XE is free to use and free to distribute. Perfect to bundle with small software packages or when developing a website that needs scalability. Oracle guarantees application compatibility with SE/EE versions of Oracle.
I also think that the release of XE will bring more light to the cute little tool HTMLDB, for those of you who are not familiar with HTMLDB it is more or less an application server with a built in IDE. You can create a small web based application in the matter of minutes. Perhaps a small reporting interface or a timesheet system. A good example of a larger HTMLDB application is Ask Tom. Tom Kyte is by the way the main man endorsing XE. He is happily explaining how much better Oracle XE is than MySQL in this nice podcast.
Installing Oracle XE is a piece of cake on most systems, Oracle even acknowledge that it will work on Debian (spoke to benr on IRC and he mention that there where a few issues installing on Gentoo). A quick rpm -i and small config script sorted everything out on my Fedora Core 4 VM. Just connect. Well almost, the installer still has a few tiny bugs but those will probably be sorted before final release.
One annoyance is that there is no oraenv script in a decent path. The default env script is located in /usr/lib/oracle/xe/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/server/bin/oracle_env.sh. Perhaps not the best choice if you ask me. The whole idea of installing under /usr/lib seems a bit silly.
- Will only utilize 1 CPU
- Can only use 1 Gb RAM
- Maximum USER tablespace size 4Gb.
- All high availability and online juggling features are disabled
- Only available for Linux and Windows on i386 so far
- Only one instance per machine/container
- No official support available
- Free (doh!)
- Easy to install using RPM in Linux. No more OUI.
- Easy to use with HTMLDB, minimal settings to play with.
- Almost full Oracle SQL feature set available.
- Application compatibility with big brother guaranteed
- Support community will probably be great
Read the FAQ [pdf].
Download Oracle XE beta release here and don't forget to register and visit the XE forums.