Oracle License Compliance Issues Related to API Usage

Users who have no direct access may still need licenses, if they use a system that connects via an API

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are utilized in all applications to allow programmers to interface with other applications or devices. It is common for us to find organizations that have underestimated the software licensing impact of leveraging the APIs of their Oracle applications and products. Oracle applications typically utilize an “application user” metric. It is logical for organizations to only consider the user IDs in their system for calculating software licensing requirements. Unfortunately, they may overlook the fact that an API utilizes a user ID itself.

It may also be thought that licensing that single API user ID is sufficient. However, that is not the case. Oracle considers such use as a form of multiplexing, which obscures the true count of users accessing the application. This also has the potential of falling under Oracle’s concept of batching if an external home-built application compiles all incoming data from users and delivers it at once through an API. This is why Oracle counts users at the front end of usage.

All users that are utilizing the external application or interface that feed data into the Oracle application through the API must be licensed for the Oracle application. It is common for users of Oracle E-Business to incorporate the use of APIs to pull data from external sources, and this is a typical source of software compliance issues. However, this situation can impact any Oracle program that utilizes a user licensing metric and receives data from external sources into an API, which includes Oracle Database.

Examples of API Connected Systems:

  • CRMs
  • ERPs
  • Mobile Apps
  • Point-of-Sale
  • Scanners
  • Business Analytics

Identifying software compliance issues in these situations can be very confusing as there are many different usage scenarios, licensing metrics, and differing license rules across all Oracle products. If you have any usage situation that you feel could fall into the situation described above please contact Miro Consulting.