Database Express Editions

We all like free stuff, right? Of course we do! What about free database software? So long as it works...most certainly!

Until a few years ago 'free' database software consisted of open source offerings such as PostgreSQL and MySQL.

Rather than watch the open source upstarts eat their lunch, especially at the bottom end of the market, the major database vendors such as Teradata, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and EMC have jumped on the 'Express Edition' bandwagon.

So, what exactly is this 'Express Edition' thing all about? Well, DBMS express editions are typically 'crippleware' that supports most/all of the same functionality of the paid-for editions, but with limits on the number of CPU cores, the amount of RAM or the amount of data that can be stored.

Lets take a look at what's on offer in the database express edition world, starting with Teradata.

Teradata Express 13 for WindowsOS - WindowsCPU limit - 2 virtual processors (VPROCs)RAM limit - 4GBDatabase size limit - 10GBProduction use? - noAs the latest incarnation of the 'Teradata demo' software from the 1990's, Teradata Express is a fully-featured learning and small-scale development environment.

Teradata Express 13 for VMware PlayerOS - Suse LinuxCPU limit - 2 virtual processors (VPROCs)RAM limit -Database size limit - 40GB or 1TBProduction use? - no

For those that want a bigger Teradata Express system than the Teradata Express for Windows offering, the newer Teradata VMware editions are a welcome addition. The Teradata Express for VMware editions also provide an opportunity to understand Linux-based Teradata systems.

EMC Greenplum Community Edition

OS - Unix, Linux, OS XCPU limit - 2 sockets or 8 virtual CPU coresRAM limit - unlimited

Database size limit - unlimitedProduction use? - yes (subject to CPU limits above otherwise license required)EMC's Greenplum Community Edition (CE) is the follow-on the the Greenplum Single Node Edition (SNE) from pre-EMC days. The Greenplum CE software is exactly the same as the software for a multi-node Greenplum MPP system, it just happens to run on a single SMP node.

Oracle Database XEOS - Unix, Linux, WindowsCPU limit - 1 socketRAM limit - 1GBDatabase size limit - 4GBProduction use? - yesOracle XE is a breeze for Oracle newbies due to the web-based interface.

IBM DB2 Express-COS - Unix, Linux, WindowsCPU limit - 2 coresRAM limit - 2GBDatabase size limit - unlimitedProduction use? - yes

Microsoft SQL Server ExpressOS - WindowsCPU limit - 1 socketRAM limit - 1GBDatabase size limit - 10GBProduction use? - yes