Tuesday, November 01, 2005


This is the session I had the pleasure of introducing this morning:
Mogens decided to go “Scottish” for his presentation and after an embarrassing faux pas (he had the kilt on backwards and had to change back stage), he was paraded in with bagpipes and all. Nothing like making an entrance.

I’m just getting ready to give a keynote at the UKOUG in a little over an hour. It was to have been about a ‘surprise’, the launching of Oracle 10g Express Edition (cool, I’m the quoted figure in a press release…).

I alluded to the fact that I was probably going to have “a pretty cool topic” to talk about – but the blog world beat me to the punch. The announcement leaked out a bit early (Friday) and the blogsphere picked up on it really fast, amazingly fast. I’m afraid now that I’ll have to find the one person at the conference that
  • Hasn’t been on the internet for the last four days

  • Hasn’t talked to anyone else at the conference for the last four days.

Maybe, maybe there will be one such person…

So, I’m going to make fun of the whole blogging phenomena as well – trying to hide the fact that what I’m talking about isn’t as “new” as I had hoped.

So, I’ll make fun of this blogging thing (many of the blogs I’ll pull on up stage will have the authors in the audience – that’ll surprise them), then talk about XE and finish up with Project Raptor…

I did my XE install in 5 minutes today (literally). Pretty cool stuff. See you in the otn forum soon if you get it yourself.

Last night was Halloween in Birmingham – I should have taken some pictures, it looked a bit strange. I think everyone under 30 (the locals) was dressed up in costume and walking about the street (many many pubs right by the convention center). It was a bizarre scene at 11pm right after the bloggers dinner.


Anonymous Patty C. said....

Sorry Tom, The French-Canadian in me can't resist. I assume you mean 'faux pas'? You almost had the letters right, just in the wrong order!

Tue Nov 01, 11:52:00 AM EST  

Blogger scubajim said....

I had heard about XE while at Oracle World, but told to wait for the official announcment. I think it is going to be very useful. I think the market for this is much larger than Oracle realizes.

Tue Nov 01, 12:01:00 PM EST  

Anonymous freek said....


Can you already download raptor?



Tue Nov 01, 12:01:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Krous said....

might sound stupid, but how come I cant access the XE forum? My standard OTN username/passwd fails with insufficient priv

Tue Nov 01, 12:18:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

The XE is essentially a trial license for 90 days of free use. If Oracle truly wants to encourage use of their database why not offer an open-ended free version.

Quoting from the license agreement:
BETA TRIAL LICENSE: Oracle Corporation ("Oracle") grants to you a no-charge trial license to use the pre-production beta version of the Oracle Database Express Edition software, documentation and product training (the "Software") provided to you by Oracle solely for evaluation purposes until January 31, 2006.

Tue Nov 01, 01:44:00 PM EST  

Blogger Robert said....

heheh Mogens still pouting :)

Tue Nov 01, 01:46:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Scot said....

Oracle XE, very nice. Haven't downloaded it yet, but the concept is excellent. And Oracle putting Tom on it is brilliant. As mentioned above, the demand for something like this is huge. How many people are stuck using JET or some [insert explitive] wanna be DB. And getting oracle out there to the masses, and the first time users, to take away the "mystery" and the "its too hard" perceptions...very nice.

Tue Nov 01, 01:51:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Rob H said....

Tom, I didn't know you were the Vice President of Oracle

Tue Nov 01, 02:11:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Kashif said....

"Anonymous" - I think that license restriction is for the beta release, but Tom/Oracle would be the final word on this.

Anyone heard of MSDE? I only wish Oracle had come out with this earlier, MS has been doing it for some time now and I suspect has made inroads, but better late than never...


P.S. I bought the new book, I just got through chapter one and already I've learned new stuff! Amazing...

Tue Nov 01, 02:11:00 PM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

As far as I know the BETA is for evaluation purposes only, the RELEASE will be free.

Tue Nov 01, 02:13:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Mark A. Williams said....

What, exactly, is the huge demand for something like this?

If someone wants to learn Oracle using XE, what will they know when they get a job with EE or even SE? I mean, what can they learn that they could not learn with the free EE download?

What is the one thing a DBA can't get wrong? I think backup and recovery are often mentioned for this. Doesn't look like you can learn backup and recovery with XE.

Doesn't seem like it is intended to be free. From the license agreement:

"...if and when the Software is released in production, you may acquire licenses for the production version of the Software in accordance with Oracle's then standard licensing and pricing terms and conditions (which, at Oracle's sole discretion, may allow license of only some rather than all of the features of the Software)."

