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If you have any further questions, please contact us using the form below, or use our live chat during office hours. We'd be happy to hear from you, and our advice is free and confidential.

You may also want to have a look at our Oracle Licensing page, our Oracle Database Questions page, or return to our FAQs index.

How do Oracle licence their products?

Oracle databases can be licensed on a 'named user' or 'per CPU' basis.

Named User Plus licences are based on users and non-human operated devices accessing the database. Each user must have their own Named User Plus Licence, but that user may then access multiple Oracle database systems.

Processor licensing is based on the server where the Oracle Program is installed. Calculations are made upon the number and type of processors or the number of cores. User numbers are unlimited for the licensed server. Contact us for more info, or visit our Oracle Licensing page.

What is an Oracle Compute Unit?

An Oracle Compute Unit or Oracle Central Processing Unit (OCPU) is a benchmark from which Oracle determine the power of a processor. The Oracle Compute Unit at present provides the equivalent CPU capacity of a 3.0 GHz 2012 Intel Xeon processor with hyper threading enabled.

What licensing option is best for our Oracle database environment?

Can the number of environment users be counted? If so, a Named User Plus licence will probably be best if the number of users is fairly low. However, this licensing strategy can be difficult to maintain. If users interact with the environment via the internet and user numbers are unquantifiable, processor licensing is most likely the best option.

We'd need to know more about your specific situation to give you the definitive answer, so please contact us for free, no-obligation advice. 

What are the benefits of each Oracle licensing option?

Named User Licences are cost effective when user numbers are low. Processor Licences are easy to track as hardware and processor numbers are typically easier to monitor than number of users. They are also fairly low maintenance as hardware does not change all that frequently and there is rarely a need for additional software licences.

Are there licence minimums for the different Oracle versions?

Standard Edition One: Minimum 5 Named User Plus per organisation; 2 socket server maximum

Standard Edition: Minimum 5 Named User Plus per organisation; 4 socket server maximum

Standard Edition 2: Minimum 10 Named User Plus per server; 2 socket server maximum

Enterprise Edition: Minimum 25 Named User Plus per Oracle CPU; no CPU maximum

What is an ASFU Licence?

‘ASFU’ stands for ‘Application Specific Full Use Licence’.

This type of licence is sold by software vendors. ‘ASFUs’ are specific to a software package that must be commercially available as an ‘of the shelf’ application (not bespoke). It's essential that the independent software vendor owns the intellectual property rights.

Crucially, this licence type allows end users to run ONLY the named application. They have no rights to run additional applications within the same database environment.

What is a Full Use Licence?

Full Use Licences are sold by resellers - e.g. Xynomix - independent software vendors, systems integrators and some hardware vendors. It covers multiple applications, including bespoke apps.

What licence should I have if I'm hosting?

Since 2012, generic hosting is no longer an option; you are likely to need Proprietary Application Hosting (Oracle PAH), we'd recommend that you contact us to ensure that you're on the correct licence for your hosting. Don't worry - our advice is free!

We run a Hot Standby data recovery solution. Do I need to licence the standby and production servers?

Yes, you do.

What is a licence migration?

A licence migration is where users change licensing metric. This must be arranged with the approval of Oracle, and migration fees may apply.

What is an Oracle Audit?

Every installation of Oracle is likely to be subjected to an approach by Oracle’s ‘Licensing Management Services’ department, in order to ensure that the estate in question is fully compliant with Oracle’s licensing rules and regulations.

Organisations will become under-licensed without realising it and non-compliance will inevitably be discovered by Oracle and can run into costs of hundreds of thousands of pounds. If you're faced with an Oracle audit, the first thing to do is not panic; the second being contact us for advice! Read more on our Oracle Audits page.

How does Oracle licensing by processor or CPU work?

It's complicated, but we have a guide that explains it in detail here: Oracle licensing by processor.

In short, you should consider licensing by processor when you can't be sure how many people will be using your database, for example, in a web application. Otherwise, a user-based licence usually works out better value. We can help you decide, free of charge.

What do you know about Oracle Database Standard Edition 2?

We know a fair bit about it - in fact, please see our article about it here: Oracle Standard Edition 2 (we wouldn't want to repeat ourselves).