Oracle and Free, who would have thought? #JoelKallmanDay

While thinking about what to write for the annual Oracle Community Day, I learned that it was being renamed to Joel Kallman Day,in honor of Joe who was the the head of APEX development before his untimely passing.  This got me thinking, APEX is free, and is the best low-code development environment out there (in my opinion). It’s well known in the Oracle Community, and best about all it is free.

Yes, I know, FREE and Oracle!! What a surprise… but should it be a surprise? APEX is not the only free Oracle tech that is available to community to learn and use. There are MANY other totally free technologies available, as well as mostly free tech, but to keep this a short read I had to limit both lists to my personal top 5 for each list.

So here is my list, in honor of Joel, of FREE and Free with Strings Oracle technologies. In each listing, I’ll link to a page where you can get some more info, but as always feel free to comment here on the blog if you have any questions.

Totally free for Production use technologies!

  1. APEX, like I said before, it’s a free low-code /no-code development environment from Oracle. It works on-prem and in the cloud, and has a ton of free applications available, plus it’s really easy to learn and write real world apps. More info can be found at
  2. Oracle Linux. Yes , a completely free full feature Linux distro, with free patches. You get all sorts of features like kvm ( with ovirt management) docker, Kubernetes, OLAM (Think Ansible Tower), OLM ( This Spacewalk/Satellite) , CEPH, gluster and more. My entire home lab runs on this. I also have a ton of customers that run on Oracle Linux. Yeah, yeah, I know you can pay for support and get 24x7x365 support along with KSplice and support for all the other goodies. But, you do not need to pay for support and still use almost all of it ( Other than Ksplice) without support.
  3. MySQL Community edition. A totally free MySQL database, for free, for all environments. As with Linux, you can pay for support and get 24x7x365 tech support as well as a few other goodies, but that’s optional.  You can download it here;
  4. SQL Developer, no more amphibians sucking down your dollars. SQL Developer is completely free, with a ton of features and can make it where you don’t need to pay for that frog thing. 😊 You can download it here;
  5. Oracle Database XE. I know, most folks do not know about the XE Database edition. The XE database edition is the normal Oracle Database, free for all use cases, but with some limits of CPU/RAM/DISK space, as well as what features are available. It does have a great use for Oracle on notebooks, or for developers to use. You can download it here;

While there are likely a few more totally free technologies, there are also the free with strings technologies. Sometime the strings are use case driven, and others are feature driven. Here is my list, with the strings.

Free with some strings;

  1. Oracle Enterprise Manager: One of my favorite tools, and not just for Database. It monitors Linux, Windows, Solaris and more, also WebLogic, Tomcat, Oracle Hardware, Oracle Applications and more. You can build both public and private clouds with it, as well as monitor about anything ( I once hooked it up to air conditioners).  It can detect issues and repair then automatically with corrective actions, and with 13.5 product the most powerful reports available from ANY monitoring tool on the market with it’s free Oracle Analytics Server license for OEM usage only ( A string). The other strings, are most  of the advanced monitor and management require additional packs for the databases, weblogic or applications. I could write multiple blog posts about what it does ( and I have) and still not cover everything it can do for free, much less with strings  That being said, every page can tell you if you need additional licenses. More info here;
  2. Java. Yup, java. I know, it’s been in the news the last few years with Oracle charging customers for support and use… but that has changed! With the recent changes, a Long-Term Support (LTS) release that is current is free, and you only pay for older versions. So as of today Java 17 is free, but if you run an older Java ( Like 8) you have to pay support for commercial use. So, my two cents, if you can upgrade your apps to Java 17!
  3. VirtualBox. I love VirtualBox, a free desktop hypervisor that lets you easily run Linux or Windows on a Windows, MAC or Linux system. The one catch, the extensions that let you do so many cool things require a license for commercial use. Be careful with installing them.
  4. Oracle Database! Yes, you can use ALL of the Oracle Database and Weblogic ( and more) technologies for free.  The strings, they are only free with the OTN licenses, that lets you use them for education use only… so don’t use this at work for a development environment! But you can use it at home to learn all the next database tech, and more. There are more details to this you will want to read all the details here;
  5. The Cloud! Yup, you can’t talk about Oracle without mentioning the cloud. Oracle’s Cloud has a totally free tier, where get get a ton of free resources.. but here is the stings. When you use more than the free tier, you will start to pay… and once you start playing with OCI, you will want to grow your footprint. It’s easy to use, fast and less expensive vs. Amazon and Azure. The free tier is also really free, I have had one since it came out a few years ago and have never been charged, despite a VM and Autonomous database running for years. More info here;

That wraps up my person top 10 list of free ( and with stings) oracle tech. If you disagree or have other tech that you think is more impactful, please leave a not in the comments.

2 Replies to “Oracle and Free, who would have thought? #JoelKallmanDay”

  1. Maybe an honorable mention list:
    1. GraalVM community edition
    2. Inside EE comes with pluggable and graph entitlements, 30 out of the box algos
    3. Database Security Assessment Tool with active support

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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