Avoid Licensing Traps

2015-12-01 Off By Markus Flechtner

It’s easy to run into licensing issues with the Oracle database. A “wrong” SQL command – and you’ve used an additional option of the database and you can get in trouble at the next licensing audit. This blog post lists some basic steps that can help to avoid such problems.

Disclaimer: the aspects listed here are by no means exhaustive and complete and cannot replace license consulting.

The most important information on Oracle database licensing is available in the following documents:

  1. Oracle Database 12c Licensing Information
  2. Oracle Software Investment Guide

The following procedure may help in avoiding licensing issues:

1. Remove the not-licensed options from the installed Oracle software with the tool chopt:

Example (Oracle 12c):
chopt

In Oracle 11g you could de-select the not-licensed option during the installation of the Oracle software. Unfortunately, this is not possible with Oracle 12c.

Please see MOS-Note “How to Check and Enable/Disable Oracle Binary Options (Doc ID 948061.1)” or “Removing Options from the Oracle Database kernel in 12c“.

2. Run the databases with the licensed options only:

You can choose the options to be installed in a fresh database in DBCA:

dbca

However, when creating a Container database, you cannot remove database options in DBCA. When Oracle 12.1.0.2 was released, such a setup was not supported.

But Oracle has changed its mind and the support note “Creating A Container Database (CDB) With A Subset Of Options (Doc ID 2001512.1)” provides information how to create a database in this case.

3. De-Activate Diagnostic- and Tuning-Pack (Enterprise Edition)

By default, both packs are enabled, but if you don’t have an appropriate license, you have to deactivate them on instance level:

ALTER SYSTEM SET CONTROL_MANAGEMENT_PACK_ACCESS=NONE SCOPE=BOTH SID='*';

If only the Diagnostic Pack is licensed, please use:

ALTER SYSTEM SET CONTROL_MANAGEMENT_PACK_ACCESS='DIAGNOSTIC' SCOPE=BOTH SID='*';

Diagnostic pack is the foundation for the Automatic Workload Repository (AWR). If none of the packs is licensed, Oracle Enterprise Manager provides only basic functionality for database operation. Please the the “Enterprise Manager Licensing Information User Manual
to find out, which functions of the EM require the Diagnostic or Tuning Pack.

Please see the following MOS-Notes:

  • AWR Reporting – Licensing Requirements Clarification (Doc ID 1490798.1)
  • Controlling Diagnostic and Tuning Pack Usage (Doc ID 436386.1)

4. Feature using monitoring:

The data dictionary view DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS helps – as the name says – in monitoring the database features.

The Support-Note 1317265.1 provides a script which is based on DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS and which can belp to monitor the feature usage. Unfortunately, there’s a disclaimer from Oracle in the header of the script:

[..]
------- Disclaimer : The following report provides usage statistics for
------- licensable Database Options and Enterprise Management Packs.
------- This information is to be used for informational purposes only and
------- this does not represent your license entitlement or requirement.
------- The usage data may indicate, in some cases, false positives.
------- Please see MOS DOC ID 1309070.1 for more information.
------- This may be due to inclusion of usage by sample schemas (such as HR,
------- PM, SH...) or system/internal usage.
-------
[..]

Excerpt of the output

script-output

(I’ve removed some columns so that the output fits on the screen)

Please see the following MOS-Notes:

  • How to Manually Refresh Dba_feature_usage_statistics (Doc ID 1629485.1)
  • Database Options/Management Packs Usage Reporting for Oracle Databases 11gR2 and 12c (Doc ID 1317265.1)
  • Place Holder For Feature Usage Tracking Bugs (Doc ID 1309070.1)

More information on licensing can be found in the following blog posts:

Ileana Somesan (http://isblog.de) (German):

Tim Hall (http://www.oracle-base.com/):

Disclaimer: the aspects listed here are by no means exhaustive and complete and cannot replace license consulting.