Oracle ESL license is a short name for Oracle Embedded license. This is a highly restrictive Oracle license that Oracle ISVs can package and resell along with their application/solution. The requirement for reselling Oracle ESL is that the company developing and owning the IP that is embedding Oracle must become an Oracle Partner. By far the most common embedded product is Oracle database and database options. Oracle provides the ISV with a 90% discount from Oracle technology price list, this is an indication of how restrictive the Oracle ESL license model is.
One notable difference ESL vs Oracle Full use and Oracle ASFU is that there is no requirement to maintain Oracle technical support for Oracle esl licenses. And most Oracle ISVs do not maintain technical support for embedded licenses. The Oracle ISV who are reselling the ESL license is not allowed to list the Oracle database as a separate component on their price list / contract.
There are two license models available for Oracle embedded license, standard Oracle licensing metrics such as Named User Plus and Processor, where Oracle grants the ISV 90% discount. The other license model is royalty based where Oracle takes a % (usually 10%) from the ISV price list and the ISV does not need to count users or processors.
Oracle Middleware, such as Weblogic Server
• Usage is restricted to the specific application package and cannot be used for third party applications. The application package is described in the APRF which is a contract item between the Oracle ISV and Oracle.
• When installing the ISV application package, the Oracle database must be installed as a component and run in a silent mode. No configurations are allowed by the end-user during the installation.
• The end user will own the license but are not allowed to access to Oracle programs directly. Any Oracle management such as database management, must be done via the ISV application interface.
• The end user is not allowed to patch or upgrade the embedded database, neither are they allowed to create users, tables, database objects such as tables, index, or views.
• All administrative tasks such as startup, shutdown and backup need to be managed by the ISV application interface.
• The database is not allowed to have direct access with any third-party application, the application package must have pre-made APIs to manage this.
• The end user cannot use third party tools to access the Oracle database.
• You cannot use a SAM tool to manage an embedded license.
• If you enter an Oracle ULA, the ESL licenses will not be converted into the new support contract.
• The ISV is allowed to access the Oracle embedded programs only for technical maintenance.
• It is not possible to upgrade embedded license to Oracle ASFU or Oracle Full use licenses.
The below picture is part of the standard embedded license agreement that a company signs with Oracle when they want to have the rights to distribute Oracle software along with their software package. For end customers it has little value as they are not responsible for license compliance for the ESL deployment towards Oracle. But for ISVs who are entering embedded licensing agreements we recommend that you do not provide too many details, as you want to intentionally leave it vague to allow flexibility in changes to your application package. If you make minor updates you may not want to re-negotiate your licensing agreement every time.
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