I recently started working at a company (Junior Web Developer) and so far loving it. The company's all and only database is one giant Oracle database that takes care of all their data persistence requirements.

The company develops in the .NET framework (Classic ASP, VB.NET WebForms and now C# ASP.NET MVC) which I have an OK understanding of and good exposure too, but I have only ever used .NET with MS SQL Server.

Due to money and licencing the developers at the company do not each have their own local database.

The other day I noticed the Oracle does a Free Express version.

IF I install that on my local work machine, can I use it for all my .NET application needs? E.g. an ASP.NET MVC4 app with Entity Framework? WITHOUT at all affecting the main live database of the company so that I don't mess anything up whilst learning EF with Oracle.

PS. I know the current setup sucks, and they're working to get all developers their own local db.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


In short, the answer to your questions is yes. However, I think you should bear in mind...

Try to get a version of Oracle XE that is the same as your company's main database.

You'll need to remember where your applications are configured to connect to and be careful to not inadvertently connect to a database you shouldn't, like the live or production database. Hopefully there will already be security in place to prevent you from doing this.

Also, keep in mind the limitations of XE:

  • only use one CPU on a system
  • use up to 1GB of RAM
  • store up to 4GB of data
  • 11GB of data on 11.2

The following database features are not supported:

  • partitioned objects
  • internal Java virtual machine (JVM)

I also wondered about possible licensing issues, but a quick Googling threw up these interesting posts...

Clarification on Oracle XE licensing - really free for any usage?

As well as the forum links in the above blog, I also found these:

oracle 10g XE in commercial enviroment

Oracle XE, is it really free for commercial use?


The way I read this:

All software downloads are free, and most come with a Developer License that allows you to use full versions of the products at no charge while developing and prototyping your applications, or for strictly self-educational purposes.

quoted from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/indexes/downloads/index.html , Oracle allows you to use versions of Oracle DBMS downloaded from OTN for development "for free".

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