First code and cli free steps with Oracle Database 21c in Oracle Cloud image

First code and cli free steps with Oracle Database 21c in Oracle Cloud

Oracle Database 21c has been released – for now only in the cloud. Starting to explore – that is what we call playing with it – it easy and free of any charge in the OCI Always Free Tier that includes two Oracle Database instances that now can be 21c instances.

In this article I will show the steps you should go through in order to get access to your own 21c database instance. It takes less than one minute of your time – and a few minutes waiting for provisioning of the instance. You need to install nothing. However, you do need to have an Oracle Cloud account – a free trial or a paid account. In both cases, the 21c database will not cost you any money.

Overview of the steps:

  • Open the OCI Console
  • Use the shortcut for creating an ATP database (Autonomous Transaction Processing)
  • Define the name for the database, choose release 21c, set the ADMIN password and submit the request for creating the instance
  • <wait for a few minutes>
  • access the instance – through the web based tools (such SQL Developer Web or APEX) or through client tools and libraries (in Cloud Shell or on your laptop) – and start exploring the new 21c features

Now with some picture to make it more tangible.

Creating an always free Oracle Database 21c instance

Open the OCI Console. Click on the shortcut for creating an ATP Database


Select the compartment into which the instance should be created. Set the name and display name for the instance.


Scroll down. Set the switch to Always Free – to be sure you do not accidentally create an instance that eats away your credits. Then select 21c as the Database version


Scroll down yet a little further.

Define the password for the ADMIN user.


Then press the button Create Autonomous Database. You can now sit back and relax – for 3-5 minutes – while your shiny new database is provisioned:


After a few minutes, the orange turns to green and the 21c instance is ready for action:


Accessing the new Database

You see several tabs and buttons at the top of the page. You can get hold of the wallet file with all necessary details for client tools – such as SQL*Developer or SQLcl – to access the database.

There is the Service Console that you can visit to learn about your instance and perform operational actions:


Check out the development section:


The Tools tab gives access to several browser based tools:


Let’s try SQL Developer Web

Login as ADMIN, using the freshly defined password:


The following browser based IDE – with a look that is very similar to the desktop tool – is presented:


You can start doing “your thing” with whatever 21c has to offer.

I started to try out dbms_mle to see how I can integrate JavaScript in PL/SQL code. I was not yet successful at that, unfortunately. Now I wonder whether that feature is available in this ATP always free instance. More likely, I am doing something wrong. Based on these instructions on DBMS_MLE.



Oracle Database 21c documentation:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.