Some notes on licensing EBS@OCI

April 09, 2020

Johannes Michler PROMATIS Horus Oracle

Senior Vice President – Head of Platforms & Development

When doing my OCI Architect Associate certification it came to my mind that I never wrote anything on licensing on my blog - probably since this is a technical blog and I don’t want to deal with legal topics. Nevertheless I think it makes sense to write some basics on licensing E-Business Suite on OCI and cover two aspects a bit more in detail. Note: I'm not a lawyer, so please take this post just as a overview and refer to your license contracts for binding information!

Basics for licensing Oracle E-Business Suite

First of all when it comes to licensing Oracle E-Business Suite typically the following things need to be licensed:

E-Business Suite (Application)

Oracle E-Business Suite itself is typically licensed by users or revenue: This is independent of where you run your E-Business Suite. Furthermore you usually just buy the license/support once and that applies also to all forms of development and testing environments.


If you do modifications to your E-Business Suite (e.g. custom Concurrent Programs, Tables, …) you further need a license for the Application Server, the database and Development Tools:

See for more details. To be honest I've never seen an Oracle E-Business Suite customer that ran his EBS without customizations and thus without needing above technology licenses. Since the Developer tools are usually licensed by user I’ll not cover this in more detail. Beside this what you need to license is:

  • Oracle Database Enterprise Edition
  • internet Application Server Enterprise Edition (iAS EE; which contains a license for Weblogic Basic)

Those two products are usually licensed either by “Processor” or by “Named User Plus” (which has a maximum number of CPU cores attached). It is important to note, that you have to license not just your production environment but also all the development and testing environments.

Basically you can move all your E-Business Suite licenses (apps and tech) from On Premise to the Cloud. If you do not have enough database licenses to run all your E-Business Suite instances you can also “rent” database licenses by running the E-Business Suite database on OCI PaaS. Unfortunately there is no such option for the application server (yet).

Core Factor - not all Clouds are equal

How many Database / iAS processor licenses are needed per CPU core depends on the type of hardware you run the E-Business Suite on. On premise this is easy to find out by looking into

For a typical x86 Processor (Intel or AMD) the factor is 0,5: For 2 physical Intel Xeon Cores (even with hyper threading) you need 1 processor license.

When it comes to the cloud, things get more difficult:

  • For Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) 2 OCPUs (An OCPU is defined as the CPU capacity equivalent of one physical core of an Intel Xeon processor with hyper threading enabled) correspond to 1 processor license. So this is approximately the same as On Premise when it comes to license costs.
  • Some other Cloud data centers are also accepted by Oracle. This is described here:

Roughly spoken 2 vCPU correspond one physical core of an Intel x86 xeon. So that means: on AWS and Azure, you need twice the number of processor licenses when compared to OCI or on Premise infrastructure.

Database on PaaS - Free Diagnostic/Tuning/Masking/Testing Packs

If you have enough Oracle Database Enterprise Edition licenses, then you can “move” them to the OCI cloud. Technically you have then two options to run your E-Business Suite database: Either (similar to On Premises) you just run the database on “Compute” (IaaS) or you can run it on “Database as a Service” (PaaS) in the BYOL model.

Usually I recommend my customers to go for the “Compute” option: The cost is appx. 3 (Pay as you go) to 5 (Monthly Flex) times the cost for an IaaS X86 Compute instance. Since EBS@OCI tooling also provides a lot of management of the Database of an E-Business Suite instance this is often not worth the additional comfort of the PaaS service (especially regarding backups, RAC and Data Guard).

There is one big exception this: Even if you do not own the following Database Options

  • Data Masking and Subsetting Pack
  • Diagnostics Pack
  • Tuning Pack
  • Real Application Testing

You are allowed to use this packs/options when running your E-Business Suite on the Oracle Database Cloud Service without additional charges.  This is described here:

And if you want to go for the legally binding document: (page 68/69).


As you can see, it makes a lot of sense to run your E-Business Suite on OCI. Not only do you get a core factor similar to On Premises (and without the issues of hard/soft partitioning that you have on Premise when doing virtualization). But also do you have the option to flexible “rent” Database Licenses for peak times / short time instances. And in the end moving to Database Cloud Service on OCI may give you access to packs for tuning,  diagnostics, masking - which is crucial for GDPR - and testing without having to buy.