Let’s assume you want to get started with Oracle. Maybe your employer is switching to Oracle, maybe you just want a career change. Where do you go to get started?
Getting the Database
You can get a hold of the Oracle database in two main ways – a VM or installing it yourself. Using a VM is definitely the easiest way to get started. Oracle have provided a Oracle VM VirtualBox image that you can install. If you’re not familiar with VirtualBox, that’s okay; Oracle has set up instructions that will get you up and running quickly.
What if you want to install Oracle yourself?
You can get started with Oracle Express Edition. Hit that link and scroll all the way to the bottom. You can download Oracle Express Edition 11g Release 2. 11gR2 is the previous release of Oracle but it’s good for learning basic Oracle concepts and you’ll find a lot people are happily running Oracle 11gR2 in production.
If you want to be on the latest and greatest version of Oracle, you’ll need to download a full edition of Oracle. Even though there’s no Developer Edition of Oracle, there are five editions available to choose from. Personal Edition contains most of the features of Oracle Enterprise Edition and can be purchased from the Oracle store. If you want practice with complex DBA tasks, you’ll want to use Enterprise Edition. Otherwise, Personal Edition is the right choice.
You can also download and install the binaries directly from the Oracle database download page and run a full copy of Oracle while you evaluate the software. To the best of my knowledge, it’s only servers that are part of the development-production cycle that need to be fully licensed.
If you’re even lazier, you can spin up an instance of Oracle in one of many different clouds. Both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services have a variety of different Oracle database configurations available for you to choose from.
Some people are self-directed, others prefer guided learning. I find that I’m in the second camp until I develop some skills. If you need to get started quickly, guided labs are a great way to ramp up your skills.
Oracle has created a huge amount of content about the Oracle database. The Oracle Documentation Library is the Oracle equivalent of TechNet. In addition to product documentation, ODL contains several courses – the 2 Day DBA is a good place to get started. From there you can head off into various tuning or development courses or even explore on your own.
It’s easy to get started with Oracle. You can either:
Once you’re set up, training is available through the Two Day DBA course, but there’s a wealth of information in the Oracle Documentation Library. A summary of training options is also available through the Oracle Learning Library.