For much of the 1990s, Oracle offered the Named User metric. Although the specific definition of Named User evolved over time, a Named User essentially denoted an individual authorized to access the Oracle program for which it applies.
If Named User licenses were purchased via a Network License Order Form, which was common during this time period, there is likely no minimum associated with the Named User metric. If no minimums are referenced in this type of contract, a customer may use the programs across any number of servers without creating a compliance issue, provided the number of Named Users is not exceeded. Because Named User licenses acquired in this way are not bound by any processor-based minimums, they may be especially valuable when used in a VMware environment where Oracle would normally require licensing for all processors in a cluster or vCenter.
The current Named User Plus metric allows for automatic batching between relational databases. For example, if data is transferred from a non-Oracle database to an Oracle database through a scheduled batch process, the front-end users of the non-Oracle database do not require Oracle licenses. This feature represents the ‘Plus’ in Named User Plus. The old Named User metric did not include this allowance, so the front-end users of a non-Oracle database batching to Oracle would require licensing. This can greatly increase the number of user licenses required.
Although Oracle discontinued the Named User metric in the late 1990s, it was reintroduced briefly around 2001, this time with a minimum requirement of 10 Named Users per processor for Database Enterprise Edition and 5 or 10 Named Users per processor for Database Standard Edition, depending on the time of purchase. Customers should refer to their agreements.
The benefit of this reintroduced metric is that it has lower per processor minimums for Database Enterprise Edition than the 25 licenses per processor minimums associated with the current Named User Plus metric.
As with previous releases of this metric, automatic database-to-database batching is not an included feature.