Oracles Free Database: 10g XE

    March 1, 2006

Database monster Oracle popped out a new child yesterday in the form of their Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (XE). The nifty thing about XE is it’s free and is considered a starter edition.

According to Oracle, the XE beta, released back in October 2005 received a lot of attention and support, particularly from students and solution providers working on database application for both Windows and Linux.

The program was built on the same code base as the 10g Release 2 and is compatible with all the other Oracle Database products. They said this would give users the option to upgrade in the future.

“We are very pleased with the interest and uptake of Oracle Database XE,” said Thomas Kyte, Vice President, Oracle. “This product has hit the mark with developers and ISVs who want free access to proven, high-quality database software. Oracle Database XE delivers an entry-level database with all of the enterprise-level functionality that the development community has come to expect from Oracle.”

InformationWeek talked to Mark Townsend, the senior director of database product management at Oracle. They quoted him, “There are four clear development communities. For those who use the Java stack, we provide all the JDBC drivers so you can write stored procedures in Java. For the .Net stack, there is a Visual Studio add-on so you can write in CLR [Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime]. There are optimized PHP drivers and also a built-in application Express development environment.”

To show wide geographic usage of the program, Oracle listed descriptions of different development groups: one at Missouri State University in Springfield, another at Daon, a Washington D.C.-based identity assurance software firm and a German consulting firm, Opal Consulting.

Based in Springfield, Mo., Missouri State University is the second largest campus in the state with more than 20,000 students, providing undergraduate and graduate programs in many disciplines. As an essential part of its database course curriculum, the university offers database application development classes involving SQL and Oracle’s PL/SQL language. “Because of its small footprint and ease of installation, Oracle Database XE makes it easy for students to get to know an Oracle database,” said Rajeev Kaula, Ph.D, Professor Computer Information Systems, Missouri State University. “With access to Oracle Database XE, students have the opportunity to supplement their application development with advanced database programs like procedures, functions and triggers, completely free of charge.”

Washington, D.C.-based Daon, the leading provider of identity assurance software products worldwide, now includes Oracle Database XE as a standard offering within its DaonEngine product suite. Daon products enable solution providers to deliver identity and credentialing solutions that increase security and achieve overall business goals. Oracle Database XE provides Daon customers with an easy upgrade path to Oracle Database Standard Edition or Oracle Database Enterprise Edition as their projects migrate to enterprise-level solutions. “Oracle Database XE provides Daon and our customers with an implementation roadmap across projects of any size, scale, and distributed architecture, with cost-effective, efficient database functionality. Oracle Database XE, coupled with the broader suite of Oracle’s database products, creates a complementary match with Daon’s products across the breadth of required solutions,” said RJ Langley, Vice President of Products, Daon.

German consultancy, Opal Consulting, uses Oracle Database XE, coupled with Oracle Application Express, to quickly and easily build Web-based applications for its customers. Opal Consulting, based in Cologne, specializes in consulting, software development and project management for a variety of industries. “Building an application using Oracle Database XE and Oracle Application Express is a snap. This winning combination enables me to deliver the reliability, high availability and security my customers demand,” said Dietmar Aust, Consultant, Opal Consulting. “For the first time, my customers can use a truly professional database for their small applications, which also scales nicely with their growing needs.”

Oracle Database XE is generally available on 32-bit Windows and a wide range of Linux operating systems including Mandriva Linux 2006 Power Pack+, Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 and SUSE Linux 10, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Fedora and Ubuntu.

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John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.