, I'm interested, to tell the truth I haven't had the misfortune of dealing with badly designed databases and I would like to know what it takes for people to make them unable to
    > provide answers while the information is there.

    here's a list of major screw-ups:
    1. objects are stored as binaries instead of separate columns
    2. data is organized in massive and simple key-value pair columns rather than as separate and dedicated columsn
    3. data is kept as strings that must be parsed with application code instead of with sql

    lesser screw-ups would include:
    4. overly normalized model
    5. missing data
    6. lack of versioning or history
    7. data versioning inconsistently applied
    8. data quality inconsistent due to all validation being performed at application layer
    9. etc

    Many of these issues don't prevent users from getting their data back out the application that wrote it. The problem is that when they have a simple question like, well, how many transactions per day have we been getting for the past year, and is the rate increasing? That there's no way to answer that question through SQL, but more expensive application logic has to be built. Then you next discover that the application that may have performed fine for simple transactions *completely dies* when you try to have it scan a year's worth of data.

    The root cause of all this is that many people are still building applications like it was 1985 - and just being able to CRUD a few objects is good enough. Well, it isn't. People generally expect to be able to get insights about a business process in addition to simply creating operational transactions within it. And if you don't know that up front, and then design the database in accordance with the latest fads in J2EE, etc then you *will* suffer once that application starts getting used.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.