- Mark

Tue Nov 01, 02:21:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Kashif said....

Mark -

I think the key benefit is to allow software providers to provide/distribute a functioning Oracle database with a prototype of their applications. No licensing hassles. The physical limits imposed on the software 'discourage' it from being used in a Production application, but it will get you going.

With MSDE from Microsoft for example, the idea is to ease the move from MSDE to full-blown SQL Server, without having to make wholesale changes in your database access code. Infact they also have a limit on the number of users that can be logged on concurrently.

That's my take anyway...


Tue Nov 01, 02:32:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Mark A. Williams said....



I've also gotten clarification that the product will actually be free. The current license agreement for the download is, apparently, "standard" so it includes things don't actually apply...

- Mark

Tue Nov 01, 02:38:00 PM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....


for the license, look at the first comment on Howard J Roger's blog ;)

I think that by developing and *trying/deploying in production* an application using Oracle XE, a developer can get much more experience than by just downloading the "full" release from OTN and just make some private tests :)

Tue Nov 01, 02:42:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Milo van der Leij said....


Please share with us (who can't attend the conference) the things you know about Raptor.

From what I have seen it looks very promising, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Tue Nov 01, 04:22:00 PM EST  

Blogger Tony said....

I am pretty giddy over XE. I think it is a brilliant move. I can't count how many times I wish I could use Oracle as my database, even for "small" projects but have been inhibited by the cost. Add in the availability of HTMLDB and you now have a 1-2 punch that makes XE an extremely inticing choice over MySQL.

Tue Nov 01, 06:49:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Sorry Tom, The French-Canadian in me can't resist.

sorry - I'll fix that :) I googled it, got lots of hits, I just did it wrong in the same way many before did!

Can you already download raptor?

No, not yet - not released externally.

but how come I cant access the XE forum?

You must "register", after you install XE and fire up your browser and point at the database - you'll get a "register here" link...

The XE is essentially a trial license for 90 days of free use

That is the *BETA* aggreement, the production one is "for whatever, for however long", the BETA ends, the production does not.

If someone wants to learn Oracle using XE, what will they know when they get a job with EE or even SE?

Just about anything they could with SE - XE has pretty much everything SE does - just scaled down in memory you can use, cpu's you can use, disk you can use.

I got started with Oracl 5.1.5c, cost my $99 USD out of my own pocket, on my own machine. I wanted to learn it - and I did. What could I learn from a virtually free product? :)

And the beta license is set to "expire", this is not production code, it is beta - production (maybe christmas time) will not have the 90 day.

Wed Nov 02, 03:51:00 AM EST  

Blogger Colin 't Hart said....

XE is very cool; now I just hope Oracle will stop using the Universal Installer and use native installers for each platform...

Wed Nov 02, 07:25:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Just installed XE on my Linux box, easy as a breeze, looks nice too. Think it will be very usefull. Smart move by Oracle.

Tom, are you mapping the ip-numbers with the identities of the commentators? Sometimes I am Anonymous, sometimes not... :)

Wed Nov 02, 07:53:00 AM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

production (maybe christmas time) will not have the 90 day.

But won't you have to reinstall it every 90 days for the critical patches? Or will it reinstall itself?

Wed Nov 02, 09:11:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I find it very interesting that Oracle releases a "free" version of their Db three weeks after purchasing Innobase. First they purchase the competition, then release their own product.

Wed Nov 02, 11:27:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Dave said....

so who was the "mystery guest" you introduced?

Wed Nov 02, 12:38:00 PM EST  

Blogger scubajim said....

I don't think the purchase of Innodb and the release of XE version had anything to do with one another. Oracle is a large company and it is unlikely that one group had anything to do with the other.

Wed Nov 02, 01:47:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Downloaded and installed Oracle XE for windows in about 15 minutes (inluding download time!!))...so far so good, liked the native installer instead of OUI (smart move, OUI is way to complex for most newbies that I know, especially "Next-Next-...-Ok" kind of cowboys :), providing administration through HtmlDB interface is also neat...the only objection that I have so far is lack of RMAN :-(, ok I know, perhaps it's too much to expect such feature from XE -- nevertheless if Oracle included RMAN in final product, it would really differentiate XE from open source products...
Limitations placed on XE goes hand in hand with MS SQL Express limits and are, imho, quite reasonable for most small form (embedded etc.) applications.
Tom's podcast on OTN is good and fast introduction to XE:


Wed Nov 02, 02:28:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Perhaps "zero cost" is more appropriate.
If Wim says that XE is "free" - I'd drop this.

