Oracle LMS Collection Tool – What is it?
During an audit process, Oracle can deploy a set of tools to gather usage data from their customers. Oracle LMS developed their own tools to identify where products are being deployed and used. One of these tools is the Oracle LMS Collection Tool, designed to detect and collect the usage data.
Oracle recently incorporated into its new standard audit clause the fact that customers are required to run the Oracle data measurement tools on their servers and that they are required to provide the resulting data to Oracle. It means that in almost all audits Oracle will require you to make use of Oracle’s so called “LMS Collection Tool”. But what is this tool? How does it work? What data is it collecting? This article is created to provide answers on all these questions.
What is the Oracle LMS Collection Tool?
The Oracle LMS Collection Tool is provided by Oracle LMS towards end users that are going through an Oracle License Review or Oracle License Audit. The tool is a collection of scripts that need to be run from within the operating system of the server(s) where Oracle Software is installed. This LMS Collection tool is a shell script in which Oracle LMS embedded its historically developed scripts including Review Lite script, CPU queries, Fusion Middleware (FMW) scripts and more. It is designed to detect and collect usage data for different instances of Oracle Software running on Windows servers and most versions of Unix/Linux. The tool is designed to collect software usage data from the following Oracle program families:
Oracle Database programs, including:
- Oracle Database Standard Edition, Oracle Database Enterprise Edition
- Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Options
- Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Management Packs
Oracle Middleware programs, including:
- Oracle Application Server (Forms & Report, WebTier)
- Oracle WebLogic Server, BEA WebLogic Server
- Oracle WebLogic Server Options (e.g. SOA Suite, BPEL, Enterprise Repository, Service Bus)
- Oracle WebLogic Management Packs
- Oracle Tuxedo programs (Tuxedo, Jolt, SALT, TSAM, WTC, Tuxedo Adapter, MessageQ)
- Oracle WebCenter programs
Oracle E-Business Suite programs
Oracle Business Intelligence (Technology) programs
In addition, the tool includes specific scripts to validate if the restricted use rights for Oracle Middleware programs, as included in many different Oracle Applications (e.g. Hyperion, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards etc.), are met and if the restricted use conditions as applicable for the WebLogic Server Basic programs, as included in all editions of Internet Application Server, Forms & Reports Server and Business Intelligence, are met as well.
The tool cannot identify or count individual connections if Oracle software is part of an environment that uses multiplexing hardware or software. In such cases you must declare the number of users and/or devices, counted at the so called “multiplexing front end”.
Who needs to run the script?
In order to run the tool, you need to have access to all the necessary credentials for both operating systems and database users. Using superuser access is the most convenient way to collect information.
For Windows this comes down to
- Windows Administrator username and password
- WebLogic, Tuxedo, or OAS administrator username and password
For Unix/Linux this comes down to:
- Root/sudo user username and password
- WebLogic, Tuxedo, or OAS administrator username and password
As the Oracle Database and E-Business Suite information is collected from the database itself via SQL*Plus, the tool includes the possibility to connect to the database both locally and from any remote machine with a compatible SQL*Plus installation. You connect locally using OS user credentials and remote by manually entering database connection credentials. It is recommended to run the tool locally, in which case it detects all the running database instances, and, for each of them, attempts to connect as SYSDBA to the instance.
On database instances making use of Real Application Clusters, you are required to collect database information from all the running instances. On database instances making use of container databases, you are required to collect data from all pluggable databases and from the CDB$ROOT container.
In case you deploy the Oracle programs on different virtualization technologies (e.g. Sun Solaris Zones, IBM LPAR, Oracle VM), the included CPU queries will collect the necessary deployment and usage information. In case you deploy Oracle programs on VMware, the LMS Collection tool will not collect all the necessary information; instead you will be asked by your auditor to run the PowerCli scripts to provide a complete overview of your VMware infrastructure.
Anticipating its end users concerns related to the disclosure of sensitive information, Oracle included in the LMS Collection Tool a masking script. This Perl script is making use of the SHA-256 cryptographic hash function to mask sensitive information collected in the data files. The information that can be masked includes the IP addresses and usernames (including database user names, EBS user names, WebLogic user names) as collected with the script. Any other information that you may feel to be sensitive or confidential and which you are not willing to share with Oracle, is required to be manually masked by yourself.
Due to Oracle’s change in its standard audit clause, you will be required to run Oracle data measurement tools on your servers and share the resulting output logfiles. The chances are that you’ll not completely understand these files to know what your license requirements are. You need in depth knowledge and analysis skills. And this is something that we can help you with.
Let your raw data collected by the Oracle LMS Collection Tool be analyzed by B-lay before you share it with Oracle. This will be the only way to prevent any unpleasant compliance issues coming up during an audit and it will enable you to reduce any financial exposure.
Next week we’ll go in more detail regarding the Oracle LMS Collection Tool and we’ll discuss the terms under which you’re allowed to use the tool. We’ll also answer one of the most common questions regarding Oracle LMS’s tool: “Can I understand the output of the tool myself?”. Keep an eye on our blog.
Richard is one of the managing partners at B-lay. He started to work in the license management industry in 2004 and worked for almost 10 years at Oracle as regional director of compliance. He uses his knowledge of enterprise software vendors (such as Oracle, SAP, IBM and Microsoft) to educate, equip and enable software end users in their challenges regarding proper software license management. Richard holds a master’s degree in IT, from University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.