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Free Oracle Database Options!

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OK–we didn’t mean to get you too excited, but Christmas may have arrived early for some users of two Oracle database option licenses, summary below:

Spatial and Graph are now zero cost and included in all editions of database.
Advanced Analytics has also now been removed from the price list, renamed as Oracle Machine Learning and is an included option of all editions of database.

Neither are widely used products (less than 2% across the tens of thousands of databases we have reviewed) but both are powerful offerings. In both cases, if you own licenses for either, it may be possible to make savings on cancelling the support if you have previously purchased these.

Any mechanisms you have for managing your estate (you don’t rely on tools I hope…) are likely to be incorrect / inaccurate now and so will need assessment and correction. It will be interesting to see how quickly ‘LMS-certified’ vendors catch up with the changes.

Spatial and Graph

Spatial is a very ‘old’ database option (being around since version 7 (at least) and evolving from Spatial Cartridge) generally used for specific mapping and geometric data; it’s a powerful option but wasn’t purchased widely. Spatial was closely related to and extended the capability of Locator (a free option), causing issues about the divide over the years.

Spatial Studio is also included as part of the product set.

Partitioned objects will be created as part of usage of certain Spatial objects; Oracle have been kind enough to confirm that any such Spatial-related partitioned objects do not need the paid for Partitioning option.

Here is Oracle’s corresponding blog post announcing the change:

https://blogs.oracle.com/oraclespatial/spatial-now-free-with-all-editions-of-oracle-database

Advanced Analytics

We’ve not yet seen a post announcing this being zero cost, however the price list and database licensing manual reflect the fact that Advanced Analytics is now included in all editions of the database at zero cost, as well as undergoing a corporate marketing renaming to Oracle Machine Learning. This is worth a look and less of a specific use than Spatial.

Summary

If you have Oracle database, it is definitely worth looking at what Advanced Analytics can do for you — free ‘stuff’ is always good and anything which increases the efficacy of your Oracle databases can only be a good thing. You likely don’t need Spatial unless you have specific requirements, however if you own licenses for either product, it is worth reviewing your contract structure to evaluate if there is any flexibility or saving to be had.

If you have previously purchased either AA or Spatial, you may be feeling aggrieved–there’s perhaps little you can do about it, however. This is not too dissimilar to the the removal of in-transport encryption in Advanced Security (May 2012).