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Miro Consulting specializes in software license audit defense, license management, subscription management, and cloud services, for Oracle, Microsoft & IBM.

How to license WebLogic for E-Business R12 Applications

Are you compliant with middleware licensing for E-Business Suite applications?

Oracle E-Business Suite applications still require licensing of Internet Application Server Enterprise Edition (iAS EE) as middleware technology (as per Oracle Application Licensing Table), providing you are making modifications to underlying technology and not running EBS “out of the box”.

Oracle R12 Applications are running on WebLogic though, right? Why would Oracle still require iAS EE licensing then?

The common misconception is that you need WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition license for newer releases of EBS. Yes and no. Let me explain.

There are actually two recommended options going forward:

  1. Keep using iAS EE license that includes WebLogic Basic.
  2. Upgrade your iAS EE license to WebLogic Suite.

WebLogic Basic:

Oracle included WebLogic Server Basic, which, as the name suggests, is the minimal functionality WebLogic product, with the iAS EE license for running the EBS-related functionality that requires WebLogic. If this functionality is sufficient for your use, you do not require any additional purchases.

WebLogic Basic is not licensed as a standalone product. Its functionality is restricted to the following:

  • Core WebLogic application server
  • Java EE 5/EJB 3.0
  • WebLogic Server management tools, including the Administration Console and WebLogic Scripting Tool
  • WebLogic JDBC Drivers, WebLogic Server Clients, and WebLogic and Apache Web Server Plug-Ins
  • Basic JMS messaging, deployment, and high availability functionality
  • Streamlined storing of important objects to data stores, available to all Java applications and a core component of EJB 3.0

WebLogic Suite:

WebLogic Suite is the bundle of two main products:

  • Internet Application Server Enterprise Edition (iAS EE)
  • WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition (WebLogic Server EE).

You are also get an additional benefit: access to Coherence functionality included with the bundle.

 

Why do I need to license WebLogic Suite? Why not just license WL Server EE?

There are two reasons:

  • Oracle’s official requirement for EBS middleware technology when making modifications is still iAS EE, not WebLogic.
  • Most Clients still utilize iAS EE components that are NOT included with any WebLogic license, like Forms and Reports (Discoverer is now obsolete and no longer included with iAS EE license, but used to be another component of iAS EE not available with WebLogic license).

 

I own iAS EE license, why not just purchase WebLogic Server EE in addition to it?

The answer is simple: it is not cost effective.

It is typically less expensive to upgrade iAS EE to WebLogic Suite than to purchase additional WebLogic Server EE license. It is common that a bundle of two products is less expensive than purchasing them both separately, especially when you already paid for one of them.

Oracle considers WebLogic Suite a “transitional” product, meant to ease Customers transition from iAS EE, that is being gradually phased, out to WebLogic.


5 Ways to Get the Best Deal When Buying Oracle in May

Buying Oracle program licenses or cloud subscriptions can be a frustrating process. Licensing rules, contract nuances and program definitions can be confusing and downright onerous.

Companies with large IT procurement teams still get it wrong from time to time, by missing some of the basics as well as not understanding the nuances of Oracle program licensing and Cloud subscription agreement terminology.

5 Ways to Get The Best Deal:

  1. Know The Cost of Doing Nothing
    By knowing the cost of the ‘problem’ being solved by the program license and/or subscription, you have the ability to walk away from a bad deal. If the cost of the solution is more than the cost of the problem, then further negotiation is needed. Do you have a plan B? At the end of the day a deal may not work out for one side or the other. What is your backup plan?  You must always have one with each negotiation.
  2. Understand Your Options
    Before you begin negotiations, investigate options available to you from this vendor, and other vendors, as well as the pros and cons of each option. Keep in mind that standard options from Oracle may not be the only options that exist. Oracle is aware that every company is different and doesn’t expect one licensing metric will fit all use cases. There are custom solutions available as well as modifications to standard licenses depending on the issue and opportunity.
  1. Have an Exit Strategy
    Many IT solutions are temporary and even those of longer term are subject to the dynamic nature of business including:
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Business diversification
    • Business downturns
    • Business growth
    • Global expansion

What is your plan for getting out the solution you have today to step into the world of tomorrow? Entry cost into a new procurement or agreement is just one cost, but you should also review agreements for the cost of ‘exiting’ as well as renewing the agreements. In many cases the cost of exiting or renewing far exceeds the initial procurement cost.

