1 Reply Latest reply: Mar 17, 2014 9:03 AM by Brian Bontrager RSS

    Access through commercial frontend


      My company purchased a commercial ERP system designed for the aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul industry. It runs on Windows Server 2008 R2.   It uses the "free" version of Oracle (Oracle Express 11g) as its back end.  We purchased a five seat license from the (front end) software company.  All's well so far. 


      We discovered that the front end software enforces its license restrictions by counting all database sessions as an occupied seat. Therefore, if I have four actual users logged into their front end and, via back end, I have a report writer, or another background process logged INTO THE DATABASE, a fifth actual user is prevented from logging in through their front end.  I asked them about this practice and they freely admit that they consider all database sessions as occupied "seats".


      What do you think about this practice; common, unscrupulous, in violation of the Oracle license, illegal ?

        • 1. Re: Access through commercial frontend
          Brian Bontrager

          If you purchased licenses to a product, the manufacturer makes the rules, or you negotiated the rules together via contract.  If you bought a "product" they can build it on whatever platform they want and determine license compliance by whatever means they want.  It would be unfair to not tell you how they audit that, but it sounds like they have done so.  There are a lot of "what if"s with their approach to licensing (if I login during a backup, do they count RMAN backup processes as using a seat?)  so you may need to have a conversation with them about "here is the implication of your licensing implementation and how it is/isn't fair."  Put in an enhancement request with the vendor.  Does your license with the vendor include the right to access the underlying database directly via reporting tools?  Were the reporting tools part of the ERP suite?


          I used to be a DBA in the aviation industry.  I'm surprised they can fit a usable maintenance product into the size and processor limits of 11g XE, unless this is for a very small fleet.