Oracle is going to release a free version of it’s database: Oracle 10G Express Edition. You can read about it on CRN: Free Oracle Database Takes On MySQL, SQL Server Express, CNET: Oracle to offer free database, Sergio’s Blog: Oracle Database 10g Express Edition Comes With HTML DB Pre-configured, and Wim Coekaerts’ Blog: oracle express edition. It’s currently still in beta. Included with Oracle XE is HTMLDB.
According to Sergio it’s very quick to install: “I guarantee you that you’ve never seen a database up and running this quickly”. This is something i doubted. How can it beat “apt-get install mysql-server”? Well, it doesn’t beat it, but it still matches the installation speed. The linux version is distributed as an easy to install rpm. Installing mysql is probably still faster, thanks to the smaller size of mysql. Anyway, good enough.
It’s good to see Oracle supporting standard installation procedures on Linux. This has always been one of the attractions of linux for me: the easy of installation. Do you want a web server? “apt-get install apache”. Need a database? “apt-get install mysql-server”. Need to get the latest security patches? More apt-get.
The biggest problem with the current Oracle release for linux is that it’s only certified on two expensive linux distributions (although you can use a Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone like Centos). This is not really a good situation for a free database. If you don’t want to pay for a database, why would you want to pay large sums of money for your operating system? I’m glad to see that this has also been addressed: Debian 3.1 and Fedora Core 4 are among the supported linux distributions.