Saturday, July 13, 2013

First mentions of Oracle 12c XE (Express Edition)

Oracle released an Express Edition (XE) of its 10g database back in 2005 or thereabouts, and this was later followed up by an Oracle 11g Express Edition database.

Oracle XE is great because it is lightweight and "free to develop, deploy and distribute". Dietmar Aust has posted a thorough clarification on XE licensing, where representatives from Oracle have confirmed that XE is indeed free. (The post also includes some good security advice in the comments.) Oracle XE has its limitations, but I've previously posted some performance benchmarks for Oracle XE, which shows that it is more than good enough for many use cases.

Back to the topic of this post... during the Q&A part of the "Oracle Database 12c Launch Webcast" there were several questions about a 12c version of XE:

Will there be an Oracle 12c Express Edition? It is planned, but there are no dates yet.

Is there an Express edition of 12c available? Planned, but no dates yet.

Will 12c be available for Express Edition? If so, schedule? Planned but no dates yet.

So basically, we now know that there will be an Oracle 12c Express Edition coming out, but we have no idea when. Hopefully it won't take 5-6 years, like the wait between 10g and 11g... (and when it arrives it will probably be for 64-bit Windows, which was promised for XE 11g, but which never materialized UPDATE: Oracle XE 11g for 64-bit Windows was released in June 2014).

But hey, it's free, and it's a great product, so it will be worth the wait! :-)


outofmemoryexception said...

I work as a software developer and have some customers that want to use the product that we create on Oracle. I therefore need to have access to an Oracle database in order to do my job. I've selected the use of XE because I can run a copy of it on my development box. I can't always be connected to my corporate network and XE allows me have access to a server whenever I need.

While I agree it is a good to have a version of product for free, I do see a SERIOUS lack of commitment, support, and tools coming out of Oracle. While I don't want to get into the merits of which database is better, I see much more of a commitment coming from Redmond.

I've seen this time and time again that companies that make things easy for a developer to latch onto their product have more applications and community support. I think that Oracle's lack of commitment and apparent apathy for anyone using their "free" product sends a message to the development community that they are not interested unless you've got the cash to play.

Just my two cents.

Panco Cheong said...

For any new PC deployment, we are no longer deploying 32-bit OS and the 64-bit is a norm these days. Even the smartphone have 64-bit OS.

Oracle XE is not a choice as it doesn't support 64-bit OS. I have to choose others brand for our client side application development.

Anonymous said...


Oracle 11 XE provides some header files gimh.h/gimp.h which have the descriptions on how to use OracleDB functions to report database status
(mounted, closed, etc.)

What would be the license restriction to generate binaries using this header in commercial applications?

If I write my own 'C' code to use this header, I have to link to two files: libdbtools11.a and to generate a binary

Wanted clarification (if possible) on this.

Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

After participating the Oracle Database 12c: Administration Workshop, the trainer mentioned that there will be no Oracle 12c Express Edition. Bad news for me and others that would like to see a Oracle Free edition. Now they are telling that you should go with MySQL in case you are after something free. :-(

Unknown said...

@outofmemoryexception If I'm not quite mistaken, the Oracle license allows you to deploy any edition for development purposes. If you want to use Oracle for development of customer applications, just install Oracle Enterprise. But do not use it for production use without a license.

Adam Cumming said...

Read the Oracle Licensing documentation. You cannot use Enterprise for development without paying for it. If you use it under the 'Personal database' rules you may do so provided you and no one else ever accesses the database or any tools referencing it, but the moment another person does you are in violation of the licensing restrictions in the neighborhood of around $40,000.00 USD * number of cores (multiplied by Oracle Licensing's core multiplier).

I would like to see 12c Express as well, however, given the 12c architecture introduces multitenant architecture, and Express is limited to one and only one database per physical server, I highly doubt 12c will be available as Express without significant functional limitations.

Soumya Boral said...

This type of behavior is really disappointing. I am a data analyst and was trying to learn SQL and seeing the amount of features available for Oracle database, thought to choose it. But lack of free version is really keeping me back.

Believe me, if this type of lack continues one day, the free options will definitely win.

For example in case of data science, SAS ( a popular data analysis software ) never gave a free version and people migrated to R ( an open source data analysis language ) and now SAS has realized their mistake and is offering some free versions. But it is too late.

Here also this is going to happen eventually. If Oracle doesn't check it early, they will surely going to lose ground in spite of great features.

Jeffrey Kemp said...

@Soumya Boral, Oracle has been offering a free version of the Oracle database for years now.