Proof of Entitlement for Oracle Software
After discussing what is considered Proof of License (PoL) by Oracle, we find it important to elaborate on some documents or sources that constitute a Proof of Entitlement. Although often overlooked by organizations, these Proof of Entitlements are as important as the license agreements, the support renewals or the ordering documents (PoLs) themselves.
Many organizations believe it is enough to keep a copy of their support renewal documents, their license agreements or the ordering documents, but the Proof of Entitlement documents typically refer to other online sources that are part of the license agreement’s terms and conditions. Since these sources are subject to change (at Oracle’s discretion), end users should keep track of the applied changes, to understand what they are – at a certain moment in time – entitled to make use of.
An overview of these sources can be found below:
Oracle’s Program Documentation: The Program Documentation includes the technical manual(s), user manual(s) or other instruction manual(s) that explains the use of a software product. The documentation includes source code, instructional items and error codes wherever required. It may exist in any format like PDF, Word or CDs and can be found here. Apart from the technical information it also contains a licensing section which is, due to the link in the contract, part of the agreement, and contains product information (i.e. what products/features are included in a certain release of the software product)
Oracle Technical Support Policies: The Oracle Software Technical Support Policies document is the primary document used to communicate Oracle’s software support policies. It includes Oracle’s software support terms, as well as the different technical support levels. The Technical Support Policies are subject to change at Oracle’s discretion. Changes applied by Oracle can be found in the Statement of Changes. Although the technical support policies may not change your Proof of Entitlements today, changes to the Technical Support Policies can alter the future value of your entitlements and can significantly impact the flexibility you have on a license and its related annual support fees. Keep in mind that Oracle Support Policies do not only provide the right to make use of technical support, but also the rights to make use of a later version of the software product (upgrades).
Price List: Besides the prices, the Price Lists also contain notes regarding certain programs, metric definitions and the minimum number of a certain type of licenses that must be purchased. For example, if Oracle Database Enterprise Edition is licensed by Named User Plus, the minimum amount is 25 Named User Plus licenses per Processor. In addition, the fees for extended support, which cannot be found in the agreement or other documentation, are also included in the Oracle Price Lists that can be found here.
Oracle Processor Core Factor Table: For Oracle programs that are licensed under Processor metric, customers should determine the correct number of licenses by multiplying the total number of processor’s cores by a core processor licensing factor specified in the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table, which can be accessed here.
SUN Server Table: This table lists SUN servers that are approved for licensing the multicore processors at a 0.25 multiplication factor, in accordance with the processor definition as contained in the Oracle license agreements. The purpose is to count the number of processors which require licensing for a Sun UltraSPARC T1 processor with 4, 6 or 8 cores at 1.0 gigahertz or 8 cores at 1.2 gigahertz. The table can be accessed here.
Application Licensing Table: This is an overview of Oracle’s licensing prerequisites for the underlying database and other technologies when licensing Oracle E-Business Suite applications, as it relates to the level of modifications that are performed to the application programs.
Server Partitioning Policy: This document defines which of the partitioning technologies is deemed to be Soft, Hard or an Oracle Trusted Partition, and under what conditions Oracle permits them to determine or limit the number of Oracle Processor licenses required for a given server. (i.e., to license a sub-capacity of total physical cores as an exception from the contractual Oracle Processor definition.)
Licensing Oracle on Public Cloud Environments? The Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment policy defines the terms of licensing certain Oracle programs in the Cloud. Access it here.
Licensing Oracle in Disaster Recovery environments? This document is intended for the customers to understand how to license Oracle programs in such environments.
As well as keeping record of physical documentation, keeping track of the online documentation is essential in order to have a permanent understanding of the product usage rights and use the software accordingly to avoid non-compliance. Especially since all this documentation is updated frequently and changes to those rights may continually occur.
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.