What Proof of License means for Oracle Software

It is essential for an end user to keep track of the specific software entitlements obtained, independently of the software publisher. Understanding your entitlements helps you to be (better) prepared for an audit, license review, true up or future negotiation with the software publisher.

The objective of this article is to familiarize you with the documents that Oracle recognizes as Proof of License:

1. Ordering Document (OD) – This document includes the end user’s details, the name of the agreement that governs the purchase, the products that are purchased, the quantity, the license metrics and level, the fees that were paid for the licenses and the terms and conditions for the purchase. In addition, any non-standard terms (e.g. licenses being restricted to a specific application or type of usage) are included in the Ordering Document.

1.1 An Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) is a specific type of Ordering Document. The ULA is a time-based contract for unlimited use of a subset of Oracle products. At the end of the term, the end user may choose to renew the ULA or declare and certify usage to Oracle. If the end user chooses not to renew, licenses will be assigned based on the end user’s current usage and certification at the end date of the ULA.

1.2 An Oracle Pool of Funds (PoF) is another specific type of Ordering Document. A Pool of Funds is a non-standard deal that allows a customer to acquire licenses for a set of pre-defined programs – at fixed prices and over a limited period – by burning down a prepaid license credit.  The Pool of Funds ordering document specifies the Pool of Funds period, credit and the program licenses that can be acquired, including the available license types and the net license price per individual license type.

2. Support Maintenance Renewals – This document explains what specific versions of Oracle software the end user is entitled to make use of. These documents include the support contract number, the products included in the support contract, the quantities, license metrics, CSI numbers, the period for which support is paid and the financial fees paid for each of the products.

3. End User License Agreements – This document was in the past referred to as “Software License and Services Agreement (SLSA)”, then it was called “Oracle License and Services Agreement (OLSA)” and later on it became “Oracle Master Agreement (OMA)”. These End User License Agreements specify the generic terms and conditions of the licenses that have been purchased against these agreements, including, for example, the specific license metric definitions.

3.1. Oracle Master Agreement (OMA) – is defined as one single agreement created to support the different lines of business within Oracle (e.g. License Sales, Hardware Sales, Support Sales, Cloud Sales, Consulting Sales, University Sales etc.), in which the duplication of terms and conditions is minimized and the readability of the agreement increases. It includes the generic terms and conditions and the different Schedules (which are integral parts of the agreement) that specify the concepts and terms and conditions applicable to the specified product and/or service.

Schedules included in OMA:

  • Schedule P: Program Schedule – defines the terms and conditions for Support Services (Premier Technical Support for software programs), Consulting Services (related to specific software programs) and University Services (related to specific software programs).
  • Schedule S: Services Schedule – defines the terms and conditions for Support Services (Advanced Customer Support, ACS, which is software programs, hardware or cloud services related), Consulting Services (software programs, hardware or cloud services related) and University Services (related to specific services).
  • Schedule H: Hardware Schedule – defines the terms and conditions for Support Services (Premier Technical Support for hardware), Consulting Services (hardware related) and University Services (hardware related).
  • Schedule C:  Cloud Schedule – defines the terms and conditions for Cloud Services, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Consulting Services (related to the cloud) or University Services (related to the cloud).
  • Schedule O: On Demand Schedule – defines the terms and conditions for On Demand Services, Consulting Services (On Demand related) and University Services (On Demand related).
  • Schedule L: Linux/OVM Schedule – defines the terms and conditions of Support Services (Oracle Linux and Oracle VM Support Services), Consulting Services (Linux or Oracle VM related) and/or University Services (Linux or Oracle VM related).

3.2. Framework Agreement – is a non-standard end user license agreement, customized for Oracle’s end users. Next to the above listed license agreements, Oracle has a limited amount of specific license agreements for specific Oracle programs. For example, the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for the Java SE Platform Products – the Oracle Java Standard Edition programs, and all components associated with it are licensed under the terms of the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for the Java SE Platform Products, and not under the OLSA.

Assignment document – This document specifies the assignment of licenses from one legal entity to another legal entity.

Termination letter – This document is signed by the end user if and when a specific Oracle license is terminated and therefore it doesn’t exist anymore.

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.