Oracle Licensing

Oracle Named User Plus Licensing

How does Oracle Named User Plus Licensing Work

  • Per-User Licensing: Charges are based on the number of Oracle database users.
  • Includes Devices: Covers both human users and automated devices.
  • User Minimums: A minimum number of licenses per processor is required.

Oracle Named User Plus Licensing Overview

Oracle Named User Plus Licensing Overview

What is Named User Plus Licensing?

Oracle Named User Plus Licensing is designed for environments where individual users or devices access the Oracle database. Each distinct user or device must be licensed, making it ideal for organizations with a known number of users.

Definition and Scope:

  • Licenses are assigned to users or devices that access the Oracle database.
  • Includes both human users and automated devices or servers.

Typical Applications:

  • Suitable for environments where user access is controlled and predictable.

How to Calculate Licensing

Calculating Named User Plus licenses involves counting every user and device accessing the Oracle database. This model ensures all interactions are accounted for, maintaining compliance and avoiding over-licensing.

Per-user Licensing Method:

  • Count every distinct user and device.
  • Regularly update counts to reflect changes in user access.

Monitoring User Counts:

  • Use Oracle’s tools and reports to track user activity.
  • Ensure all active users and devices are included.

User Minimums Based on Database Edition

User Minimums Based on Database Edition

Enterprise Edition

The minimum requirement for Oracle Database Enterprise Edition is 25 Named User Plus licenses per processor or the total number of users, whichever is greater.

Example Calculation:

  • A server with 8 cores and a license factor of 0.5.
  • 8 cores * 0.5 = 4 Oracle processor licenses.
  • Minimum users per processor = 25.
  • Total required licenses = 4 processors * 25 users = 100 Named User Plus licenses.

Standard Edition 2

For Standard Edition 2, the minimum is 10 users per server.

Example Calculation:

  • A server requiring 10 users minimum.
  • Even if fewer users access the database, the minimum licensing requirement must be met.

Licensing Considerations

Licensing Considerations

Non-Human Operated Devices

All devices that connect to the Oracle database must be licensed, even if humans do not operate them. Examples include servers that pull data from the database automatically.

Human-Operated Devices

Devices humans use to connect to the Oracle database, such as computers and barcode scanners, also need licenses.

Mixed Usage

If non-human and human devices connect to the Oracle database, all devices must be licensed.

Determining Who to Count

Determining Who to Count

Human Users and Devices

The count includes all human users, devices, or servers interacting with the Oracle database.


  • A web application interfacing with Oracle Database.
  • Count all employees, customers, and external partners using the application.
  • Count servers, devices, or tools making requests to the database.
  • This License model is unsuitable for a hosting environment where you cannot count users.

Comprehensive Counting

Ensure all potential users and devices are accounted for. Overlooking any could lead to non-compliance.

Dynamic Environments

In environments where user numbers fluctuate, the licensing count must be monitored and adjusted.

Direct and Indirect Access

Count users who might indirectly access the database through another application or tool.

Why It Matters

Why It Matters


Adhering to Oracle’s licensing agreements is crucial to avoid penalties and audit costs. Ensure all users and devices are licensed.

Cost Management

Properly counting users and devices helps prevent over-licensing and optimizes licensing expenses.

Opting for Oracle Named User Plus Licensing

Opting for Oracle Named User Plus Licensing


Specific User Licensing:

  • Pay for a particular number of users accessing the system, not the number of processors or machines.
  • Ideal for environments with a small, easily countable number of users.

Cost-Effective for Small Environments:

  • More affordable for small teams or startups compared to processor licensing.

Negotiable Minimums

Oracle licensing minimums can sometimes be negotiated. Small businesses with fewer users might negotiate a lower minimum.

Upgrade Path

If you outgrow NUP licensing or tracking users becomes too difficult, you can upgrade to Oracle Processor Licensing, allowing your licensing model to scale with your business.

Potential Downsides of NUP Licensing

Potential Downsides of NUP Licensing

User Tracking

NUP licensing requires tracking users to ensure compliance. This can be challenging if the user base fluctuates frequently.

Multiplexing Software

Multiplexing software, like application servers, can lead to compliance issues. Web applications with many users accessing the Oracle database can complicate tracking and licensing.

Understanding Named User Plus – Licensing Minimums

Understanding Named User Plus – Licensing Minimums

When opting for NUP licensing, base your licensing on a minimum of 25 users per Oracle processor.

Minimum User Requirement

Even with fewer users, you must purchase licenses for at least 25 to meet the minimum requirement.

Higher Number Rule

License for the higher number, whether the actual number of users or the calculated minimum number.


  • A company with Oracle Database Enterprise Edition and no EE options.
  • One server with 8 cores and 10 employees.
  • Intel core with a license factor of 0.5.
  • Calculation: 8 cores * 0.5 = 4 Oracle processor licenses.
  • User minimum per processor = 25.
  • Required licenses = 4 processors * 25 users = 100 licenses.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.

    View all posts