Oracle 11g Express Edition (XE), the free-of-charge version of Oracle’s flagship database, is now in beta.
Oracle’s flagship 11g database was released in 2007, but the gap until Express Edition was not unexpected.
Andrew Mendelsohn, the company’s senior vice president of database server technologies, told IDG News Service in a 2009 interview that it would be “a year or two” for the Express Edition to arrive.
Oracle is looking for feedback from developers on the beta, which can be downloaded from its website. XE and products like it offer companies the chance to test, develop and train users on a given platform without bearing the burden of license fees.
High-availability capabilities such as automatic block repair and tablespace point-in-time recovery aren’t in, for one. Neither are scalability features like Oracle’s RAC (Real Application Clusters) technology.
Security options left out include fine-grained auditing, Oracle Database Vault and SecureFiles Encryption. Oracle has also omitted performance features, including client-side query caching, in-memory database caching and support for its Exadata storage server software; as well as various management, networking, data warehousing and integration tools.
In addition, no more than 11GB of user data can be placed in an XE database, and it can use no more than 1GB of RAM, according to another document. Developers who want more capacity and power will have to upgrade to a paid edition, Oracle said.
“Sensible reasons for having an Oracle Express Edition start with test, development, and evaluation,” he added. “But there’s also market seeding — if somebody uses it for whatever reason, then either the person, the organization, or both could at some point go on to be a real Oracle customer.”