Oracle ASFU License: Understanding the Limitations

What is the Oracle ASFU License

  • ASFU License: Allows Oracle ISV partners to build and sell solutions using Oracle technology.
  • Usage: Specific to a third-party application, not for general use.
  • Discount: 60% off Oracle price list.
  • Support: Provided by the ISV, not Oracle.
  • Models: Standard Oracle license metric or royalty model based on sales.

Introduction to Oracle ASFU License

ASFU Licenses

The Oracle Application Specific Full Use (ASFU) license is a unique licensing model that allows Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners to build solutions or applications using Oracle technology.

These partners can then sell the license to the end customer, who becomes the owner of the ASFU license. The ASFU license encompasses all Oracle technology software, including Oracle Database and Oracle middleware products like WebLogic.

What is an Oracle ASFU License?

An Oracle ASFU license enables Oracle ISV partners to create and sell solutions utilizing Oracle technology. The end customer, listed as the owner of the ASFU license, benefits from using Oracle’s extensive software suite within the specific solution provided by the ISV.

Oracle also offers the ESL-embedded license, which provides a 90% discount, making it a popular choice among ISVs who want to embed Oracle software into their solutions.

How to Qualify to Resell ASFU Licenses

To qualify for reselling ASFU licenses, organizations must:

  • Be a Member of the Oracle Partner Network: Joining this network is essential.
  • Agree to Specific Agreements: Sign the Oracle Partner Network Master Distribution Agreement and the Application Specific Full Use Program Distribution Agreement.
  • Register Application Packages: Each application package must be registered separately, detailing the application specifics.

Requirements for Using ASFU Licenses

  • Third-Party Application Use: The Oracle software obtained through ASFU can only be used with the specified third-party application.
  • Commercial Availability: The third-party application must be commercially available to multiple end-users and have end-user documentation.
  • Technical Support: The third party is responsible for technical support for the Oracle software.
  • End-User Agreement: Oracle program usage restrictions and intellectual property rights clauses must be included.

Facts about Oracle ASFU Licenses

  • Specific Use: ASFU licenses can only be used for the solution or application defined in the agreement.
  • Restricted Usage: Non-Oracle applications must connect through an ISV-provided API; direct connections are not allowed.
  • Migration Option: End customers can pay a fee to upgrade their licenses to full-use licenses.
  • Discounted Pricing: ASFU licenses are discounted at 60% off the Oracle price list.
  • Support: End customers must contact the ISV/OEM partner for technical support.
  • Royalty Model: In some cases, ASFU licenses follow a royalty license model, where the ISV pays Oracle a percentage of sales.

Allowed and Restricted Uses of Oracle ASFU Licenses

ASFU License restrictions

Allowed Uses

  • Data Reading: Non-ASFU applications can read data from the database using methods such as ODBC.

Restricted Uses

  • Third-Party Data Storage: ASFU licenses cannot store third-party data in the Oracle database.
  • Custom Applications: Cannot build and use custom code or applications with an ASFU-licensed Oracle database.
  • Business Logic: Third-party programs cannot run business logic or store data in the Oracle database using an ASFU license.
  • Data Writing: Non-ASFU applications cannot write data directly to the database using methods such as ODBC.

Oracle ASFU License Models

oracle asfu license model

The ASFU license is available in two different models:

Standard Oracle License Metric

  • Named User Plus and Processor Licenses: ASFU licenses must be purchased and used like normal full-use licenses but with restrictions on the specified application.

Royalty License Model

  • Percentage of Sales: The ISV provides Oracle with its price list and pays a percentage of all sales. This model allows reselling ASFU licenses without considering the number of users or processors.

Key Considerations for ASFU License Holders

For ISVs

  • Choose the Right License Model: Determine whether the standard license metric or royalty model suits your business.
  • Application Package Registration: To avoid frequent renegotiations, keep the Application Package Registration Form (APRF) vague.

For End Customers

  • Understand Liability: Clarify responsibility in case of an Oracle audit of the ISV.
  • Technical Support: Ensure you know who provides technical support – typically the ISV/OEM partner.

Oracle ASFU License: Practical Scenarios

ISV Perspective

As an ISV, leveraging Oracle ASFU licenses can significantly enhance your solution offerings. By embedding Oracle technology, you can offer your clients robust, scalable applications. However, it is crucial to carefully select the license model that aligns with your business strategy and customer base.

End Customer Perspective

For end customers, purchasing an ASFU license through an ISV can be a cost-effective way to access Oracle technology. However, understanding the limitations and responsibilities associated with ASFU licenses is essential. Ensure you have clear agreements with your ISV regarding support and compliance.

Steps to Obtain an ASFU License

  1. Join the Oracle Partner Network: Essential for becoming eligible to resell ASFU licenses.
  2. Agree to Required Agreements: Sign the Oracle Partner Network Master Distribution Agreement and the Application Specific Full Use Program Distribution Agreement.
  3. Register Your Applications: Each application package must be registered, specifying the details of the application.
  4. Understand Usage Restrictions: Ensure the Oracle software is used only with the specified third-party application.

Benefits of ASFU Licenses

  • Cost Savings: ASFU licenses are significantly discounted, offering cost savings for ISVs and end customers.
  • Comprehensive Access: Provides access to a wide range of Oracle technology software.
  • Flexibility for ISVs: ISVs can build robust solutions with embedded Oracle technology.

Challenges with ASFU Licenses

  • Usage Restrictions: ASFU licenses are limited to specific applications, which can be restrictive for some businesses.
  • Support Responsibility: End customers must rely on ISVs for technical support, which can be a drawback if the ISV’s support is inadequate.
  • Compliance and Audit Risks: ISVs and end customers must be vigilant about compliance to avoid penalties during Oracle audits.

Conclusion

The Oracle ASFU license is a valuable model for ISVs looking to embed Oracle technology into their solutions. It offers significant cost savings and access to a broad range of Oracle software.

However, both ISVs and end customers must understand the restrictions and responsibilities associated with ASFU licenses. Working with experienced Oracle licensing consultants can help navigate these complexities, ensure compliance, and optimize the use of Oracle ASFU licenses.

By carefully selecting the right license model, thoroughly understanding usage restrictions, and maintaining clear agreements with ISVs, organizations can maximize the benefits of Oracle ASFU licenses while minimizing potential risks.

Author

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  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson is an Oracle licensing expert with over 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. He spent 10 years working for Oracle corporation and then 10 years at a consultant leading engagements on Oracle license assessments, audits, ULAs. He is a public speaker and author

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