I want our team to develop against local instances of an Oracle database. With MS SQL, I can use SQL Express Edition. What are my options?

+8  A: 

Oracle has an express edition as well. I believe it is more limited though (IIRC, you can only have one database on an instance)

Oracle XE

Limitations:* Supports up to 4GB of user data* Executes on 1 processor in any size server* Uses up to 1GB RAM in any size server* One Database per Machine
+3  A: 

Oracle allows developers to download and use Oracle for free for the purpose of developing software (at least for the initial prototype, best to read the license terms). Downloads here.

Matthew Christensen

I don't recommend Oracle XE. My co-workers and I have been doing a project in Oracle and got severely tripped up after trying to use XE for our local development instances. The database worked fine until we started running local stress tests, at which point it started dropping connections.

I don't know whether this is an intentional, documented limitation or if perhaps we each just hit a weird bug, but I strongly recommend that you stay away from XE. When we both switched over to the full version, our problems immediately went away.

Also, Oracle doesn't require any kind of licensing confirmation for the full server; you have to click something to say that you have indeed acquired a license, but it doesn't make you prove it. So if you indeed have a license to use Oracle, there's no reason why you can't just install the full version on your development machines.

Eli Courtwright
I wouldn't stress-test XE, you should do that on a full oracle instance (developer licence) on a real server.XE is useful because it has a much smaller footprint ,it is lighter, and much easier installation.
Our stress tests were very mild; only a few dozen threads doing things simultaneously. This is the kind of thing a developer needs to be able to run on their own box while testing, and if XE can't do that then I don't recommend using XE for anything.
Eli Courtwright
+6  A: 

I have had a lot of success using Oracle 10g Express Edition. It comes with Oracle Aplication Express which allows the simple admin and creation of software via a web interface. It is limited to 4Gb of Disk Space, 1Gb of Ram and will only use 1 processor.

It's free and in my experience has been 100% reliable. It can easily be hosted within a Virtual machine.

Also Oracle SQL Developer is a cross platform application that can be used with any version of Oracle and is also free. Oracle 10g is superb. Go for it :-)

+2  A: 

We ended up using Oracle XE. Install client, install express, reboot, it just works.

Matt Hinze
+6  A: 

I'm happy with Oracle XE for development purposes.

I do have this piece of wisdow to share; if you're having problems like ORA-12519: TNS:no appropriate service handler found or ORA-12560: TNS:protocol adapter error from time to time then try to change your PROCESSES parameter, logon to Oracle using sys as sysdba and execute the following:


After changing the PROCESSES parameter restart your Oracle service.