Oracle licensing tips

Oracle Tips by Burleson

December 9, 2014

Oracle licensing tips

I do a lot of Oracle consulting for shops who are trying to get the most value for their licensing dollar, mostly by performing instance consolidation and schema consolidation.

Oracle has a mind-numbing array of licensing options, everything from multi-zillion dollar ?all you can eat? licenses (like the ones for super-large Corporations) to named-user licenses and CPU-based processor licenses. 

To make matters worse, Oracle is always changing their prices and licensing options and it?s up to the Oracle professional to negotiate the best deal with the Oracle Salesman. 

Licensing Tip! - I?ve found that you can save hundreds of thousands of dollars on an Oracle license by waiting until the end of their financial quarters, when they are super-eager to bolster their revenue numbers.  You can also get a great deal on Oracle if you mention SQL Server by name, and say that you are considering both products!  When reviewing Oracle licensing contracts, it is best to use an attorney and remember that everything is negotiable.

For more important tips and tricks for keeping your license fees down, see my tips on Oracle licensing:

- Oracle licensing pricing tips

If you get notified that you are going to be audited by Oracle take no chances and hire an independent Oracle expert to access your license liability and help you stay compliant with your license terms.  An Oracle audit can be an expensive nightmare and you should call my experts at 800-766-1884 immediately after being notified about an Oracle audit.

Avoiding an Oracle Audit

Many years ago vendors used to ?lock-up? your product until you paid the licensing fees, but court cases in the 1980?s prohibited this practice because unscrupulous vendors were using their ability to disable their software as leverage to extort high prices by threatening to put a company?s computer system off-the-air unless they were paid immediately!

Today, Oracle freely allows shops to install Oracle software and relies on hidden ?auditing? methods to detect if you have exceeded your license terms or used an extra-cost package without paying the fee.  The most common license violations are accidental, such as a DBA reading one of the DBA history tables like dba_hist_sqlstat.  If you read any of these Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) or Automated Session History (ASH) tables you must possess a license for the Oracle performance pack and a license for the Oracle diagnostic pack, but Oracle does not prevent you from accessing these tools.

Remember, when you install Oracle you agree to allow Oracle Corporation to audit your usage and Oracle uses hidden mechanisms for internal auditing, but they have tables like the dba_feature_usage_statistics and the v$license view.

For Oracle products that have limits of the amount of CPU and RAM you may use (like Oracle XE), Oracle keeps a dba_high_water_mark_statistics table may audit how much RAM you have used

Read here, why compliance with your Oracle license might cost you zillions of dollars if you get audited:

- Oracle license compliance tips