Sunday, April 10, 2011

Oracle XE 11g Early Adopter

I was excited to see Oracle XE 11g has finally been released on OTN for early adopters. Loading it up, I was disappointed by a couple things right off the bat. I know, "early adopter" is a big red flag. (See update below. My disappointment is a result of my ready-fire-aim approach to trying XE 11g. Read the DOCS first and you won't be surprised).

First off, I had to uninstall my 10g XE since I can only have one "OracleServiceXE" service. I can live with this one - I purposely wanted to deal with the default install. The real surprise here was that uninstalling XE also uninstalled my 10g XE DATA, not just the binaries. I made a cold backup copy before uninstalling, but still - uninstallers should KEEP the data files or at least warn me. Grr.

Second off, I saw the terms and conditions were the usual OTN terms, including "don't use this for internal data processing without a license" (paraphrased). I found that odd, since the 10g XE had its own language that states "OK for production use" (paraphrased again, I didn't look up the exact language for the sake of this post).

So, 11g XE installed. (Still no notice of what the restrictions of the XE license are for 11g? Are they the same as 10g? More storage? Don't know, nothing in the download, install, or terms of service have enlightened me yet). Install is simple enough. I would have preferred an option to install clean or upgrade an existing 10g XE database, but this is an early adopter release, so I can live with that... I guess.

Command line sqlplus works... no surprise there... try SQL Developer. Surprise! SQL Developer is not working now. Why should that have changed? Now I have some investigation and troubleshooting to do.

I'm at Collaborate 2011 this week, so maybe in some of the evening downtime I'll poke around and try to get everything working again.

UPDATE: A quick search of the OTN Forums led me to the fine documentation I did not bother looking up before. In it is the familiar language licensing 11g XE for "purposes of developing, prototyping and running your applications for your own internal data processing operations".

So, any relaxed (improved) restrictions?

  • Single instance per server (no change)

  • Only uses 1 CPU (no change)

  • Supports up to 11GB of user data (up from 4GB, that is a welcome increase)

  • May use up to 1GM RAM (no change)

How about features? Here are the quick standouts from perusing the list of what is NOT available (see the documentation for the full list):

  • Pre-compilers and SQLJ

  • Java support in the database

  • Block Change tracking for incremental backup

  • Flashback (in just about any form)

  • Online table redefinition and index rebuilds

  • Tablespace point-in-time recovery

  • Rolling upgrades

  • Advanced Security

  • VPD / Label Security / DB Vault

  • Secure External Password Store

  • Client-side query, and other types of results caches

  • Partitioning

  • Transportable Tablespaces

  • Streams

  • Multimedia

  • Spatial

  • ASM

  • Resource Manager

Besides the license and feature summary, the full 11g XE Documentation set is available at

In the README document, we find why SQL Developer stopped working. SQL Developer 3.0 must be used. This is a known issue and is stated that it will be fixed when 11g XE is no longer beta. In the meantime, I was thinking of moving to SQL Developer 3 anyway, since it is no longer in pre-release status.