Oracle licensing

Oracle Licensing 4 Basics

What many (potential) Oracle clients don’t know is that there are only four basic parameters determining your Oracle licenses needed:

1)    License type (full use / application specific / embedded)
2)    Term (perpetual / term)
3)    Metric (named user plus / processor based)
4)    Support (software update / product support)

Oracle Licensing 4 basics

These four parameters will be explained in more detail below:


license type

Full Use: you may use your, for example, database not only for your application x, y, z but also to directly query it with a reporting tool, use it to extract data from with your favorite extraction-transformation and loading (ETL) tool etc.

Application Specific Full Use: in this case the Oracle license is tied to a specific application.

Embedded Software License: if the Oracle product or tool is ‘hidden’ inside a device, machine or software application and the end-customer is not able to interact in any way with the product or tool licensed. Typical example is an Oracle Independent Software Vendor (ISV) selling their application to an end-customer on a per-employee base.

Restricted Use: example is the Oracle Enterprise Manager license. It includes a restricted-use license of the Oracle Database for use as Oracle Management Repository only.


license term

Oracle’s list prices are for ‘Perpetual’ i.e., un-ending, never ceasing Oracle licenses. But, do you know that you don’t have to buy Perpetual licenses? If for example you are certain that you only need or can afford 12 months, you only pay 20% of the list price!


For Oracle Database Products you can either license by:

- User 1
- Processor 2

Most of Oracle products have a minimum user requirement.

Named User Plus, User Minimums

Program Named User Plus Minimum
Oracle Database Enterprise Edition 25 Named Users Plus per Processor
Oracle Database Standard Edition Two 10 Named Users Plus*
Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Options and Enterprise Managers Enterprise Edition Options & Enterprise Managers must match the number of licenses of the associated Oracle Database Enterprise Edition. In addition, a minimum of 25 Named User Plus licenses per Processor must be met. Associated Database is defined as the database(s) which is (are) being managed by the option.
All other Oracle Database products 1 Named User Plus

* Oracle Database Standard Edition Two can only be licensed on servers that have a maximum capacity of 2 sockets. If licensing by Named User Plus, the minimum is 10 Named User Plus licenses. Additionally, it may be licensed on a single cluster of servers supporting up to a maximum of two sockets. Only hard partitioned systems can be licensed for a single socket.

If the user minimum is 25 Named Users Plus per processor, then follow the instructions below to calculate the minimum number of named user plus licenses required for your intended hardware configuration.

1. Determine the number of processors on each server where the programs are installed and/or running.
2. Add together the processors on each server.
3. Multiply the total number of processors by 25.
4. The resultant number represents the minimum number of named user plus licenses required for this hardware configuration.

Processor Based, User Minimums

For all Oracle Database products the minimum is 1 processor.

1 Called Named User Plus for historical reasons
2 In fact processor CORE and multiplied by the so-called Core-factor usually abbr. by Proc.



Software update support allows you to install the latest version and patches as soon as they are available.

Product Support allows you to contact Oracle if you have a problem and need Oracle’s help to solve it.

You don’t have to purchase support if you don’t (think you) need it. However, if – for example after two years – you change your mind and want to include support, you will not only have to pay support for the third year, but for the first two years also!