Get IT Cost Savings on Oracle database software

April 9, 2011 by Leave a comment 

I often hear from customers: Oracle database server is so expensive. Well, I often answer: That depends! In fact, the Oracle database license costs are similar to software from Oracle’s competitors. Microsoft SQL Server has a different license model though. Oracle has a lot of advantages in its flexible license model as well as number of Open Source initiatives. Together, these options allow an enterprise to get cost savings on their IT investments.

In this respect I’d like to mention a few nice points on Oracle database software:

–  You can download any Oracle software products from the Oracle site and test it without requesting  licenses

–  You do not need to pay extra for major database software upgrades

–  Oracle is very flexible in their license models and discounts

–  Oracle provides a wide portfolio of different database editions and extra licensed components to choose from

–  At the end, you can even try a free Oracle database and database tools to start with

Before making a choice it’s important to understand what an enterprise really requires from the database in terms of resource usage, database components and options to get cost savings or, let’s say, spend minimum on the required maximum.

Oracle Database is available in a variety of editions tailored to meet the business and IT needs of any organizations. See them below for 11g release:

–  Oracle Database 11g Standard Edition One (SE)
(single servers with a maximum of 2 sockets)

–  Oracle Database 11g Standard Edition (SE1)
(single or clustered servers with a maximum capacity of 4 sockets in total; Oracle RAC included!)

–  Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition (EE)
(single and clustered servers with no socket limitation + more database options)

Oracle offers several options to Oracle Database Enterprise Edition for specific business and IT requirements. Some of them are licensed separately, but some of the following is included:

–  Oracle Data Guard and some of its features
–  Some features for online table reorganization
–  Flashback Database and some more flashback features
–  Some backup, restore and RMAN tool advanced options
–  Rolling Upgrades
–  Point-in-time Tablespace Recovery
–  Database Resource Manager
–  SQL Plan Management
–  Exadata support
–  Some security advanced options like Fine Grained Auditing, etc.
–  You can do more parallel operation by Query, DML, Statistics Gathering, Data Pump, etc.
–  Messaging Gateway
–  Oracle Connection manager

… and some more

Interesting enough that Oracle RAC is included in Database SE version with no extra charge but it’s licensed separately in EE version

As I mentioned previously see below some free / Open Source Oracle software you can try out:

–  Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE) – entry-level, small-footprint database based on the Oracle Database 10g Release 2 code base.  It’s free to develop, deploy, and distribute; fast to download; and simple to administer.

–  Oracle Application Express (APEX) – a rapid web application development tool, fully supported, no cost option of the Oracle database. Using only a web browser and limited programming experience, you can develop and deploy professional applications that are both fast and secure.

–  Oracle JDeveloper – a free integrated development environment that simplifies the development of Java-based SOA applications and user interfaces with support for the full development life cycle.

–  Oracle SQL Developer – a free and fully supported graphical tool for database development. Read my Oracle SQL Developer review in the article: Oracle SQL Developer – software review.

–  Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler – a free data modeling and design tool, proving a full spectrum of data and database modeling tools and utilities, including modeling for Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD), Relational (database design), Data Type and Multi-dimensional modeling, with forward and reverse engineering and DDL code generation.

–  Oracle Clusterware – software that enables servers to operate together as if they are one server. You can use Oracle Clusterware for no extra costs to cluster any Oracle licensed product in a failover cluster mode.

–  Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS) – a free, Open Source, extent-based clustered file system.

Some more free software from Oracle – Sun

–  OpenOffice – an Open Source office suite that runs on all major platforms and provides access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format

–  VirtualBox – freely available as Open Source virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use


See some other Open Source development projects on

Since the list is not complete I’d like to encourage readers to share information about other free Oracle database products along with your experience in running them.

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