Saturday, November 27, 2010

Know your licenses - Oracle e-business suite licensing hell

As a customer you often need to know the vendor's software licensing rules and constructions better than anyone from the vendor.

Take for example Oracle's E-Business Suite. When you buy the EBS, you get in theory the Internet Application Server and the database (DBMS) for 'free' as part of the package. This is the theory. In reality you need to buy a full license for them.

We are faced with the challenge of upgrading from release 11 to release 12. There is the option to buy extended support so we would be able to delay the upgrade with a year or two. To evaluate this option, I asked Oracle what the extended support costs for us would be. We have only one signle installation of the Oracle EBS, so it would be all or nothing. However when you ask the question whether you need to buy extended support for the database and the application server as well, you are directed to others within Oarcle. Nobody within Oracle will have a full and holistic understanding of the licensing. However, you as client are required to know it all.

Image: Creative Commons
So far, it sounds that extended support for the database is not required for the database as long as you make sure the version is on a supported level. From what I gather, the same applies to the application server.

However Oracle writes in its "Oracle Information Driven Support document - Oracle Lifetime Support Policy - Oracle Applications" document:

Extended Support for Release 11.5.10 requires the minimum baseline patches defined in My Oracle Support Document 883202.1. Customers running Oracle Fusion Middleware 10gR2 and 10gR3 in the Oracle E-Business Suite version 12 internal technology stack will remain supported for the duration of the support period for Oracle E-Business Suite 12. All Release 12.0 patches and Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) will only be provided for Release 12.0.4 and above

So if version 12 will be supported till the end of its life on the 10gR2 version, would the same not apply to version 11 of the E-Business Suite? What I recall from the Insync10 sessions, it was said that IAS 10g would still be supported with the EBS 11i. When talking to Oracle, I find that hardly anyone really understands the question and noone can give an answer.

The EBS comes with the Application Server and the database shrink-wrapped for free. Oracle explained very clearly that they do not have any customers who do not have any form of customisation and therefore you always need to buy the database and the application server as well. If Oracle states that IAS 10g will be supported with EBS 11i, then you can assume that your customisations to certain extend will also be supported?

Extended support is 20% of the normal license support fee (which is 20% of the original purchase price of the license).

As part of our license contracts we are licensed for a module that we don't use. Removing this module from the contract would mean that the contract would be opened up and in the end would cost us more than just paying for the module as part of the current contract.
The question arises whether we would need to buy extended support for this module or not. And to answer this you need to know whether it forms part of any of the other Product Families we have:

https://support.oracle.com/CSP/main/article?cmd=show&id=883202.1&type=NOT (this link requieres a login to Oracle Support)
Extended Support is available on a product family by product family basis. What this means is Customer can choose to patch one Applications Product Family area, but not another. This allows a Customer to leave areas of the code that might be extensively customized at their current levels, but gives that same Customer the option to receive Extended Support on other modules that are eligible.

And it seems that Oarcle itself has a hard time identifying this ...

http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2009/04/products_and_families_and_vers.html
Steven Chang explaining about Product Families and Versions.
As far as I'm aware, there is no straightforward means of taking a specific product and traversing "up the tree" to figure out which product family it belongs to. I agree that this would be useful, and will ask internally whether we have information we can publish on this.

1 comment:

  1. Steven Chan responding to my query:
    http://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/2010/11/ebs_11i_extended_support.html

    (same article but is a repost)

    ReplyDelete

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