  1. Understand Non-Discount Concessions
    Non-discount concessions are often more valuable than discount concessions. What is more valuable? It depends on your need and how the programs will be used.

Examples:

    • Global usage
    • More favorable product definition
    • Different license matrix
    • Lower cost of renewal
    • Portability to new entities acquired during merger or acquisition activity

There may be hundreds of non-discount concessions that are of value to you.

  1. What Does The Terminology Mean?
    Don’t be afraid to ask for an example. Technology program licensing and Cloud Subscriptions agreements are full of acronyms, new phrases and words that may have different definitions depending on vendor and industry. It is important to get the definitions to these words and phrases and when in doubt, get an example of their application to your use scenario. False assumptions are a killer when it comes to usage agreements. Your flexibility is limited when you leave the definition and interpretations to chance.

Remember, you DO NOT own the software, even after procurement. You own the right to use the software in a very specific way. That is all.   It is essentially a ‘usage’ agreement including when you are procuring ‘perpetual’ program licenses. If it is not noted in the agreement and order documents, then seek clarity.

Oracle program license and cloud subscription is not a ‘one size fits all’ proposition. Oracle Corporation has thousands of clients world-wide and it is not expected that one general metric would be good enough for everyone.

 


Java: New Licensing Changes in Latest Oracle Java Update

Oracle has determined how it will treat both developer users and personal users of its Oracle Java.

Both Development users and Personal users (for games, etc.) will enroll in the Oracle Technology Network (“OTN”) by virtue of agreeing to the terms and conditions whenever they opt to download the program or an update.

Personal Users

It is important to understand how Oracle defines personal use. It does so with the following per the terms and conditions of the OTN:

  • Personal Use” refers to an Individual’s use of the Programs solely on a desktop or laptop computer under such Individual’s control only to run Personal Applications.
  • Personal Applications” refers to Applications designed for individual personal use only, such as games or personal productivity tools.

For personal users, Oracle states that users “… will continue to receive updates as before until at least December 2020.” So that part didn’t change.

However, Oracle adds that “The auto-update mechanism will ask you to confirm that you understand and accept the new license before updating.” Let see what that means…

You’ll be greeted by the Java Download screen:

java-download-license

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice that last sentence. It states that you have accepted the terms and conditions of the OTN agreement. This will be the default going forward (for the foreseeable future). At issue is the possibility that the terms and conditions of the OTN agreement can change. This agreement is an online reference that can be changed without your knowledge.

If you do not click on “Agree and Start Free Download” then the product will not be installed or updated.

Note that the browser may need to restart (close and re-open) to enable the Java installation.

 

Development Users

Just as Oracle has defined personal use, it also defines what constitutes development use. And, again, it does so with the following per the terms and conditions of the OTN:

  • Development Use” refers to Your internal use of the Programs to develop, test, prototype and demonstrate Your Applications. For purposes of clarity, the “to develop” grant includes using the Programs to run profilers, debuggers and Integrated Development Environments (IDE Tools) where the primary purpose of the IDE Tools is profiling, debugging and source code editing Applications.
  • Program(s)” refers to Oracle software provided by Oracle pursuant to this Agreement and any updates, error corrections…

Within this update from Oracle comes an important change. The older OTN License Terms that were applied to Java used to include the following language:

You may not:

  • use the programs for your own internal data processing or for any commercial or production purposes, or use the programs for any purpose except the development of your application;
  • use the application you develop with the programs for any internal data processing or commercial or production purposes without securing an appropriate license from us;
  • continue to develop your application after you have used it for any internal data processing, commercial or production purpose without securing an appropriate license from us, or an Oracle reseller…

Notice that last bullet point. It states that you were not allowed to continue to develop the application after it had been placed in production. This is because Oracle assessed that a production support environment was a production environment.

