Choosing a development database
Thursday 15 December 2005 @ 9:09 am
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OracleWhile installing MySQL for development purposes I remembered an announcement from Oracle in which they introduced Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (aka Oracle XE). According to the announcement and the Oracle website, XE is an entry-level database based on the code base of it’s big brother (or sister) that is free to develop, deploy, and distribute.

It is a great database for:

  • Developers working on PHP, Java, .NET, and Open Source applications (it looks that I am the target audience :) )..
  • …etc..

According to the Oracle website it should be easy to install and administer! While MySQL is a wonderfull database, easy to install and maintain, good tooling support etc, I still decided to take the plunge into the scary world called Oracle!

The download of 150 MB was ready and after 5 minutes I got my database up and running. Is this all I wondered! Yep indeed this was all. I switched a Java project to use the Oracle XE database and everything went smoothly from then onwards.

I must admit Oracle XE has it all in one download from database to administration. So am I going to use XE from now on :? ? Could be! It sure has made a very good impression on me. So thumbs up for Oracle. They released a fine database but that is something I should have been expecting.

And by the way.. talking to Oracle guys is not so scary after all :)

— By Marco Pas     PermaLink

10 Responses to “Choosing a development database”

  1. Coen Says:

    On what kind of machine did you install it ? i.e. Linux/Windows. I think installing on a unix/linux machine takes some more time than 5 minutes ?


  2. Marco Pas Says:

    Installation was done on a windows box indeed. I was happy to see that the database and management tools where all included in one single installation.

  3. Mikael Gueck Says:

    We would like to move our production Oracle servers to Oracle XE as well just because the normal Oracle server is such a pain in the ass to install and administer, and XE is just so much better. Unfortunately the 4GB space limitation on XE prevents this.

  4. Mikael Gueck Says:

    Installing on Linux took less than 5 minutes (if you don’t count the download time,) and the procedure was as simple as “rpm -ivh oracle-xe-xxx.rpm”, “/etc/init.d/oracle-xe configure”.

  5. okke Says:

    So you get a small-footprinted (150MB!!!) database for free that is limited to 4Gb and one CPU. Why not use MySQL or Postgres ( Or am I missing something?

  6. Robert Berg Says:

    No luck so far on debian/(k)ubuntu. Apart from the fact that these distributions don’t use rpm for packages, when you do manage to install it (using alien), it turns out that it relies heavily on some specific configuration stuff that debian and ubuntu lack. I did a lot of hacking in order to resolve all the errors it turned up with, and I succeeded in getting the configuration script to run succesfully. But then I got stuck. In the end I only got the listener working.

    Too bad, but I read that they’re working on a debian package (deb). So, I guess I just have to wait for that.

  7. Marco Pas Says:

    Don’t mix and match the total download size with the memory footprint. Of course you can use other databases that is for sure. But why not Oracle then? Because the download size is some megabytes lower?

  8. Jesper de Jong Says:

    I can imagine that if you know your final production database is going to be Oracle, there’s an advantage in making a prototype / proof of concept with something like Oracle XE instead of MySQL.

  9. Okke van 't Verlaat Says:

    Agree with Marco and Jesper but when my production database is going to be more than 4Gb it seems I have a problem. Mikael suggests to use XE in production and I wonder if postgres for example isn’t a better choice? But don’t get me wrong. I’m fully behind a free Oracle database. For example development teams writing apps or frameworks that need to support different databases can benefit from using XE. Also the idea of applying XE in an educational environment is something I encourage.

    About the footprint, all I did was simply quote the Oracle web site (okay, admit, added the ‘!!’ by myself :-) )

  10. Jayson Says:


    My company was planning to create an asset mgmt tool and they do not want to pay anything for it. So I am using Oracle XE for the back end. Since I am a newbie to this whole open source world. I was wondering if you guys could help me out. The application is written in Java and my boss wants me to install all 3 tiers (Web, Application & Database) on the same machine since the app isn’t a business critical one. I was wondering if you guys could give me any advice around an open source application server and web server.

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