Always Free Autonomous Database

You have the option to create a limited number of Always Free Autonomous Databases that do not consume cloud credits. Always Free databases can be created in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure accounts that are in a trial period, have paying status, or are always free. This section describes configuration differences, restrictions, and additional details for Always Free databases.

Sign Up with Oracle Cloud Free Tier

These are the services you can use for an unlimited time:

  • Two Oracle Autonomous Databases with powerful tools like Oracle Application Express (APEX) and Oracle SQL Developer
  • Two Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute VMs; Block, Object, and Archive Storage; Load Balancer and data egress; Monitoring and Notifications

See Oracle Cloud Free Tier to start for free.

Resource Restrictions for Always Free Autonomous Database

  • Maximum of 1 OCPU per database

  • Maximum of approximately 20 GB Exadata storage per database (you may see more than this)

  • Maximum of 20 simultaneous database sessions

  • Maximum of 2 Always Free Autonomous Database instances per Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tenancy. The Always Free Autonomous Database workload types are: Data Warehouse, Transaction Processing, JSON Database, and APEX Service. If you create 2 Always Free instances, they can be the same or different Autonomous Database workload types.

  • The HTTP interface for Always Free Autonomous Databases is rate limited to restrict the number of simultaneous service users. Approximately 3-6 simultaneous users can be supported across all of the APEX, Oracle REST Data Services, and Database Actions running on your Always Free Autonomous Databases. Additional simultaneous users beyond that may result in users encountering HTTP errors such as HTTP status code 429.

    This HTTP interface rate limit applies only for Always Free Autonomous Databases.

Notes:

  • For details on Always Free Oracle APEX Application Development (APEX Service), see Always Free Oracle APEX Application Development.

  • Always Free Autonomous Databases cannot be scaled manually or automatically beyond the fixed resource restrictions described above.

  • The Maximum of 20 simultaneous database sessions limit for Always Free and 1 OCPU per database allows you to work with Autonomous Databases; however, if your usage includes many simultaneous users and/or many concurrent database client connections then you can exceed these limits, resulting in errors. To avoid such errors, obtain more resources for your Autonomous Database by upgrading to paid service.

  • Always Free Autonomous Databases cannot be provisioned as a private endpoint and cannot reside within a Virtual Cloud Network (VCN). See Configure Private Endpoints When You Provision or Clone an Instance for further information on private endpoints.

Oracle Database Version and Oracle Application Express Release

Always Free Autonomous Database uses the following:
  • The available Database versions for Always Free Autonomous Database are: Oracle Database 19c or Oracle Database 21c.

  • The Oracle Application Express Release for Always Free Autonomous Database is: Oracle Application Express Release 20.2

Regional Availability for Always Free Autonomous Database

  • Always Free Autonomous Databases are available worldwide in a subset of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure data regions. See Data Regions for more details on where Always Free databases are supported.

  • When you sign up for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle creates a tenancy and designates a home data region for the tenancy that you specify. You can create Always Free Autonomous Databases only in this home data region. You cannot create an Always Free Autonomous Database in other data regions that you subsequently subscribe to. See The Home Region for more information.

Backup Functionality Not Available in Always Free Autonomous Database

  • Always Free Autonomous Databases do not support full database backups to your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure object storage.

  • Always Free Autonomous Databases do not support restoring from full database backups.

See Backing Up and Restoring Autonomous Database for more information.

Autonomous Data Guard Not Available for Always Free Autonomous Database

Autonomous Data Guard is not available with Always Free Autonomous Databases. See Using a Standby Database with Autonomous Database for more information.

Inactivity Monitoring and Database Stoppage

Persistently inactive Always Free Autonomous Databases are detected and handled as follows:

  • After being inactive for 7 days, the database will be stopped automatically, preserving its stored data. Inactivity measurements leading up to 7 days are based on database connections. Successfully making a SQL*Net or HTTPS connection resets these measurements to zero.

  • A database that is automatically or manually stopped and stays inactive for 90 days, cumulative, may be reclaimed and permanently deleted. Inactivity measurements leading up to 90 days are based on the database being inactive or in the stopped state. Starting a stopped database resets these measurements to zero.

    Start an Always Free Autonomous Database by clicking the Start button on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console. Start a stopped Always Free Autonomous Database before 90 days to avoid losing access to its data.

    When you start an Always Free Autonomous Database from the stopped state, you need to wait about 5 minutes before attempting to connect to an APEX application or to an Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) endpoint. If you attempt to connect before the background APEX and ORDS startup completes, then you may see HTTP error messages.

  • On an Always Free database the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console shows banner alerts prior to automatic stop and permanent delete operations occurring. If you subscribe to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Alerts and Notifications, you also will receive email notifications.

Note:

After an Always Free Autonomous Database has been stopped and is later started, you may need to reconnect to the database from SQL*Net database clients. You can use the same Oracle Wallet and database user credentials to reconnect.

Upgrading Always Free Autonomous Databases to Paid Instances

You can upgrade Always Free Autonomous Databases to paid instances to give them additional OCPU and database storage. Promotion of Always Free to a paid Autonomous Database is supported only if the Database version for the Always Free Autonomous Database is Oracle Database 19c.

Note:

For details on upgrading your Always Free APEX Service to an Oracle APEX Application Development paid instance, see Upgrading Always Free APEX Service to a Paid Version.

If your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure account is in a trial period or has paying status and the Oracle Database version for the Always Free database is Oracle Database 19c, then you can upgrade the Always Free database to a paid instance as follows:

  1. Open the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console by clicking the navigation icon next to Oracle Cloud.

  2. From the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure left navigation menu click Oracle Database and then, depending on your workload click one of: Autonomous Data Warehouse, Autonomous JSON Database, or Autonomous Transaction Processing.
  3. On the Autonomous Databases page select an Always Free Autonomous Database from the links under the Display Name column.

  4. On the Autonomous Database Details page, from the More Actions drop-down list select Upgrade Instance to Paid.

  5. Click Upgrade Instance to Paid.

If your account has finished a trial without upgrading to paying status, you can continue using Always Free databases but you cannot upgrade Always Free instances to paid instances until the account is first upgraded to paying status. See Upgrade Your Free Oracle Cloud Promotion for more information.