However, the new OTN License Agreement for Oracle Java SE, which is retro-active to Java 11, lacks this language. Instead, it contains only the following:

You may not:

  • remove or modify any Program markings or any notice of Oracle’s or a licensor’s proprietary rights;
  • make the Programs available in any manner to any third party (other than Contractors acting on Your behalf as set forth in this Agreement);
  • assign this Agreement or distribute, give, or transfer the Programs or an interest in them to any third party, except as expressly permitted in this Agreement for Contractors (the foregoing shall not be construed to limit the rights You may otherwise have with respect to Separately Licensed Third Party Technology);
  • cause or permit reverse engineering (unless required by law for interoperability), disassembly or decompilation of the Programs; and
  • create, modify, or change the behavior of, classes, interfaces, or subpackages that are in any way identified as “java”, “javax”, “sun”, “oracle” or similar convention as specified by Oracle in any naming convention designation.

This is a huge change about using Java in order to support the production application. While it is not permitted under the old agreement, it would seem that it is permitted now.

The definition (see above), citing the use of tools such as debugging and/or editing tools, would allow for the support of production applications using a for-free version of commercial Oracle Java.

The download for Oracle Java is the same as that for personal users (please see above).

OpenJDK Versus Oracle OpenJDK

There are two (2) versions of the Oracle Java Development Kit or “JDK”: The commercial version, or the OpenJDK, and the open version, the Oracle OpenJDK.

The OpenJDK is contributed to by Oracle (who used to actually lead the build team). The Oracle OpenJDK is from Oracle and is contributed to only by Oracle. It also uses the same version numbers as its commercial counterpart.

If you head to the Java download page (Java 8 used for this example), you will see both the “GA” (“General Availability”) and “BPR” (“Bundled Patch Releases”). As you can see, “BPR builds are available only as commercial offerings to Oracle customers.”

As another example, if you head to the Java 13 download page, you will see the language “Oracle also provides the latest OpenJDK release under the open source GPL License at jdk.java.net.”

So from that perspective, the OpenJDK – that is the ­non-Oracle JDK – and the Oracle OpenJDK are different. But they are similar inasmuch as Oracle does contribute to the OpenJDK. However, the OpenJDK can add features and functionality that might never make it into the Oracle OpenJDK.

The sophisticated organization would assess, with the assistance of an expert like Miro, which of the two might be most practical or perhaps required. Using this information, that organization would be better prepared for deploying Java and possibly funding its licensing.

 

 


Oracle to Allow Proprietary Hosting on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Oracle now allows Proprietary Hosting solutions to run from AWS (Amazon Web Services) if brought as BYOL (Bring Your Own License).

Previously, Proprietary Hosting Solutions could only be run from the client’s on-premise infrastructure, or on Oracle’s cloud network. Miro has confirmed with the Oracle License Management Services team that licenses with Proprietary Hosting terms and concessions can now be allocated in a BYOL manner to the AWS platform as long as Oracle’s policies for applying such licenses are followed.

What’s Proprietary Hosting:

A Proprietary Hosting Solution is any custom implementation of software that includes Oracle Database (and other Oracle Tech products) to support a solution accessible to multiple non-employee end user clients to use. The implemented software must be custom developed by the company, not a software solution licensed through a Third-Party, for use by multiple clients and usually delivered as a Software-as-a-Service solution accessible from the Internet.

Restrictions:

Two important restrictions remain.

  1. They need to be mindful of the SE2 limits as noted in the “Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment” in the following link, Oracle counts licensing differently on third party clouds like AWS than it does its own cloud and on-premise solutions.
  2. Customers using AWS RDS with License Included service cannot deploy Proprietary Hosting based applications.

Amazon Web Services Links Regarding Oracle BYOL Use:

https://aws.amazon.com/rds/oracle/faqs/

https://docs.aws.amazon.com/whitepapers/latest/oracle-database-aws-best-practices/oracle-licensing-considerations.html

 


Oracle’s E-Business Suite On Premise vs in the Cloud

You may be one of Oracle Applications customers pondering an internal question on future direction for your E-Business Suite investment. Upgrade to newer release on premise or go to Cloud? Oracle Cloud or third-party Cloud?

Here are some points to consider when making these decisions:

E-Business Suite – On Premise:

Oracle had stated many times in the past they were dedicated to Applications Unlimited concept and they still are. It was Oracle’s pledge to continue upgrading, supporting and innovating their flagship EBS applications.

At some point Oracle concentrated their effort on building Fusion applications (with delayed release: announced in 2005, but finally offered in 2011) built on Oracle’s EBS with a few other application platforms incorporated from acquisitions (JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel), which were meant to become “best of class” applications encompassing best features from each group and eventually replace EBS applications.

