An introduction to Oracle’s ULA

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A little more than 10 years ago Oracle Corporation introduced ULA. ULA stands for Unlimited License Agreement. This agreement is suitable for 2 kind of large organisations.

1: Those that don’t want to keep track and calculate the number of licenses continually.

2: Those that like to have everything clear in advance concerning their net license and support fees for the years in the near future.

From the very beginning of ULA, many businesses entered into such an arrangement. They may have had different reasons as to why they were interested to sign such an agreement. It could be that Oracle proposed a ULA as a commercial resolution for a recognised big non-compliance (due to a failed audit). On the other hand it could also be that a large organisation anticipated on needing many extra licenses for the deployment of Oracle and wished to be informed from the beginning about the associated license and supports costs. Of course, these are just a few examples and there can be many more reasons why organisations enter into a ULA.

Presuming that you have already entered a ULA or are thinking about it, it is important to know certain things. Firstly, the contractual document under which you receive Unlimited Deployment Rights is in fact an ordering document. This ordering document points out to a particular license agreement called Oracle Master Agreement (OMA) at all times. In the license agreement itself you will find the general terms and conditions. As an illustration: these can be about the audit rights relevant to the programmes that are stated in your ULA ordering document. Of course it is necessary to receive an entire and correct overview of the rights and responsibilities that are settled on in the contract. Therefore you should always maintain and administer the ULA ordering document and the connected license agreement.

ULA – what does it really mean?

Even though it may sound so, ULA is not entirely limitless. The clauses that are incorporated govern the limitations of the ULA. Of course, the starting point is always the most standard agreement, but it is however, possible to settle on changes from the standard and/or non-standard language. If this happens, you and Oracle have a set of distinct terms and conditions to adhere to.

It may very well be that an ULA is a good solution for your organisation in a certain period of time. However, there is also a downside to ULA which is the ‘lock-in’ if you look from a technical support perspective. Because when the time comes you lose the option to terminate the support maintenance for a license if and when you don’t require this licence any more. So do make sure that you really understand everything concerning Oracle’s ULA before you enter into one. 

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