Understanding Oracle ESL License

Understanding Oracle ESL License

What is an Oracle ESL license?

Oracle ESL license is a highly restrictive license offered to Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to package and sell with their application or solution. To qualify for an ESL license, the company developing the application must become an Oracle Partner. The Oracle database and options are the most common products in an ESL license. Oracle provides ISVs with a 90% discount on their technology price list for an ESL license, as it is highly restrictive.

Oracle ESL license vs. ASFU and Full Use

An important difference between an ESL license and Oracle’s Full Use and Application Specific Full Use (ASFU) licenses is that there is no requirement to maintain Oracle technical support for an ESL license. Most ISVs also do not maintain technical support for embedded licenses. Additionally, ISVs are not allowed to list the Oracle database as a separate component on their price list or contract when reselling an ESL license.

Oracle ESL License Models

There are two license models available for Oracle’s Embedded License. The first is based on standard Oracle licensing metrics, such as Named User Plus and Processor, and includes a 90% discount from Oracle. The second is a royalty-based model, in which Oracle takes a percentage (usually 10%) of the ISV’s price list, and the ISV does not need to count users or processors.

ESL Licensing Limitations

  • The Oracle ESL license is only allowed to be used with a specific application package defined in the APRF agreement between the Oracle ISV and Oracle.
  • During installation, the Oracle database must be installed as a component and run in silent mode, with no end-user configuration allowed.
  • End users are not allowed to access Oracle programs directly, and all database management must be done through the ISV application interface.
  • End users are not allowed to patch or upgrade the embedded database or create users, tables, or other database objects.
  • Administrative tasks such as startup, shutdown, and backup must be managed through the ISV application interface.
  • The database is not allowed to have direct access to any third-party application, and the application package must have APIs to manage this.
  • Third-party tools are not allowed to access the Oracle database.
  • SAM tools cannot be used to manage an embedded license.
  • If an Oracle ULA is entered, the ESL licenses will not be converted.
  • The ISV is only allowed to access the Oracle embedded programs for technical maintenance.
  • It is not possible to upgrade embedded licenses to Oracle ASFU or Oracle Full Use licenses.

Oracle ESL Licenses & Audits

  • Oracle ESL licenses are not subject to Oracle end-customer license audits.
  • Oracle ESL licenses are only audited if Oracle decides to audit the Oracle ISV who resold the ESL license.
  • Oracle end customers are not responsible for ensuring compliance with Oracle ESL licenses.
  • It is not allowed to use a software asset management tool to manage Oracle embedded programs.
  • Oracle-embedded licensing is subject to Oracle’s rules on virtualization, such as VMWare. However, if the royalty-based license model is used, this licensing issue is avoided.

If you are an Oracle ISV who either have an ESL agreement or are considering negotiating one with Oracle. We are experts in Oracle licensing and help you.