This concept did not resonate with the majority of client base and Oracle noticed. Oracle has continued with its development effort focused on core EBS applications on premise (with Applications Unlimited pledge) while developing and improving Fusion Cloud solutions.

As 11.2 and 12.1 EBS releases are currently in Extended Support, Oracle named 12.2 a “Continuous Innovation Release” with a promise to offer Premier Support for this release at least until 2030. Updates can be applied to this release “continuously” without a requirement of any major upgrades. This means once you upgrade your EBS applications to 12.2 release you do not need to worry about the additional expense of Extended Support for the next 10 years, or the need to perform a major upgrade which can be disruptive to your business.

E-Business Suite – In the Cloud:

Most E-Business Suite ERP customers like Oracle applications for the ease of customization and flexibility, however, Oracle SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions meant to replace core EBS applications are very different from their on-premise equivalents.

They have different features and do not allow for majority of customizations the clients are used to having with on-premise solutions (though it varies by the specific application). Oracle has developed a number of successful Fusion Cloud Services that allow for major customizations, and are more robust than their on-premise equivalents, like EPM (Enterprise Performance Management), previously called Enterprise Planning and Budgeting solution, based on Hyperion applications.

So who is the core EBS SaaS solution (ERP) for then? It would be most useful for first time Oracle clients who can start using EBS applications in the cloud and don’t need many customizations or modifications.

Recently Oracle concentrated their effort on improving a much narrower set of ERP E-Business Suite solutions in the Cloud, while bundling them together to create fewer but more robust solutions, and to potentially promote adoption of less popular Fusion Cloud Services that Clients would have access to within each bundle.

The most adequate route for existing EBS customers who have been heavily customizing their core Oracle applications (especially ERP applications) throughout the years is a “lift and shift” approach. Oracle states that their applications work best on their own hardware platform, and recommends a “lift and shift” to OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure) which are PaaS and IaaS solutions. Customers have other third-party platforms to choose from as well, like AWS and Azure.

There are certain differences between these platforms in the way you would plan and pay for your actual usage, as well as the methodology of Oracle license counting when you move your underlying Oracle technology licenses, for database and middleware, to the cloud.

Please contact Miro Consulting for further advisory that would be unique to your specific situation.


Application Modernization

As mentioned in earlier blog posts I have written, modernizing applications in addition to creating new cloud-native applications is the underlying reason that cloud-computing, containers, and IBM/Red Hat are relevant.

While chanting the ‘cloud first’ mantra, consider your strategy to adapt and migrate existing applications to the cloud also.  This is the ideal time to modernize these, especially with hybrid cloud or multiple cloud vendors.

Rather than migrating to a specific service or one with poor integration that will hamper you in the future, consider a flexible, open system.   This can support your reasons for migrating to cloud in the first place: optimizing costs, control including the use of high availability and rapid recovery, and rapid or agile deployment of new, improved services to generate revenue.  (IBM Cloud, 2019)

Here are factors that could comprise existing application strategy:

Open architecture is also scalable for growth, or to shrink when the application is later retired.  Although evangelists may want to tout their life-changing app as evergreen, even Lotus 1-2-3 was sunset.

Conversely, modernizing applications may not deliver value.  Please consider these factors also:

  • Waving the ‘cloud wand’ does not mean savings magically appear.
  • Developing a new, cloud-native app may be a better choice than updating an existing one
  • Management of (multi-)cloud environment may be bigger than initially considered
    • Automation
    • Visibility
    • Governance and Security
  • Data transfer and security costs may also be underestimated
  • AI trained with faulty data (Noffsinger, 2019)

Specific to IBM:

If you are already operating in the IBM-verse, can you migrate your WebSphere Application Server (WAS) apps to WAS Liberty?   You can try Open Liberty (hyperlink: https://openliberty.io/) at no-cost, and in case you didn’t realize it the Liberty Profile is part of later versions of regular WAS.  So what is ‘Liberty’?  The WAS Liberty profile is a scaled-down Java runtime environment for cloud-native apps and microservices.  Liberty was created to start fast, use less memory, and has custom features to allow it to be flexible.

