oracle database licensing

Oracle Enterprise Manager Licensing and Challenges

An Expert Guide to Oracle Enterprise Manager Licensing and Challenges

what is oracle enterprise manager

Oracle Enterprise Manager licensing (OEM) is a powerful tool widely used to manage the Oracle environment, including the database and applications tiers. It provides monitoring capabilities and automates repetitive administrative tasks through intelligent agents known as Oracle Management Agents.

However, OEM Packs can lead to licensing compliance issues during Oracle audits. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of OEM licensing and common challenges Oracle customers face.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Licensing Explained

oracle enterprise manager installation

The OEM Installation Process

Oracle Enterprise Manager is installed with the Oracle Database and can be deployed in the following three architectures:

  • Database Control.
  • Grid Control.
  • Cloud Control.

While the OEM functionality is included with the Oracle Database license, the premium functionalities within OEM require a separate license, known as the “Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Management Packs” or “OEM Pack.” Technically, these are a suite of database features that Oracle classifies as licensable features.

By default, during the installation process, the Oracle Management Agent (OMA) enables several “Database Enterprise Edition Management Packs,” without any connection to what a customer has licensed, including:

  • The Diagnostics Pack.
  • Tuning Pack.
  • Database Lifecycle Management Pack.
  • Data Masking & Subsetting Pack.
  • & Cloud Management Pack for Database.

As an end-user, you must deselect the unlicensed packs after installing the agent on a database to avoid unlicensed use.

The Features of Diagnostics and Tuning Packs

The Diagnostics Pack includes:

  • Automatic Workload Repository (AWR)
  • Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM)
  • Performance monitoring (database and host)
  • Event notifications
  • Blackouts, and much more.

The Tuning Pack includes:

  • The SQL Access Advisor.
  • SQL Tuning Advisor.
  • SQL Tuning Sets.
  • Reorganize objects.
  • Automatic SQL Tuning, and much more.

Using the “Tuning Pack” requires a license for the “Diagnostics Pack” as well. Therefore, licensing of OEM Packs can be subjective if no clear usage can be identified in the Oracle Database. If an end-user has enabled and agreed to use the Packs, the end-user needs to be licensed in most cases.

Common Challenges with Oracle Audits

oracle oem compliance risks

Many end-users are found to be non-compliant during Oracle audits because the “Pack Access” was agreed on or Automatic Workload Repository reports were used. Many end-users, however, do not have a clear view of what this means.

Using features such as Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) or Automatic Database Diagnostics Monitor (ADDM) are often used by end-users, who may not recognize the use of these features when confronted with them during an Oracle audit.

OEM Oracle Enterprise Manager (FAQs)

Is Oracle Enterprise Manager included in the Oracle Database license?

Yes, the OEM functionality is included in the Oracle Database license.

Are OEM Packs installed by default during the OEM installation process?

Yes, by default, during the installation process, several Database Enterprise Edition Management Packs are enabled.

Can disabling Pack access avoid licensing compliance issues?

Yes, disabling Packs access can avoid licensing compliance issues. However, disabling the Pack’s usage is different from de-installing the Pack.

How can the Oracle Enterprise Management Packs be disabled?

The OEM Packs can be enabled and disabled from the GUI interface. Disabling the Packs access for all the OEM Packs that are not licensed is a simple task that can be performed by a DBA and will not require the DB to be reinstalled.

What should I do if I am not licensed for the OEM Packs and don’t recognize their use?

In most cases, if an end-user has enabled and agreed to use the packs, they must be licensed. However, you can decide which OEM Packs you want to keep and buy the appropriate licenses or disable the Packs access for all the OEM Packs that are not licensed.

Oracle Enterprise Manager is a powerful tool to help businesses automate and streamline their database and application administration tasks.

However, it’s important to be aware of the licensing implications of using the different features and packs included with the software.

As an Oracle licensing expert with many years of experience, I recommend businesses take the time to understand which packs they are licensed for and deselect unlicensed packs after installing the agent on a target database to avoid unlicensed use.

This will help to ensure that you comply with Oracle’s licensing policies and can avoid costly penalties in the event of an audit.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson possesses 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. Having worked at Oracle for 9 years, he gained an additional 11 years of expertise in Oracle license consulting projects. Fredrik has provided assistance to over 150 organizations worldwide, ranging in size and tackling various Oracle licensing challenges, including Licensing Assessments, Oracle audits, Oracle ULAs, and more.