There was a post on Oracle-L asking about Oracle Express Edition (XE) 12c. I started to write a reply, but thought a blog post may be more appropriate.
Oracle XE 12c doesn’t exist yet, but people at OpenWorld 2015 confirmed they “plan” to have one. As always, no promises. So when will it arrive? Typically the XE version is put together based on the the first major patchset of release 2 of a version. So the kind of thing you might expect is,
- 188.8.131.52 : Released mid 2016 maybe.
- 184.108.40.206 : Released mid 2017 maybe.
- XE team brought together: Some time after 220.127.116.11 release.
- XE Released: When it is built and stable.
Things to consider, based on stuff I’ve heard over the last few years.
- There is no XE team. People are taken from their normal jobs to put this together and test it. There is no revenue generation directly associated with this product, so it’s not at the top of the priority list.
- There are no patches for XE, so they wait until they have a stable release they can rely on for the 3-6 years before the next release 2 DB version.
- Previous versions of XE have had bits of functionality missing/disabled, so it’s not just rolling out SE with some restrictions.
- Other products in the Oracle stack are moving to more regular release cycles (3 months to cloud, with a yearly on-premise release). Comments from the database team suggest this is not the case for the database. As it gets more complicated, the testing takes longer, so the release cycles are getting longer. They originally said they wanted an 18 month release cycle for the database. 12cR1 took about 3 years to arrive. It looks like 12cR2 will arrive about 3 years after 12cR1. If that cycle continues, it would mean about a 6 year wait between XE releases, unless they change tack.
Of course, this is all just me thinking out loud. No facts have been presented here!
I think Oracle XE is a really important product for Oracle, even though it doesn’t directly make them money. Think of it as a gateway drug. XE makes it easy and cheap for people to try stuff with Oracle. If those projects grow, that could be additional licensing of SE2, EE or cloud subscriptions in the future. Without it, people will look elsewhere for their cheap starting point and may never make a move to Oracle later!