On SE, there is a subset of Spatial functionality called Locator.
That will give you the ability to store spatial data in the database.
See the link for more details:
To Answer you question in details:
1. the difference between Oracle Locator and Oracle Spatial:
Oracle Locator: a feature of Oracle Database (Standard and Enterprise Editions), provides core location functionality needed by most customer applications and partner solutions. (Locator is not a solution for complex GIS applications .) Developers can extend existing Oracle-based applications, since with Locator they can easily incorporate location information directly in their applications and services. This is possible because location data is fully integrated in the Oracle server itself. Geographic and location data are manipulated using the same semantics applied to the CHAR, DATE or INTEGER types that are familiar to all users of SQL.
Oracle Spatial: an option to Oracle Database Enterprise Edition, augments Locator, and provides a robust foundation for complex GIS applications which require more spatial analysis and processing in Oracle Database. It includes spatial functions (including area, buffer, centroid calculations), advanced coordinate systems support, linear referencing system, and aggregate functions. Significant new capabilities in this release address the challenging business-critical requirements from the public sector, defense, logistics, energy exploration, and business geographics domains.
2. to check if oracle spatial component is installed and "valid" in your database use the following query: SELECT COMP_NAME,VERSION,STATUS FROM DBA_REGISTRY;
3. when you have spatial data stored in your database, you can view it using "Oracle Fusion Middleware MapViewer":http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/middleware/mapviewer/overview/index.html
you can integrate your Oracle Spatial data with ESRI ArcGIS software and view the data in their ArcGIS Desktop , this requires registering the oracle spatial data with ArcGIS, this paper is very good paper to read: http://download.oracle.com/otndocs/products/spatial/pdf/spatial_wp09_bestprac.pdf
i hope this gives some insight.
ESRI / ArcGIS with Oracle 12c using SDO_GEOMETRY (why would you use anything else) - according to some co-workers who just returned from a conference, is not officially supported until 10.3. In addition, ESRI support has told us that 188.8.131.52 is also not supported until 10.3, although my co-workers asked this at the conference and were told it was no big deal. So take that as you want I guess. Of course we learned all of this AFTER we upgraded from 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11, since it was not documented any place that we have noted on their site. Yeah...
Anyhow, if you choose to use their software - you only need locator since they don't take advantage of any significant spatial database functionality with their software abstraction architecture model. Which is a great shame, since that is such an inefficient model. You end up retrieving and moving many times more data between the database and application than is required. We have had our GIS support staff ask us why x takes 20 seconds to finish. After analysis, Oracle actually did all the work in a fraction of a second, but their app ate up the rest of the time parsing and displaying it. High performance and ESRI should never be used in the same sentence. If you have a small dataset, it is probably fine. If you have billions of rows, forget it.
I'd personally look at open source based solutions before considering any of their products as I'd had much better support with lower cost.