Oracle Express Edition

At the time of writing, Oracle provides at no charge a downloaded distribution of Express versions of Oracle. Because many people have downloaded it in the past and now use it, this topic uses Oracle® 10g Express Edition. More recent Express editions of Oracle software will probably follow similar procedures. Oracle Express provides the power of Oracle to Manifold System users at no additional charge. Oracle Express Edition is often referred to as Oracle XE for short.


Oracle XE may be used by Manifold Enterprise Edition users to store Manifold components. It may also be used to store drawings using geometry data types as well as tables. Oracle XE includes Oracle's SDO_GEOMETRY technology from Oracle Spatial, which provides superior performance and a range of extra features such as the ability to link only part of a drawing in the desired area of interest in Manifold Enterprise Edition. Oracle XE does not include support for GeoRaster technology, so it can not be used to store images or surfaces in GeoRaster form. See the Oracle Spatial Facilities topic for additional information.




Oracle Express Edition is derived from the same engine upon which Oracle Enterprise Edition is built, so it shares the very high performance of Oracle's flagship DBMS products. When delivered in Oracle Express form, Oracle has limited the database engine in several ways:


§      User data cannot exceed 4 gigabytes in size (in addition to Oracle system data).

§      Each computer can host only one instance of Oracle Express.

§      Oracle Express may be installed on a multiple CPU machine, but it will execute (run) only on a single processor or a single processor core if multi-core processors are used.

§      Oracle Express may be installed on a server with any amount of memory, but will use only up to 1 GB of available RAM memory.


Other than these limitations Oracle Express provides essentially the full power and breadth of Oracle capabilities.


Manifold documents use of Oracle Express within Manifold applications for several purposes:


§      All Manifold System users can use Oracle Express to create high performance databases in which tables, drawings, images and surfaces may be stored. Those tables, drawings, images and surfaces can then be imported or linked into Manifold projects. Users may also write scripts that exploit the power of Oracle for the creation of databases and tables that may be used by their projects.

§      All Manifold System users can store drawings within Oracle databases for concurrent, multi-user editing of drawings. Users of Manifold Enterprise Edition can use native Oracle connections for increased performance, use native Oracle data types such as SDO_GEOMETRY, restrict objects in a linked drawing to a desired area of interest, automatically create spatial indices and triggers for increased performance and employ automatic handling of routine database administration tasks when exporting drawings as well as other benefits. If we have Manifold Database Administrator Edition we can configure Oracle storage using the Administrator Console to enable user-friendly features such as friendly names, formatting storage for drawings and pre-set import and link options.

§      Manifold Enterprise Edition users can create Enterprise servers within Oracle databases hosted by a Oracle Express server.

§      Manifold provides a set of generic spatial DBMS facilities that are normally used to confer spatial DBMS capability to DBMS products that do not have their own spatial capabilities. Because Oracle is a very capable DBMS in addition to providing Oracle's own spatial technology, these generic facilities work with Oracle as well. However, it does not always make sense to use them. For example, in addition to the use of Oracle's native spatial DBMS capabilities, Manifold Enterprise Edition users can create a generic spatial index for drawings within Oracle Express databases. Given the universal presence of Oracle's own spatial technology within Oracle Express this does not make sense and is not recommended.

§      A full license for Oracle Spatial (not just Oracle Express) will include Oracle's GeoRaster technology for storing images. If you are using a GeoRaster capable Oracle product it makes sense to use Oracle's own storage technology and not Manifold's generic spatial DBMS storage technology for images and surfaces. However, those users who do not have access to Oracle GeoRaster may want to use Manifold's generic facilities to store images and surfaces within Oracle Express.


Because Oracle Express is the same as Oracle except for the user data size limitation and processor / RAM limitations, if a Manifold application outgrows these limits it is very easy to scale upward by installing Oracle Enterprise Edition or other Oracle product. Usually when an application grows so large that it outgrows Oracle Express limits it is sufficiently important to merit the additional expense of procuring Oracle Enterprise Edition.


Installation and Configuration


The installation package currently downloadable from Oracle installs Oracle Express and configures it to start automatically on system startup. See the Installing Oracle topic for details.


Further Reading


Because Oracle Express is, in fact, Oracle there is a massive amount of reading material available to users who wish to learn more. In general, any documentation for Oracle will apply to Oracle Express so long as one keeps in mind the above differences between Oracle and Oracle Express.


When searching the site for additional information, search for Oracle Express Edition. Useful links that were current at the time this documentation was written include the following links.


A Security Note


When Oracle Express is installed it uses Windows authentication by default. It is strongly recommended that the user work with Oracle Express using Windows authentication.


No Technical Support


Important: does not provide any support whatsoever for installation, administration, management, configuration or use of the DBMS products provided by Oracle. See the Database Installations topic for details.


See Also


Database Administrator Edition

Database Console

Database Installations

Enterprise Edition

Oracle Spatial Facilities