Oracle PULA: A Guide to Perpetual Unlimited License

What is an Oracle PULA?

  • Definition: Oracle Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement.
  • Usage: Allows indefinite use of Oracle software without expiration.
  • Benefits: Unlimited server deployments and user access.
  • Cost: Higher upfront investment compared to other licenses.
  • Suitability: Ideal for large or growing IT environments requiring extensive scalability.

Oracle PULA – Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement

Oracle PULA value

An Oracle Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement (PULA) allows organizations to purchase a perpetual license for Oracle software. The license offers indefinite use without expiration or limitations on the number of users or server deployments.

Key Benefits

Indefinite Use:

  • Provides long-term cost savings and operational stability by eliminating the need for frequent renewals or upgrades.

Unlimited Deployments:

  • It enables use on unlimited servers and by unlimited users, which is beneficial for large and expanding IT environments.

Potential Drawbacks

High Upfront Cost:

  • PULA licenses require a significant initial investment, often more expensive than standard Unlimited License Agreements (ULAs), posing a financial challenge for organizations with limited budgets.

Ideal Candidates

Organizations that heavily utilize VMware in combination with Oracle are likely to benefit from the scalability and flexibility offered by PULA agreements.


While Oracle PULA offers significant advantages in terms of indefinite use and scalability, organizations must weigh these benefits against the high upfront costs and ensure they have the financial resources to support such an investment.

PULA Risks

oracle pula compliance

An Oracle Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement (PULA) carries several risks:

Upfront Cost: PULA licenses require a significant initial investment, making them more expensive than other license types. This can be a financial burden for organizations with limited budgets or IT resources.

License Compliance: PULA agreements are limited to specific products. Organizations often mistakenly use non-PULA products, leading to compliance issues. It’s recommended that an Oracle license expert measure and manage this risk.

Company Structure Changes: PULA agreements are highly restrictive concerning mergers and acquisitions and which legal entities can use the PULA software. If your company is active in mergers and acquisitions, you must negotiate flexibility with Oracle, though Oracle is often reluctant to provide it.

Complexity of Agreement: PULAs are complex and require careful review and understanding. Various terms and conditions must be met to maintain compliance, which can be challenging for organizations to manage.

Changing Needs and Environment: An organization’s needs or IT environment may change over time, making a PULA less suitable or cost-effective. For example, switching to a different software platform or experiencing significant IT size or complexity changes can make a PULA less viable.

Support Fees: Even if you reduce your Oracle software dependency by 70%, you will still pay the same amount to Oracle in support fees. The support fees paid initially for the PULA will never be reduced unless you terminate over 95% of all licenses.

Oracle PULA – Negotiation

oracle pula negotiation

Effectively negotiating an Oracle Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement (PULA) involves several steps:

Understand Your Needs and Requirements: Assess your organization’s requirements for Oracle software, including the number of users, servers, and customization or integration needs. This will help define the scope and terms of the PULA.

Research and Compare Options: Evaluate different Oracle software licenses, including perpetual, subscription, and term licenses. Determine which option is most suitable and cost-effective for your organization.

Consult Legal and IT Professionals: Seek advice from experienced legal counsel and IT professionals to understand the agreement’s terms and conditions and ensure it aligns with your organization’s needs and budget.

Negotiate Terms and Conditions: Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, begin negotiating the PULA terms with Oracle or a reseller. Discuss aspects such as price, agreement duration, and additional services or support included.

Review and Negotiate Additional Terms: Carefully review any additional terms related to maintenance, support, and upgrade policies. Ensure these terms meet your organization’s needs and protect its interests.

Get the Agreement in Writing: Ensure the PULA agreement is documented in writing to provide a clear record of the terms and conditions and protect your organization’s interests.

Negotiating a PULA requires careful planning, research, and negotiation. By following these steps and seeking advice from experienced professionals, you can secure a PULA that provides long-term value and stability for your organization.

Oracle PULA – Managing License Compliance

Managing Oracle license compliance under a Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement (PULA) requires diligent planning and continuous monitoring to ensure adherence to the terms. Here’s a comprehensive guide to managing compliance:

Understand the Terms and Conditions: Thoroughly review the PULA agreement to grasp all limitations, restrictions, and obligations. This understanding is crucial to ensure your organization’s software usage aligns with the agreement.

Track Software Usage: Maintain accurate records of how Oracle software is used within your organization. This includes the number of users, servers, and customizations or integrations. Regular audits can help track compliance and identify discrepancies.

Implement Internal Controls and Policies: Establish robust internal controls to manage the use of Oracle software. This includes setting up user accounts with appropriate permissions, defining usage guidelines, and training employees on compliance requirements. Regular training ensures that staff understand the importance of adhering to the agreement.

Regular Review and Updates: Review and update the PULA to meet your organization’s evolving needs. This may involve negotiating new terms or modifying existing provisions to align with your operational changes.

Seek Professional Advice: Engage with experienced legal and IT professionals to navigate the complexities of Oracle licensing. Their expertise can provide valuable guidance on maintaining compliance and addressing any issues.

Conduct Regular Audits: Schedule regular internal audits to assess compliance with the PULA. These audits should review software usage, internal policies, and overall adherence to the agreement.

By following these steps and leveraging professional advice, you can effectively manage Oracle license compliance under a PULA, ensuring your organization remains compliant and avoids potential legal or financial penalties.

Oracle ULA vs. PULA

Oracle offers two unlimited license agreements: the Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) and the Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement (PULA). Here are the key differences:

Duration: ULAs have a fixed duration, typically one to five years, after which they need to be renewed. In contrast, PULAs are perpetual, with no expiration date, offering indefinite use of the software.

Pricing: ULAs generally include upgrade and update rights, which can make them more expensive over the agreement’s term. PULAs, while requiring a larger upfront investment, do not include regular renewals, which can lead to long-term cost savings.

Flexibility: ULAs provide more flexibility since they are renewed periodically. This allows organizations to renegotiate terms, add or remove products, and adjust to changing needs. PULAs, however, lock in the terms at the outset and do not allow for natural renegotiation.

Usage and Compliance: Both agreements require careful management to ensure compliance, but PULAs can be more challenging due to their perpetual nature. Organizations need to continuously monitor usage and remain vigilant to ensure ongoing compliance.

If your organization has or is considering an Oracle PULA, professional assistance can help navigate the complexities of these agreements. As experts in Oracle licensing, we can provide guidance to ensure you maximize the benefits of your PULA while maintaining compliance.


  • 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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