I thought I’d write a quick blog this time and ask/think about what’s your favorite version of Oracle. Of course the proper answer is probably whatever version is mainstream right now – so maybe 11g R2. But what if you could enter Mr. Peabody’s “Way Back” time machine and once again live in any time you so desired. Then what version of Oracle would that be?


Now don’t laugh but one thought that came to mind was Oracle 6.0.36. It ran on DOS (with extended memory support), offered most of the essential database core features – and offered this cool option called PL/SQL. Just kidding – Oracle 6.0.36 was simply on my list since it was the first version one could run at home for learning purposes that did not require going out and buying a SPARC 20 workstation.


A genuine contender though would have to be Oracle 8.1.7. This version had many of the things most people routinely needed and yet was not over-bloated. What I mean is that it took just a little space to install and a little memory for the SGA and that’s it – so it fit real nice on a notebook, even an average one. So once again the winning hand was that ability to run the full blown Oracle database on minimal resources for both learning and experimentation.


I surely don’t mean any disrespect to either Oracle 11g or 12c – but it’s hard to forget such a memorable version as 8.1.7. Nonetheless these days we really must standardize 11g or 12c in order to have current technological minimums and amazing, must-have new features like multi-tenant (pluggable databases), in-memory column store tables, advanced compression and numerous other remarkable new features.


Finally special thanks to Oracle for offering the Oracle Express database. For many these smaller kin to the full database often offer an excellent minimal footprint, acceptable memory use and in most cases fully automatic installation and basic maintenance.