The purpose of free Oracle Partner Network (OPN) licenses is to allow partners to use Oracle programs to develop and demonstrate an application that will be commercially available to multiple end users. The licenses are intended for developing a product that works with Oracle and securing intent to sell that product. It is important for partners to understand that the free OPN development licenses may not be used for development purposes for a single, specific customer that has purchased the partner’s application. Once the partner’s application or solution has been delivered to the end user, full-use Oracle licenses would be required for ongoing development efforts for that end user.
Also, partners should remember that OPN demo and development licenses may not be used for an application or solution intended for only one end user. The application that the partner develops must be intended for multiple end users in order to comply with what is allowed under OPN.
Another important limitation to be aware of is that licenses granted under OPN may not be used for the partner’s internal business operations. Such use would be deemed a fully licensable development environment by Oracle.
OPN licenses may be used to provide technical support to an end user, but only if a distribution agreement is in place between the partner and Oracle. This allows a partner to provide front line support for Oracle programs packaged with their applications, and provides a channel through which Oracle can collect support royalties. OPN licenses cannot be used to provide technical support without a corresponding distribution agreement.
A final important dynamic regarding OPN licenses is that they do not apply to solutions offered in SaaS or cloud models. As ISV's transition from developing on-premise solutions to cloud, they must license software directly from Oracle for their hosting facilities under a model referred to as “proprietary hosting.” Under this model, the ISV charges its customers a fee and Oracle receives no license or support revenue directly from the ISV’s end-user customers. The test and development environments that support these deployments must be licensed separately as well, and are not covered by OPN. This is especially risk-laden because most ISVs have been operating under the unlimited deployment rights afforded under OPN’s nominal membership fee. A slight shift to the cloud makes their entire development organization susceptible to full use licensing, which can quickly add up to millions of dollars in license requirements.