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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    57

    Unanswered: Oracle license does not allow for Web application

    i just found out yesterday that the license for the Oracle db i use for my application is limited to desktop applications only. this is a problem since i plan to have a Web portion of the application. But let me backtrack a little and give more details on the problem.

    i am developing a Visual Basic .NET desktop, i.e. not Web enabled, application and my backend is Oracle 8.1.3. However, i am planning on adding a Web portion to it later down the line. The problem though is that the license for the above mentioned Oracle db does not allow for Web applications. i understand that purchasing a license to allow for Web applications development would cost a lot of money so that's probably not an option.

    so anyway, i need to have a Web portion and i don't want to pay any more money to Oracle. anybody has a suggestion?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Desk, slightly south of keyboard
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    697
    Hi,

    What version of the DB are you running (standard/enterprise etc) and what is your current licence? I'm guessing you're on named user licencing?

    Check out www.oracle.com and go to 'Shop' where there is a good description of the licencing policies and prices.

    I think you'd be surprised, Oracle 10g Standard Edition One with unlimited users (which could sit behind your web application) on a single CPU is 3,000 GBP.

    Hth
    Bill
    Please don't email me directly with questions. I've probably just got home from the pub and cannot guarantee the sanity of my answers. In fact, I can't believe I actually made it home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    57
    the DB version is Oracle8i Enterprise Edition Release 8.1.7. And yes, we have named user licensing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Desk, slightly south of keyboard
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    697
    Okay, I'm doing this from memory - I spec Oracle licences as part of the software I supply to my customers, but have never yet needed to spec an Enterprise version ... so bear with me :-) I'm just a one man company, often "winging it", but very aware of licence prices,

    Back in the days of 8i (when you most likely bought it) you could purchase Oracle licenses in two ways ... per named user or per CPU. Per CPU was expensive (actually anything Oracle was!) but worked out at about the price of 25 named user licences. If a company thought it needed 15+ named users, it would usually buy the per CPU licence which gave it unlimited users.

    Separately, and for the reasons mentioned above, if you are on named users which *suggests* you have less than 25 users, you probably wouldn't actually be needing an Enterprise licence anyway.

    [aside]
    I would strongly suggest that you ask your organisation to pull out their purchase invoice to make damn sure which one they bought. For any firm running more than 15 or 20 users, a CPU licence was usually purchased. The optional CD set (45 GBP) which you could buy as part of the licence was identical for Enterprise, Standard and Personal ... during installation many people clicked "Enterprise" because it looked nicer on the installer :-(
    [/aside]

    Oracle were (and still are) quite specific about what a named user is. So, if for example I wrote an application which could hold one connection to the database but serve an infinite amount of end users, I paid for the end users, not the connection.

    As I said, Oracle was expensive, even a standard edition per CPU was almost 10,000 GBP (British Pounds) - but per CPU licencing gave you unlimited connections (which is what you will need for a public web application). IIRC, and as I said earlier, I have never spec'ed an Enterprise edition, Enterprise was about 30,000 british pounds per CPU.

    You quickly see why companies such as yours were very carefull about buying precisely the correct number of named user licences or choosing to go with a CPU licence. I still wonder to this day, whether the existence of sys.v$license was in response to companies being almost paranoid about their licensing situation. (connect as sys and then select * from v$license to see what I mean).

    Since then a lot has changed and Oracle have responded very well to the markets - specifically M$ trying to put SqlServer into smaller Oracle customer sites. To misquote Larry Ellison: "If the little boy is going to nibble at our smaller clients, why shouldn't we nibble at M$'s bigger clients?"

    This has resulted in firstly: the entire named/cpu licence pricing being *drastically* reduced, and secondly: an entirely new option called "Standard Edition One". Within the licence, this can run with no more than 2 CPU's *ever*.

    [another aside]
    I have customers who paid Oracle 10,000 pounds for CPU licences 18 months ago. They are now shouting at me because, today, they can buy the equivalent licence for approx 25% of what they paid (*in just 18 months*).
    [/another aside]

    You can buy standard edition one licences per CPU for approximately 2,500 british pounds (unlimited users). I'm not sure whether "Edition One" is available in the Enterprise flavour (and havent looked), but to be honest, I've been on many sites running enterprise who didn't need to be (I guess this was a hangover from the paranoia days!).

    So,
    - for a web site you will almost certainly need per CPU licencing
    - this is available at approx 2,500 GBP per CPU
    - this is assuming you don't actually need the "Enterprise" version

    Separately again... (getting good at this!)
    1: Buy your licences from an Oracle reseller, they're almost always cheaper than Oracle direct.
    2: Once you have these licences, look to upgrade them if necessary with Oracle direct, this is where you can negotiate and get yourself a deal:-)

    Seperately, again, seperately,
    - I've just got home from the pub so this could all be rubbish :-)

    Confirm your licence situation *from the purchase invoice*, decide whether you really need enterprise and then go from there. If you're still unsure, post here (or PM me if it's confidential) with some details and your location, if it's UK I can point you at some resellers who have bendy arms :-)

    Hth
    Bill
    Please don't email me directly with questions. I've probably just got home from the pub and cannot guarantee the sanity of my answers. In fact, I can't believe I actually made it home.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    57
    you know, after reading all of this, i just kept asking myself, why the heck do i even need Oracle? why not switch the whole darn thing to PostGreSQL? it's free and as far as i know it offers the pretty much the same functionality as Oracle and i sure as heck don't need to worry about any of that license crap.

    what makes Oracle so special anyway?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Liverpool, NY USA
    Posts
    2,509
    If you have a small amount of tables that will not require any special functions like replication and uses simple queries (no analyticals), then use one of the free databases (my-sql, PostGreSQL,...) They are good alternatives and my-sql (for example) is used on millions of the web servers running on the internet. However if you are going to use massive amounts of data, nothing beats Oracle. (IMHO)
    Bill
    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    57
    well, what's your definition of small? i have about 135 database tables so far, also a bunch of views, triggers, sequences, stored procedures, functions. i am not using any analytical functions that i know of.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    France
    Posts
    754
    Hello,

    Views and stored procedures are both new features of MySQL 5.0, and triggers are planned for 5.1. You also have AUTO_INCREMENT in MySQL that is the equivalent of sequence in Oracle. So, provided you wait a little (but who has time to wait ? ), you MAY be able to port your database to MySQL with almost all functionalities (I would not guarantee all). HOWEVER, as far as I know, PL/SQL is Oracle-specific, and I'm almost sure it cannot be used in MySQL functions or procedures. So if your Stored procs were written in PL/SQL (they're bound to) and you have quite a number of them, good luck ! Also note that MySQL SQL is not Oracle SQL (who says "unified SQL" ? ).
    So, I think you MAY port your database application to MySQL, but there would be quite a LOT OF WORK in my opinion, so be prepared for it !

    I don't know much about postgresql, but provided it can provide stored procs, triggers... I would say more or less the same things.

    Also don't expect MySQL or PostGreSQL to be as secure and reliable as Oracle. I also really doubt you would have the same optimizing features.

    Regards,

    RBARAER

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