It is only beta at this point, but the long awaited Oracle 11gR2 XE edition – free but with certain limitations – is available for download from OTN – http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/express-edition/11gxe-beta-download-302519.html.
The system requirements for 11gR2 XE are very friendly, when compared to the SE and EE editions: File system: just over 0.5 Gb for software installation; maximum of 11 Gb in user data. No more than one CPU and no more than 1 Gb RAM. XE ships with APEX installed and ready to go. It also comes with SQL*Plus and a Database User Interface, starting from the Home Page(at localhost:8080):
Making Oracle Database XE Available to Remote Clients – After you install Oracle Database XE, its graphical user interface is only available from the local server, not remotely.
At the SQL prompt, enter the following command:
SQL> EXEC DBMS_XDB.SETLISTENERLOCALACCESS(FALSE);
The following port numbers are the default values:
1521: Oracle database listener
2030: Oracle Services for Microsoft Transaction Server
8080: HTTP port for the Oracle Database XE graphical user interface
The installation is quick and painless. The steps on Windows are:
download 270 Mb zip-file
extract zip file
run installer (setup.exe, InstallShield)
The installer opens; press Next.
Accept the OTN license agreement:
Select the destination folder for installation. The default is c:\oraclexe.
Define the password for SYS and SYSTEM (as well as for INTERNAL and ADMIN APEX)
The summary is shown. Press Install to commence the actual installation.
The installation takes place, followed by configuration based on user input.
After several minutes – 8 minutes on my machine – the installation is complete:
A number of options has been added to the Windows start menu:
The Homepage can be accessed at http://127.0.0.1:8080/apex/f?p=4950, for example by system/password.
The initial storage for example can be inspected:
XE has most important application development features included, including Flashback Query (but no Flashback Data Archive), Analytical Functions, DBMS_EPG (embedded PL/SQL gateway for http support), Advanced Queuing, APEX, Oracle Text, LOB, Temporary Table, Model Clause, External Tables…
XE 11gR2 does not have any EE features, nor does it have the Result Cache (SQL nor PL/SQL), Database WebServices, Materialized Views, Java in the Database, Flashback Database/Data Archive/Flashback Table/Flashback Transaction, Fine Grained Auditing or Fine Grained Access Control (VPD), Client Side Query Cache, any of the Database (extra option) Packs, bitmapped index, OLAP, Data Mining, Parallel features, Gateways, Streams, Spatial, Multi Media, Compression, Semantic
Only one installation of Oracle Database XE can be performed on a single computer
If Oracle Database XE is installed on a computer with more than one CPU (including dual-core CPUs), then it will consume, at most, processing resources equivalent to one CPU.
The maximum amount of user data in an Oracle Database XE database cannot exceed 11 gigabytes.
The maximum amount of RAM that an Oracle Database XE database uses cannot exceed 1 gigabyte, even if more is available. The exact amount of RAM that Oracle Database XE uses is the sum of the System Global Area (SGA) and the aggregate Program Global Area (PGA).
HTTPS is not supported natively with the HTTP listener built into Oracle Database XE. If you want HTTPS support, use an alternative Web listener, such as Apache, that does provide HTTPS support, and provide proxies for the URLs provided by Oracle Database XE.
Documentation – http://www.oracle.com/pls/xe112/portal.all_books
Feature availability – http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E17781_01/license.112/e18068/toc.htm#BABJBGGA
Licensing Restrictions – http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E17781_01/install.112/e18803/toc.htm#BABIECJA