If you haven't already started using Oracle Cloud services, then what better way than to sign up for $300 free credits for a pay-as-you-go subscription (valid for one month)? Simply visit https://cloud.oracle.com/tryit and click Sign Up. I did it earlier - it's really easy and was set up within an hour. To try it out, I provisioned myself a Standard Edition Database service - again, pretty easy. You can choose either a predefined set of options, or customise it to suit your needs (in terms of CPU's, memory, database version etc). You'll see the service in your console with a status of "Creating service...".
After about half an hour the service provisioning is complete. You may notice that provisioning a Database service actually gives you a couple of supporting others too - you can of course provision these standalone if required.
Starting/Stopping a particular service is as easy as this:
Next was to get access via SSH. To do that you will need to generate a key pair on your client machine using
ssh-keygen. Then simply copy your public key up to the client.
Now all we have to do from the client is
This means you can then access the database using your favourite command line tool. :)
The final thing to do is enable the port to allow external access to APEX (this is disabled by default) using these instructions.
Definitely worth a try if you have't already. You have to provide a credit card but you're assured that you won't be billed anything unless you opt to upgrade to a paid plan. If you are an enterprise looking for an Oracle database with minimal setup costs and maintenance overhead, this seems a great option.