Quest Software Audits:  Evaluation Licenses

quest licensing

Our series explaining the most common compliance issues seen for Quest software programs continues with an article that will focus on the ins and outs related to Evaluation Licenses from Quest software. We identified these issues based upon our daily work in which we support many end users across the world with the delivery of audit support services, compliance review services and/or SAM Managed Services.

What is an evaluation license for Quest software?

Evaluation licenses as provided by Quest software towards its end users are free of charge and do not include the right to make use of technical support. Although an evaluation license does not require you to pay any license or support fee, you are required to follow the terms and conditions of such evaluation license to avoid compliance issues. The following terms are applicable for evaluation licenses:

  • You are granted the right to use the software for your own non-production, internal evaluation purposes
  • You are granted the right (as a standard) for an evaluation period of up to thirty (30) days from the date of delivery of your (SaaS) software. If a longer period is required, then Quest needs to grant such an extension in writing.
  • You will only be granted one Evaluation License per release of any item of software.

What are the misunderstandings?

Although the above text may look rather simple and obvious, the devil is quite often in the details.

  • The fact that you can only use the software for your own (and not for others) internal evaluation purpose is typically quite often well understood.
  • The fact that you can use the evaluation license for a limited period of time, may become already a bit more challenging. A typical comment that we heard is “it is such a hassle to ask for a written extension of the 30 days period so let’s just move on”. This often results in the situation that individuals forget to de-install the installed license key after the 30 days period is over. If and when such an evaluation license key is found to be installed during the course of an audit, and the evaluation period start date is more the 30 days ago, then a normal license will need to be paid for (including the back-support maintenance fees that are applicable as of the date on which the compliance issue started).
  • The fact that you can only use one evaluation license per release of any item of software is typically one of the major issues that a lot of end users find difficult to control. How do you avoid that one individual of your organization located in the US is making use of an evaluation license for Toad for Oracle Xpert w/ DB Admin Module Trial version 12.0 while one of its colleagues in Europe is making use of the exact same product for evaluation purposes?

What you should pay attention to?

Especially during the course of an audit, but our advice is that at all times you keep in mind what “You” means in the above explanation. The word “You” is referring to the customer (the legal entity) that obtained licenses for the Quest software programs. Many end user organizations however have many legal entities and each legal entity may have purchased its own Quest software licenses over time. During the course of an audit it is rather common that the Quest compliance team states that you as an organization – independent of the fact that your organization bought multiple Quest software licenses on multiple legal entities – are allowed to make use of only one evaluation license per release of the software. Your license entitlement administration will tell you what contractual terms and conditions have been agreed and if your organization may not be entitled to make use of 15 or 20 evaluation licenses since 15 or 20 distinct legal entities may have purchased the Quest software licenses.

 

Although Quest software provides free of charge evaluation licenses, there is a rather high risk of non-compliance related to evaluation licenses. The standard evaluation period is 30 days and requires written approval from Quest if desired to be extended. At the end of the evaluation period, you are required to delete the license key (as per Quest’s program documentation) and no longer continue the evaluation use of the software program. You are entitled to have only one individual use one evaluation license for one single release of a specific Quest software program. If you do not comply with these terms, you will need to pay license and (back) support maintenance fees for the unlicensed use.

Quest software is performing (either themselves or through KPMG or Deloitte) many software compliance audits in EMEA and NAMER. You are highly recommended to perform an internal Quest audit on a short term, to identify your compliance position first before Quest starts an audit. The question is not if you are going to be audited, but when this will happen. If you are in the need of in-depth knowledge and experience with regards to the execution of such audit, don’t hesitate to reach out to us

Since 2015, Roxana is a Software Entitlement Specialist focused on educating clients on licensing issues with Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. In her role, she works with customers to assist them in understanding and improving their software environment by reviewing their software license agreements and provide them advice regarding legal and financial risks. With a legal background, she also helps customers identify legal weaknesses in their contracts and optimize them.