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What is Oracle ULA and what are the risks?

Perhaps you heard of an Oracle ULA, but you certainly are not sure what it exactly means. If you are not really technical, we will explain it as easily as possible to you and tell you the pro’s and con’s about it.

What an Oracle ULA is

An Oracle ULA (Unlimited License Agreement) is an agreement which is designed to offer a flexible and affordable way to implement Oracle-software, without worrying about monitoring license usage. Despite of the name ULA (especially ‘unlimited’), this license agreement is not literally unlimited. It is limited to a number of specific software programs. The limitations of Oracle ULA are governed by the clauses included.

For how long does the ULA covers your software usage

With an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement, you can use an unlimited number of licenses of Oracle products that are covered by the agreement for (usually) 2, 3 or 4 years. 3 years is the most common. Within 30 days after your ULA agreement expires, a representative of your company needs to sign off. Only this will ensure an accurate certification.

Risks of ULA

There are several advantages of the ULA. These are saving costs, convenience and simplicity. But there are also some disadvantages about the ULA. The main disadvantage about Unlimited License Agreement is that it has a kind of ‘technical lock-in’’. This means that you will not be able to terminate the support maintenance in case you do not need it anymore. That is why it is really important that you look at all the contractual clauses before signing the ULA agreement. Besides this, ULA is limited in products to what is negotiated and limited in use to specific entities in many cases.

This is how other Oracle software also can pose risks

There could always go something wrong. This is not very surprising, because (especially big companies) consist of different departments which contain multiple people. Everyone should be aware of which software is entitled to the agreement (or more and different agreements). There is a big chance that there will always be someone that does not know of the agreement or had another agreement for the software he uses in mind. So, if all those people do not know the specific programs and functionalities that the concerned agreement covers, you can be in a situation in which you are breaching your contract very quickly.

About Oracle (briefly explained)

Oracle is a software company which is mainly famous of his database system. Besides databases, the company is also one of the largest suppliers in company software. The company worldwide has more than 136.000 employees.