Oracle Express Edition

I was starting up a new project at home. And I thought it would be a good candidate to store some info in a database. So I decided to look into installing an Oracle database on my home PC. The problem was in choosing which version to install. I knew I wanted to stick with Oracle 10g. However there are multiple levels of databases that Oracle provides.

The top of the line install seems to be Oracle Enterprise Edition. This offers a lot of high end options that just don’t make sense for me. These include things like recovery, security, management, large database support, and Real Application Clusters. To tell you the truth, I don’t yet really know what RAC is. And I don’t want to know. I am not a DBA. I am a developer.

There are some other database versions which are one level down from the Enterprise Edition. These are Oracle Standard Edition and Oracle Standard Edition One. Again I must confess that I did not immediately see the difference between these two options. I do know that they include things that developers might want.

Oracle also offers Oracle Personal Edition. The name itself sounded like something for me. Then I found that it essentially has a lot of the features that are part of the Enterprise Edition. The main feature that is missing from Personal Edition is RAC. I was looking for something small that could meet my minimal needs.

I decided on installing Oracle Express Edition. This version is also called Oracle Database XE. It has a smaller download. Therefore I figure a lot of features are stripped out. You can upgrade from this version to the others. This one is called an entry level database. That sounded right for me. It is also provided free of charge which I love.

Now I just need to find the time to use this version of Oracle. The default mode of interacting with the database is through the web browser. Call me old fashioned. But I like driving with the command line. I am used to the SQL*Plus tool that comes with the Oracle 10g client. Luckily Oracle Database XE has a command line option as well that seems to work just like SQL*Plus.