I just received a marketing email that reminded me that the free version of Oracle 10g is downloadable.
This is a similar concept to Microsoft’s SQL Server 2005 Express edition. I.e. It is the product with limitations. It can be found here.
The limitations seem to be; It will only use 1Gb Ram, Only uses one processor and can only have 4Gb data.
Now I have an aversion to Oracle primarily on account of the totally rubbish tools they have shipped for it, but clients do seem to use it, so having the ability to develop solutions that will target Oracle will help. Even if it is so that you can develop SSIS scripts that suck data out into a productive environment such as SQL Server!
It is also a way to get at the Oracle ODBC and .NET drivers. But beware of the pitfalls.
(I was going to post a link to the excellent blog entry that I had on it but my earlier post links to the wrong article. Sorry Scott – where ever you are I cant find it)