If you are already an IBM Cloud Private customer, IBM offers the IBM Cloud Transformation Advisor (hyperlink: https://www.ibm.com/garage/method/practices/learn/ibm-transformation-advisor)  to simplify application modernization of Java EE apps at no additional charge.  IBM’s Advisor categorizes Java EE apps and MQ queue managers in addition to generating a Docker manifest.

References:

Gulati, Vikram. (2019, Jan 22). Modernize Your WebSphere Apps for the Cloud @ Think 2019.                  www.ibm.com/cloud/blog/think-2019-modernize-your-websphere-apps-for-the-cloud

Hernandez, Robin. (2019, Dec. 12).  Multicloud management: Why visibility, security and automation       matter to CIOs. www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2019/12/12/multicloud-management-        visibility-security-automation/

IBM. (2019, Dec 27). IBM application modernization. www.ibm.com/cloud/application-modernization

IBM Cloud. (2018, May 18). Old apps, new tricks: What application modernization means to modern                         enterprises [Video]. https://youtu.be/MMl9QRdi44E

IBM Cloud. (2019). Three Pillars of Application Modernization for the Cloud Era.                  www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/VAXKADZO

Noffsinger, Walt. (2019, Jan. 30). 3 reasons most modernization projects may not deliver business value.                 www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2019/01/30/modernization-projects-business-value/

 


Licensing Disaster Recovery Solutions for Oracle, Microsoft, IBM & Salesforce

Date: February 11, 2020
Time: 2:30pm EST
Place: Online Webinar – Register Here

Will your Disaster Recovery solution cause you to fail a license compliance audit?

Join us for this informative webinar where we’ll cover how to properly license your disaster recovery and business continuity solutions to maintain compliance and not fail an audit.

Our analysts will be available for a Question and Answer session after the presentation.

Disaster Recovery Licensing:

  • Oracle – failover vs. standby vs. testing
  • Microsoft – permitted use, cloud, and software assurance
  • IBM – hot vs. warm vs. cold backup servers
  • Salesforce – discontinuation of the Data Recovery product, other options for backups

Register Here For The Event


Oracle announces Standard Edition 2 Database 19C won’t have RAC (Real Application Clusters)

A recent notice, posted January 1st, outlines changes coming with Database 19C, which directly impact Standard Edition 2.  As of 19C, RAC is no longer included or deployable for clients utilizing Database Standard Edition 2.  This is not a situation of unbundling, where RAC can still be obtained and utilized for additional cost, but a technical change to the underlying software itself.  Attempts to implement RAC with Standard Edition 2 19C will be blocked by the Universal Installer.

What does this mean for my SE2 RAC deployments?

Oracle outlines within the notice several options for clients currently utilizing a RAC configuration with their SE2 deployment.  While none of them are perfect, they do provide clients with guidance in how to move forward.

  • Clients can opt to stay on 18C with no impact to their current RAC configurations. The change does not affect past versions of Database SE2, only 19C and beyond
  • Convert the RAC Database into a Non-RAC Database instance.
  • Upgrade from Standard Edition 2 to Enterprise Edition. Though potentially costly, this option allows clients to retain their RAC deployments, while also opening up additional functionality and the ability to implement Options and Packs not available with SE2.
  • Convert to Oracle Cloud with Autonomous Database.

What if I utilize RAC as part of my DR (Data Recovery) strategy?

Based on the fact that this is an unavoidable technical change to Oracle Database, options regarding the use of RAC with SE2 are limited to those outlined above.  If you are using RAC for the purposes of High Availability, and do not wish to move off of SE2, then you are left with only a couple of options.

  • Remain on 18C. 18C was introduced in April of 2018 and Premier Support runs until June of 2021.  Extended Support for 18C however will not be made available as 18C is not an Oracle Long Term Support version.
  • Consider the use of RMAN (Recovery Manager) for Backup functionality. While not generally considered high availability, RMAN can be utilized at no additional cost with all editions of Oracle Database.

Although this is not an optimal situation for clients that utilize RAC with SE2 deployments, Oracle has provided this information in a timely manner, with nearly a year and a half of Premier Support remaining for 18C.  This should provide enough runway for clients to plan for the coming changes, prior to an imminent requirement to upgrade.

These changes are in addition to the changes to Database EE, with Spatial and Advanced Analytics now being included with Database Enterprise Edition.  You can read more about that here.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the licensing of your current or future DR solution, please contact us.