Oracle has now made its low-end, free-of-charge Oracle Database 10g Express Edition generally available to the public.
Also known as the XE database, the beta version of the software was originally launched as a beta product last October.
Oracle had envisaged going for a general release by the end of last year, but delayed the general release to add further unspecified security features.
The usage restrictions for using the database remain the same. Data storage limits are 4Gbytes of data and 1Gbyte of Ram when processing. Users can also use only one CPU per host server.
The XE database supports 32-bit Windows platforms and Linux distributions from market leaders Red Hat and Novell.
XE supports development environments including Java, .Net and PHP and is based on the same code as the company's enterprise-level Oracle Database 10g Release 2.
Oracle is hoping that users who use the free edition of XE will later want to upgrade to more powerful, paid-for versions of the 10g database.
Oracle expects that XE will also appeal to developers and the academic community.