Oracle Cloud’s New Free Tier and Always Free Oracle Autonomous Database

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At Oracle OpenWorld 2019, Oracle introduced the Cloud Free Tier with Always Free services so anyone can try the world’s first self-driving database and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for an unlimited time. It provides customers with the opportunity to build, learn, and explore the full functionality of Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, including Compute VMs, Block and Object Storage, and Load Balancer. Many developers are excited but will likely have lots of questions such as these:

• How do you get started?

• What do you get for free?

• What happens if you want to upgrade?

As part of Quest Experience Week (QXW) 2019, Todd Bottger, product management director at Oracle, gave a first look at the new free tier, which includes Always Free services such as Oracle Autonomous Database with Oracle Application Express (APEX).

Bottger gave a brief overview of the opportunity and then dove into a list of answers for these FAQs.

Overview of Cloud Free Tier and Always Free Services

Oracle offered its Autonomous Database with APEX in response to an outpouring of requests from the developer community to have space available for development, experimenting, learning, and demo-ing. The developers wanted access to always be free and not limited in time. Oracle answered with the creation and launch of Oracle Cloud Free Tier.

This free tier is made up of “always free” services that can be used for an unlimited amount of time. Bottger explained what is included in Always Free, which is basically all of the essentials needed to build complete applications on Oracle Cloud.

• Oracle Database 18c Express Edition (XE): This is a full version of the Oracle Database with all of the core capabilities and very few restrictions. It is the same powerful Oracle Database that enterprises rely on worldwide and can be downloaded and installed on a laptop, workstation, or cloud. You get an Oracle Database to use in any environment, plus the ability to embed and redistribute for free.

• Database Client Technology: Oracle offers database client technology for free—including SQL Developer, SQL Developer Data Modeler, language drivers, and plugins. It is an integrated development environment that simplifies the management of Oracle Database in both traditional and cloud deployments. Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a data modeling and database design tool that provides an environment for capturing, modeling, managing, and exploiting metadata.

• Multiple Languages: There are numerous languages—C, C++, Java, COBOL, PL/SQL, Visual Basic, and C#—available for developing applications. Developers can choose the languages in which they are most proficient or is most suitable for a specific task. Plugins can be used to accommodate popular third-party IDEs.

• REST Data Services and SQL Developer Web: Two import­ant-to-know database technologies, REST Data Services and SQL Developer Web, are also included. REST Data Services allow users to set up database access to REST endpoints. SQL Developer Web is a web-based version of SQL Developer IDE so developers can get a competent IDE directly in a browser interface for free.

• APEX: Low-code application development is possible through the very popular Oracle low-code APEX. This enables the quick and easy setup of applications that look great in both mobile and desktop browsers right on the Oracle Database.

• Hosted/Cloud Services: Hosted/cloud services are also available for developers who can very easily sign up a schema running on a hosted environment with APEX workspaces already preconfigured and ready to go.

• LiveSQL: This works as a sort of scratch pad where developers can develop SQL to refine land share SQL statements.

In addition to the Always Free services, Oracle is offering a free trial with $300 in free credits for 30 days. The free trial is great for looking at and experiencing the functionality, performance, and scalability of the Oracle Database. During this time, users can access a wide range of Oracle Cloud services including Databases, Analytics, Compute, and Container Engine for Kubernetes. Free credits can be used to provision multiple OCPUs (Oracle CPUs) with larger storage, more bandwidth, and greater network consumption with a full, rich functionality experience. Single sign-up provides access to both Always Free and Free Trial with a unified experience including a common console. For more information, visit

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