Oracle: 11g Xpress Edition 'a year or two' away

Oracle doesn't really have an interest in driving adoption of the free database, users say

It may be "a year or two" before Oracle releases a no-cost Express Edition (XE) of its 11g database, according to Andrew Mendelsohn, the company's senior vice president of database server technologies.

That's because Oracle is going to wait until after the first patch set ships for 11g Release 2, which was launched in July, Mendelsohn said in a brief interview following a speech at Oracle's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Monday.

Oracle took the same approach with the current 10g Express Edition, according to Mendelsohn, who oversees database development at the vendor.

Developers and ISVs (independent software vendors) prize XE because it includes many core features, and allows them to prototype, deploy and distribute applications without any licensing costs.

However, XE is limited to 4GB of user data, 1GB of memory and a single CPU, and is available on only 32-bit Windows or Linux systems. Users with greater needs would need to upgrade to a paid database version such as Standard Edition.

Some Oracle database administrators believe there is a deliberate reason for the protracted rollout.

"It's an approach that ensures that adoption is nil," said Paul Vallée, founder of the Pythian Group, a database management outsourcing company in Ontario, Canada. "I don't think they're interested in adoption. ... I think they have to have it out there just for maybe a check box, just to maybe say they have a free edition."

IBM and Microsoft also offer certain versions of databases at no cost.

Oracle simply isn't "gunning for market share in the free database segment," Vallée added. "If they were, the strategy would be to release this exactly the way it is and then sell support and commit to patch sets for it."

That is essentially the model Sun Microsystems has used for the open-source MySQL database. Oracle is attempting to buy Sun Microsystems for US$7.4 billion, but the deal is on hold while European officials conduct an antitrust review.

Instead, Oracle wants lower-end customers to use a paid version of the database, such as Standard Edition One, said Pythian Group CTO Alexander Gorbachev. A Standard Edition One processor license costs $5,800, according to Oracle's latest price list.

It's unclear how the arrival of MySQL will affect XE, or any other aspect of Oracle's database strategy, Vallée said.

Oracle plans to increase investment in MySQL, CEO Larry Ellison said during a keynote Sunday.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Pythian Grouporacle 11gAndrew Mendelsohnmysql

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?