Oracle ESL License – Insights from experts

What is an Oracle ESL license?

Oracle ESL license (EMB) 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 vs. ASFU and Full Use

  • An Oracle ESL license does not require maintenance of Oracle technical support, unlike Full Use and ASFU licenses.
  • ISVs do not typically maintain technical support for embedded licenses.
  • ISVs cannot list the Oracle database as a separate component when reselling an ESL license.

Oracle Embedded License Metrics

There are two options for obtaining an Oracle Embedded License:

  • A standard license based on Oracle’s usual metrics (such as Named User Plus and Processor) at a discounted price of 90% off Oracle’s list price.
  • A royalty-based model in which Oracle receives a percentage (usually 10%) of the ISV’s price list, and the ISV does not have to track the number of users or processors.

Licensing Restrictions

  • Oracle ESL licenses can only be used with a specific application package defined in the APRF agreement between the Oracle ISV and Oracle.
  • The Oracle database must be installed as a component and run in silent mode during installation, with no end-user configuration allowed.
  • End users cannot 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 for License Management

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

How we can help Oracle ISVs

Our team of experienced professionals can assist Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in negotiating and building Oracle Embedded License (ESL) and Application Specific Full Use (ASFU) license agreements.

Our services include:

  • Providing guidance on the differences between ESL and ASFU licenses and helping ISVs determine which type of license is the best fit for their business needs
  • Assisting with the application process to become an Oracle partner and obtain an ESL or ASFU license
  • Negotiating favorable terms and pricing for the license agreement
  • Drafting and reviewing the license agreement to ensure it meets the ISV’s requirements and complies with Oracle’s policies
  • Providing ongoing support and consultation throughout the duration of the license agreement

We have a deep understanding of Oracle’s licensing policies and can help ISVs navigate the process of obtaining an ESL or ASFU license efficiently and effectively.