I'd accept:

"free as in beer, not as in speech".

Oracle has released "Free Software" in the past, such as OCFS.
XE is not such a product.

Wed Nov 02, 06:39:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Tom said:
* Hasn’t been on the internet for the last four days

* Hasn’t talked to anyone else at the conference for the last four days.

I was that person! Well, OK, I'd spoken to people but nobody who had mentioned XE, so the keynote came as a very nice surprise, to take my mind off internet-withdrawal symptoms ... :)

I'm impressed with the XE installer. I decided to take the traditional approach, and dive right in without reading ANY documentation. I was expecting at least one or two "gotchas" which might require browsing through the docs, but intstead it installed on my SUSE 10 laptop right off the bat. Crippled performance, mind you, but can't have everything...

Looks like a very nice product, but my main desktop is 64-bit so that might have to wait a while... :(

-- Kaemaril

Wed Nov 02, 07:26:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gary Myers said....

"production (maybe christmas time) will not have the 90 day."
So is it true that Oracle have off-shored development to a bunch of Elves at the North Pole ?

PS. Can you say if Raptor will be released as Raptor, or will it's name be made less exciting (as when Project Marvel became HTMLDB) ?

Wed Nov 02, 07:55:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I seriously doubt it'll be called raptor - that is the "code name"

Thu Nov 03, 01:32:00 AM EST  

Anonymous JulesLt said....

Make that two people that hadn't been on the Internet / overheard any discussion about Express (until about 5 minutes before the presentation started).

Very good idea - the real plus for me is being able to use pl/sql to develop 'small app' systems.

Hope you enjoy your Powerbook when you get back and look forward to seeing years Keynote being done on Keynote. (PS - here's one more vote for Express on Mac - the Mini makes a great little low-power web server, XCode is a nice working environment - and being able to use the D/B I know would complete the trick).

Thu Nov 03, 07:12:00 AM EST  

Blogger APC said....

>> You must "register", after you install XE and fire up your browser
>> and point at the database - you'll get a "register here" link...

There seems to be a slight glitch in the Forum registration process. If the install fails - or hangs - we cannot get to the database homepage. So how do we get support for installation issues? Specifically, my Windows MSI run has stalled at the Creating Services bit, the IDriver.exe process is soaking up all my spare CPU and I cannot connect to the XE database.

Sorry to use your blog for tech support, but I wasn't sure where else to go.

Cheers, APC

Thu Nov 03, 12:07:00 PM EST  

Blogger Jack said....

I second APC's comment. You have to successfully install XE to get access to its forum. If your problem is the install, you can't reach the preferred help forum.

Thu Nov 03, 02:31:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

The installation should have created icons on your windows deskstop that point to the forum - are they there?

Fri Nov 04, 01:41:00 AM EST  

Blogger APC said....

Hi Tom

>> The installation should have created icons on your windows
>> deskstop that point to the forum - are they there?

There is a menu with a Register For Forum option. Unfortunately it's pointing to

which doesn't actually exist in my installation.

I have tried re-running the MSI (overwriting the same direectory) without success. I have just about enough small disk to try installing to a new directory, which I may yet try.

Not being a Windoze person you won't know this but, because the installation has failed XE doesn't appear in the Add/remove programs panel. Manual removal is not an easy option because the oci.dll is apparently in use, although by what doesn't seem clear. Looks like I'm going to have to dismantle this piece by piece and start again.


Cheers, APC

Fri Nov 04, 04:10:00 AM EST  

Blogger APC said....

Further to my last comment I have now been able to register and post to the XE Forum, so I guess I'll see you there.

Looks like I'm not the only person seeing their CPU usage turn red. It seems to be affecting a number of different Windows configurations, so hopefully it's something relatively generic and easy to fix.

Cheers, APC

Fri Nov 04, 07:15:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Does anyone know how the 4GB "data" limitation of XE is calculated?

Is it 4 GB of "user" tablespaces, 4GB of non-index data, 4GB of tables/indexes?


Tue Nov 08, 02:30:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Does anyone know how the 4GB "data" limitation of XE is calculated?

it is 4gig of user data. There is about 500 meg of system data, they compute the total size of everything (minus TEMP and AUM UNDO) and make sure it is less than about 4.5 GB.

Tue Nov 08, 06:12:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

can u please tell me how to post a question on ur website??????????(i.e asktom.com)

Wed Nov 16, 02:27:00 AM EST  


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