Understanding Oracle Licenses

by Rohit Joshi
July 1, 2021

Understanding Oracle Licenses: Choosing the Right Type for Your Business

Going through the Oracle licensing process can be a challenging task. Especially when you are new to dealing with the complex set of rules and compliance that come with the diverse array of Oracle services.

As with most software licensing processes, the suitable model is often case-specific. It variedly depends on the customizations requested for the project. However, we can help you understand the process better and make an informed decision.

What are the types of licensing you can get?

Oracle services and products are deployed majorly under the following licensing models:

Full Use

Full Use license is without restrictions and allows usage that encompasses full functionality. Your organization is the owner of the full-use license.

What are its use cases?

- Processor-based: Based on your hardware, the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table forms a handy way to get a decent estimate of your processor-based full use licensing costs. (Number of cores X core factor = Number of Processor licenses)

- Named User Plus (NUP): A named user is defined by Oracle as any human or non-human operated device actively approaching a database or viewing and/or importing its data. Generally, when the application server is connected to the outside world (web application), it is not possible to license under NUP. In this scenario, you have to buy processor-based licenses.

In any full-use licensing case, you must license the one whose licensing count is greater.

Application Specific Full Use (ASFU)

An ASFU license is specific to run only with the defined application and may come with additional restrictions allowing you to only use the Oracle software for a particular purpose. Enterprise Manager Packs are not licensed under an ASFU model.

Embedded Software License (ESL)

An ESL is limited to embed Oracle technology with defined applications only. It has further restrictions on installation, package, configuration, and access. The database schema remains inaccessible to the end-user and is only available to the application during runtime.

PAH License

A Proprietary Application Hosting (PAH) license comes into play when a company is looking to provide its own solutions and/or applications based on Oracle middleware or software programs. When delivering an application, a PAH allows you to offer it as a “hosted” solution to end-users.

This drives down costs of delivering Oracle-based apps by effectively eliminating the Full Use Licensing costs the end user would have to pay up in a typical use scenario.

What should you go for?

Choosing the right licensing model ultimately comes down to one thing: Which license costs the least in your situation? What drives up profits? Since these are highly case-specific and involve many custom considerations, we recommend consulting with your Oracle solution provider to decide what’s best for your business.

We are here to help you get a clearer outlook on licensing models and sort through the complex jargon. Decades of experience in building Oracle solutions puts us in a unique position to help organizations understand their needs and capitalize on the optimum pricing plans for product licensing.

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