Friday, November 21, 2008

Working for unlicensed sites

I wonder how other independent professionals feel about helping companies that are running systems on Oracle without purchasing sufficient (or any) licenses from Oracle. Where do you draw the line? A few examples can be illuminating:

One client of mine simply wanted to complete the RFP requirements to write a proposal to sell servers to a major bank. They only needed to install Oracle on a single host, run a simple load test against it for 24 hours, and submit the results with the RFP. I did not ask, but Oracle was clearly unlicensed at this site.

Another client is running a major order processing and fulfillment system, and "are not sure" if they are licensed. They definitely have no support. My sense is that when you fork over your $50K+tax per proc, you will notice the cash missing from your budget. Do you think I should push for proof of license compliance or is it none of my business?

If your answer is the latter, are there any ethics to apply to these scenarios? How far do you go? Would you download EE onto their server yourself and call it their problem if they fail to license it?

What about a site that queries v$active_session_history without paying for the tuning pack?

I routinely help those interested in complying to do so, and help in negotiations with Oracle, but what about these egregiously non-compliant sites?


Yong Huang said...

Not sure how to best comment on the major question. But querying ASH views without the tuning pack is probably forgiveable. But once you're reminded by Oracle (for instance), you should stop doing it. I say it's forgiveable because Oracle hasn't done anything to explicitly prevent or even warn users about this "violation". If we talk to a lawyer, I'm sure he'll agree.

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