Oracle ISV

What is the difference between Oracle ESL and ASFU?

Difference between Oracle ESL and ASFU:

  • ESL (Embedded Software License):
    • Highly restrictive.
    • For ISVs embedding Oracle in applications.
    • End users can’t directly access Oracle software.
  • ASFU (Application Specific Full Use):
    • Less restrictive than ESL.
    • Specific to particular applications.
    • More flexibility in software access and use.

What is the Oracle ESL License

oracle asfu vs esl

Oracle ESL (Embedded Software License) is a specialized license designed for independent software vendors (ISVs) who incorporate Oracle software components into their applications.

This highly restrictive license allows ISVs to package and resell Oracle software with their solutions. The primary features of Oracle ESL include:

  • Packaging and Reselling: ISVs can bundle and resell Oracle software with their applications.
  • Restrictions: The software can only be used for the specific application package and cannot be used for third-party applications.
  • No Direct Access: End users cannot directly access or modify the Oracle software.
  • No Maintenance Requirement: Unlike other Oracle licenses, there’s no obligation to maintain technical support for Oracle ESL licenses.

What is an Oracle ASFU License

The article did not describe the Oracle ASFU (Application Specific Full Use) License.

However, based on general knowledge, ASFU licenses are designed for specific applications and are more restrictive than standard licenses.

They are typically used when an ISV wants to embed an Oracle product into their application.

Differences between Oracle ESL and ASFU License

Oracle ESL and ASFU License
  • Usage: While both are for embedding Oracle software, ESL is more restrictive than ASFU.
  • Maintenance: ESL licenses do not require maintenance of Oracle technical support, whereas ASFU might.
  • Access: End users cannot directly access Oracle software under ESL, while ASFU might have different terms.

Deciding Between Oracle ISV Models: Embedded Software License (ESL) vs. Application Specific Full Use License (ASFU)

Deciding Between Oracle ISV Models

For Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) planning to incorporate Oracle software into their applications, choosing the right licensing model is crucial for operational success and cost efficiency.

Oracle offers two primary licensing models tailored to ISVs: the Embedded Software License (ESL) and the Application Specific Full Use (ASFU) license.

Understanding the nuances of each can help ISVs make an informed decision that aligns with their application needs, business goals, and customer requirements.

Embedded Software License (ESL)

The Embedded Software License is designed for ISVs looking to integrate Oracle software directly into their applications, making it invisible and inaccessible to the end user.

The Oracle software operates as a component of the ISV’s application, providing functionality without exposing it as a standalone product.

  • Key Considerations:
    • Deep Integration is ideal for scenarios where Oracle software needs to be tightly integrated into the ISV’s application, providing essential functionality without user awareness of the underlying Oracle components.
    • Cost-Effectiveness: ESL typically offers significant discounts on Oracle software, making it a cost-effective option for ISVs that require extensive use of Oracle technology within their solutions.
    • End-User Transparency: The end user does not interact with the Oracle software directly, nor do they need to be aware of its presence within the application.

Application Specific Full Use License (ASFU)

The ASFU license offers more flexibility than the ESL. It allows ISVs to bundle Oracle software with their applications, providing end users with access to the full functionality of the Oracle software.

This model suits applications that complement Oracle’s offerings or require the end user to interact with Oracle software directly.

  • Key Considerations:
    • Flexibility: ASFU is beneficial for ISVs that require flexibility in deploying and using Oracle software alongside their applications. It accommodates scenarios where end users might directly access or interact with the Oracle software.
    • Less Restrictive: Unlike ESL, ASFU does not restrict the visibility of Oracle software to the end user, allowing for a broader range of application scenarios and user experiences.
    • Cost: While ASFU may not offer the same discounts as ESL, it provides a clear and straightforward licensing model for ISVs requiring their users to access Oracle software directly.


What is Oracle ESL?

It’s a highly restrictive license for ISVs embedding Oracle software in their applications.

How is ASFU different from ESL?

ASFU is less restrictive and might offer more software access and modification flexibility.

Can end users access Oracle software under ESL?

No, all interactions must go through the ISV’s application interface.

Do I need to maintain technical support for ESL licenses?

There’s no obligation to maintain technical support for Oracle ESL licenses.

Which license is more cost-effective?

ESL offers a significant discount, making it potentially more cost-effective for specific applications.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.

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