Oracle has introduced a free version of their database called Oracle 10g Express Edition (XE). One interesting thing about this release is that Oracle has explicitly stated that people can redistribute this database. The database has built in limitations designed to keep it targeted at only lowish-end apps, so it shouldn’t cannibalize the sales of their full-blown system. Contrast this with Java, which is free but annoys everyone to no end because you can’t distribute it.
Personally, I can’t imagine using Oracle for the kinds of things for which they’re targeting XE. MySQL, PostgreSQL and Firebird all deal pretty nicely with the low end. Oracle even mentions using XE as an embedded database! I wonder what kind of footprint that would have. Certainly much larger than sqlite and probably much larger than Firebird as well.
via Ned Batchelder