For most of its core technology programs, Oracle offers customers the option to license by either the Processor metric or the Named User Plus metric, but many Oracle customers remain confused about what it means to license by Processor vs. Named User Plus, and how each is best used.
In this post, we seek to demystify these metrics so you can have the confidence to license your Oracle environment efficiently and compliantly.
How many Oracle users do you have?
Regardless of which metric you use to license your technology programs, all processors where the program is installed and/or running must be licensed. When you do this with the Processor metric, there is no limit to the number of users, regardless of whether they access the program directly or via a front-end application. The Processor metric allows for an unlimited user count, so if the user population is large or uncountable, it generally makes sense to license by Processor.
The Named User Plus metric allows you to license your programs by the number of users. Keep in mind, however, that this metric is still tied to the number of processors on which the program is running. Here’s how: most products, when licensed by Named User Plus, have per-Processor minimum license requirements. For example, the standard Named User Plus license minimum for Oracle Database Enterprise Edition is 25 Named User Plus licenses for every licensable processor. The minimum for most middleware programs is 10 per processor. Customers must license whatever is larger between the total number of actual users and the Named User Plus minimum total. Generally speaking, it makes sense to use Named User Plus to license a program with a small number of users.