Analyst Firms Take Oracle to Task on Licensing

Oracle Corp. customers are calling IT analyst firms to complain that Oracle sales reps are trying to reinterpret their contracts to charge more for Oracle's database software.

Both Meta Group, which first publicized the issue last week, and Gartner, which weighed in this week, urge customers to push back against the software giant.

The problem arises from a contract provision called "multiplexing" that is designed to protect Oracle revenues in cases where a Web server or transaction processing monitor uses a shared pool of connections to the database. Although the users access the database, they do not connect directly. In those cases, Oracle requires that users buy licenses for all the users accessing the database from behind a Web server or TP monitor. Most customers resolve this issue by moving to per-CPU pricing.

However, Oracle sales reps apparently are now broadening the definition of multiplexing to include batch processes, according to the analysts. For example, when data is extracted to an Oracle data warehouse from a non-Oracle application with 5,000 users, Oracle sales reps are now saying customers must pay Oracle for all 5,000 users.

"This bizarre interpretation of multiplexing and subsequent attempts to gain revenue from Oracle's existing client base add momentum to users' displeasure with Oracle pricing," Meta Group analyst Charlie Garry said in a statement.

According to Meta Group, several of its clients are considering moving large data warehouses off Oracle databases after being confronted with the licensing clarification.

In a paper of its own on the topic, Gartner suggests that Oracle's declining year-over-year database revenues in each of the past four quarters is motivating the "highly inappropriate" sales calls.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.


  • Salesforce Buying Slack for $27 Billion To Bolster CRM Solution

    Salesforce on Tuesday announced the purchase of collaboration software-maker Slack for an estimated $27.7 billion.

  • Dark City Illustration

    The Night the Lights Went Out in the Cloud: Lessons from the AWS Outage

    Last week's AWS outage that broke the Internet showed how critical it is to build applications that can withstand transient failure. Here's what you need to know to design a resilient cloud app (and it doesn't involve multicloud).

  • 5 Steps To Fix Windows Indexing Problems

    The Windows indexing feature doesn't always deliver the correct results of a file search. Here are five troubleshooting steps you can take whenever Windows indexing acts up.

  • Microsoft Adding Simpler Microsoft 365 Admin Center Option for Small Businesses

    The Microsoft 365 Admin Center, used for setting up and managing various Microsoft services, is getting a more lightweight interface designed for "very small businesses," according to a Tuesday Microsoft announcement.

comments powered by Disqus