The next Long-Term Support Release for Oracle Database, which will be Oracle 23c, casts its shadows ahead and comes with a major change concerning how Oracle releases its flagship database product: the first version of Oracle 23c will be provided as a free version, whose intended audience is the developer – Oracle 23c – Developer release!
This announcement is a blast! But it also means a consistent evolvement of the strategy Oracle is following the last couple of years, e.g. by providing a comprehensive forever-free account for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).
The intention of this release is the provide early access to developers to be able to use it in new projects, to test application compatibility, or to just play around with and provide early feedback back to Oracle Product Management. The overall goal is to further Developer adoption as well as Developer Experience. The Developer Release will be upward compatible with Oracle Enterprise Edition and Oracle Cloud databases.
Oracle 23c free is quite similar to the long-time available Oracle XE version but also was a free version with certain limitations (storage limits, limited number of pluggable databases, etc.). XE intended to deliver a version with a minimum footprint that just provides essential features to run basic applications.
With Oracle 23c free – Developers release this approach changes as the Developer Release is going to be released first before e.g. the Enterprise edition releases will be available. In addition, there are changes concerning permitted features and options which can be traced in the documentation. Like with Oracle XE, Oracle 23c free can also be used in production scenarios, without any options for HA or professional support in case of errors of course.
Another cool thing with this new free Developer Release is that it can be downloaded directly, without accepting any terms and conditions. Before, it was always required to accept terms and conditions before downloading software like Oracle XE, which was quite unhandy concerning database deployment automation. So, from a Developer Experience perspective, we have finally arrived at the present!
The new LTS release also contains several new features, where the most important innovation is the JSON Relational Duality. Using that feature changes the way of developing modern applications, as Developers can now harness the power of both relational and JSON paradigms with a single source of truth, experiencing the advantages of both models without the tradeoffs. With a unified data store, they can access, modify, and write data through either approach, ensuring consistency and eliminating the complexities of object-relational mappings. Furthermore, developers can now enjoy the benefits of ACID-compliant transactions and concurrency controls, providing them with a sophisticated solution to tackle data inconsistency issues.
JSON Relational Durability is not the only new feature and if you wanted to have more details about them, go to Gerald Venzl’s technical announcement blog.
Oracle 23c – Developer Release is available today! There’re different options to getting started with the new release, as it is available in form of:
I was quite surprised by this announcement and need to mention that I am delighted to see this move. From my perspective, it is a win-win deal, because Oracle aligns with the needs of the developers and gains the opportunity to collect feedback in an early stage, which can be used to improve their products more quickly, as well as the fact that this strategy may further technology adoption. I am curious how the story continues.
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