Are you Oracle In Memory Database cache aware?

Oracle recently announced a new feature of the Oracle Database Enterprise Edition that became available with the newest release of the Oracle Database 12c: Oracle In Memory.

How do you license Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Options?

Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Options needs to be licensed corresponding to the associated Oracle Database Enterprise Edition itself. This means that if the Oracle Database, for example, needs to be licensed by Processor licenses, then the Option needs to be licensed by Processor licenses as well.

Are licenses required if it is installed through patch release

After the introduction of Database In-Memory and particularly the patch release of, many suggestions have been made on the Internet in different articles that once the release has been downloaded by your IT personnel and the database systems have been updated, a less careful database administrator could create an in-memory database table with a single command, thereby sticking the organization with a hefty bill next time Oracle chooses to carry out a license fee audit. Is this true?

First of all, Oracle’s compliance department would typically only charge license and support fees during the execution of a license audit or license review if a certain Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Option is found to be installed AND running; not only if it is installed. However, if Oracle In-Memory is automatically installed during the installation procedure or through a patch release, is it then easy to start using it without the database administrator knowing? We did some research on this and come to the following conclusions:

The patch release of the Oracle Database indeed set’s the INMEMORY_QUERY parameter in the database on “TRUE” by default allowing users to perform in-memory queries. However, in order to start using the option, you would need to set an INMEMORY_SIZE value as well. This value is the size of the memory you would like to use, which is 0 by default. If you would want to alter this value, you would need to do a complete restart of the database itself. In addition, you would need to have something stored in the In-Memory column store (e.g. a table or a view) that needs to be created using the INMEMORY parameter, after the create clause for example.

Apart from the fact that Oracle’s Program documentation (which explains the above) is part of the license agreement, end users should read through and be aware of it before installing the software. A database administrator or regular user is typically expected to know what he/she is doing when creating such a table that would trigger the use of this (or other) database option. The challenge we typically see, however, in many different enterprises is the knowledge and/or communication gap between the business IT teams and the contract management/purchasing teams. Translating technical requirements to license requirements from IT staff to procurement/purchasing and alignment may then be the next challenge to overcome.

Pro-actively conducting regular factual baseline assessments of the entitlements, deployment and usage of the different enterprise software programs within an organization remains the best solution to keep track of the software assets and to make informed and controlled business decisions with regards to end users’ IT infrastructure.

This article was published on 12-01-2015