Monday, February 13, 2006

Oracle XE License: I jumped the gun, my bad

Phew, it seems that the restrictions on the usage of Oracle XE I blogged about in my previous entry pertain to the BETA edition only.

Word is that the production release is scheduled for the end of februari. This will be accompanied with a license that will explicitly allow the usage in a production environment. Also, this license will do this for an unlimited amount of time.

I received the information regarding the licensing from Tom Kyte. Apart from being a genuine Oracle RDBMS Guru, he's also host to the Oracle XE Discussion forum and the author of the Ask Tom Oracle Magazine columns. In short - I'm very much inclined to trust this info.

Thanks again Tom for clearing it up. It puts me at ease for sure!


Frank said...

Hey Roland,

Thanks for posting this.

Man I still keep getting confused on the two RBs on planet MySQL.

I think I am finally getting it down.

Thanks for your recent comments on my blog. I appreciate them.


Unknown said...

So, is it safe to say that I am able to use Oracle XE in a production environment without incurring a cost? That is, with the following limitations:

1. Express Edition is limited to a single instance on any server; 2. Express Edition may be installed on a multiple CPU server, but may only be executed on one processor in any server; 3. Express Edition may only be used to support up to 4GB of user data (not including Express Edition system data); 4. Express Edition may use up to 1 GB RAM of available memory.

rpbouman said...


yes - it is exactly like you describe. You should not have to worry about the HW limitations - Oracle XE is built not to use more than the designated quota. So it is perfectly allright to run it on, say, a dual core processor - Oracle XE will use just one core. Same for the memory - it simply won't utilize more than 1 GB of memory.

I actually deployed two Oracle XE instances for a customer. In that particular case, it made sense for a number of reasons.

That said, I think that the number of cases where you can successfully deploy Oracle XE for production purposes are very, very scarce. Basically, the 1 GB memory limit is something you easily run into even with very modest application usage. And for those applications where that is just fine, it seems a waste of resources to use the still relatively heavy, resource consuming Oracle server.

I think that if you are serious about deploying Oracle XE, you should consider an open source alternative like MySQL or Postgres too. For many applications, the features are complete enough and you won't have any trouble scaling your application later on.

kind regards,

Roland Bouman

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me if I can use Oracle XE inside a commercial software
solution, free of charge?

Additionally i would really appreciate if you can give me the URL of the
document, or any comments from Oracle that gives that opportunity.

Kind regards,


rpbouman said...


thanks for your reply and interest.

To answer your question: yes - it is exactly as described in all comments on my blog entry. You can use distribute, and deploy Oracle XE at will.

Read more in the Oracle XE license:

That said, do you really need Oracle XE? In many cases, MySQL or PostgreSQL is a viable alternative that is not subject to the crippling limitations of a closed source product like XE.

I mean, once you deploy on XE and marry its features, you are basically already locked into buying Oracle when your application load grows.

When on the other hand your application is not going to grow beyond XE's limitations, then why use the still relatively heavy XE database when there are so many lightweight (faster) alternatives?


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