oracle ula

Understanding Oracle ULA Support

Oracle ULA Support

  • Total Support Stream: Combines old and new support costs.
  • Fixed Costs During ULA: Support costs remain stable, with no indexation.
  • Certification Impact: Post-certification, support costs can increase due to indexation.
  • Integration of Licenses: Existing licenses are converted and rolled into ULA support.
  • Extended Support Fees: Waived during the ULA, applied after certification.

Introduction to Oracle ULA Support

Introduction to Oracle ULA Support

Oracle Unlimited License Agreements (ULAs) offer customers the right to deploy unlimited specified software programs for a predefined period.

However, these agreements come with certain limitations framed by terms and conditions, clauses, and specific policies agreed upon by both parties (the licensee and Oracle).

This article focuses on a ULA’s support and maintenance element and what customers are entitled to regarding support.

Total Support Stream

Integration of Existing Licenses

When signing a new ULA, Oracle requires the integration of your existing licenses. Oracle converts and replaces your old licenses, meaning the ULA rights now cover any usage covered by the pre-ULA licenses.

The support element of these pre-ULA licenses is added to the overall support cost of the ULA. This combined ‘old’ and ‘new’ support is called the Total Support Stream.

  • Example: If a customer buys a new ULA for $3M (license fees) for Database Enterprise, Partitioning, Tuning, and Diagnostics for a three-year term, the associated support costs would be approximately $660,000 (22% of license fees). If the existing license support costs $360,000, the Total Support Stream after converting the existing license and support would be $1,020,000 ($360,000 + $660,000).

Maintaining the Total Support Stream

Maintaining the Total Support Stream

The Total Support Stream must be maintained during the Unlimited Deployment Period (UDP), or immediate certification must occur. This clause is typically included in generic ULA agreements, although not many customers pay attention.

  • Important Note: Converted licenses will be mentioned in the ULA ordering document as ‘Converted & Replaced Licenses’. Existing licenses are effectively canceled and replaced with the ULA quantity, but their existing support value is rolled into the total support stream.

Fixed Support Costs During the ULA

During a ULA, indexation is typically not applied to support costs, meaning the exact annual amount of the Total Support Stream remains unchanged.

Additionally, Oracle waives extended support fees for products that require it during the ULA. However, once certification takes place, extended support fees will begin to apply, which can be problematic if extended support is needed immediately after declaration. Oracle hasn’t verified your ULA declaration.

Support Costs After Certification

Support Costs After Certification

Certification Process

Customers must understand the implications for support costs after certification When they decide to certify their unlimited licenses rather than renew the ULA.

The certification process involves declaring to Oracle the products and quantities used.

The customer exits the ULA and must have the same number of licenses as their declared deployment. Any usage beyond the certified quantity will result in non-compliance unless additional licenses are purchased.

  • Example: On the certification date, you certify several processors on declared software programs (part of the ULA). The Total Support Stream is renewed annually, but indexation would apply (unless otherwise agreed with Oracle in the ULA agreement).

Post-Certification Support Costs

After certification, the customer continues to pay the Total Support Stream, but now with annual indexation applied. This means the support costs can increase each year following certification.

  • Example: Using the previous example, the customer would continue to pay $1,020,000 annually. However, this amount would be subject to annual indexation increases as the customer is now out of the ULA.


Understanding the support and maintenance elements of an Oracle ULA is crucial for effectively managing costs and ensuring compliance.

The Total Support Stream integrates existing and new support costs, providing a predictable expense during the ULA term. However, post-certification, support costs can increase annually due to indexation.

By being aware of these dynamics, organizations can better navigate their Oracle ULA and make informed decisions about certification and renewal.

Oracle ULA Support FAQs

Oracle ULA Support FAQs

What is the Total Support Stream?

The Total Support Stream is the combined support cost for new and existing licenses rolled into a ULA. It must be maintained during the Unlimited Deployment Period (UDP).

How are existing licenses handled in a ULA?

Existing licenses are converted and replaced by ULA quantities, and their support costs are added to the overall ULA support cost.

Do support costs remain stable during the ULA?

Support costs typically remain stable during the ULA term without indexation applied.

What happens to support costs after ULA certification?

After certification, support costs are subject to annual indexation increases, unless otherwise agreed with Oracle in the ULA agreement.

Are extended support fees waived during the ULA?

Yes, Oracle waives extended support fees during the Unlimited Deployment Period, but these fees apply after certification.

What must be done if the Total Support Stream is not maintained?

If the Total Support Stream is not maintained, an immediate certification must occur, as stipulated in the ULA agreement.

How does certification affect license compliance?

During certification, the customer declares the products and quantities used. Any usage beyond the certified quantity post-certification will result in non-compliance unless additional licenses are purchased.

What is included in the certification process?

The certification process includes completing a certification form outlining the products used and their quantities and submitting this declaration to Oracle.

What is the impact of certification on support costs?

Post-certification, the customer pays the Total Support Stream with annual indexation applied.

What if more licenses are needed post-certification?

If additional licenses are needed post-certification, they must be purchased to comply with Oracle’s licensing terms.

Can support costs be negotiated in a ULA agreement?

Support costs and terms can be negotiated during the ULA agreement setup. It’s important to agree on terms that suit your organization’s needs.

How does Oracle verify the ULA declaration?

Oracle may review the provided data, request additional information, or conduct an audit to ensure the accuracy of the deployment data.

What happens to unused licenses in a ULA?

Unused licenses are effectively canceled and replaced by the ULA quantity, but their support value is included in the Total Support Stream.

Is indexation applied to support costs during the ULA?

Indexation is typically not applied to support costs during the ULA term, but it applies after certification.

What are the implications of not certifying?

If a customer does not certify, they may be required to renew the ULA at a higher cost or face compliance issues. Certifying ensures that the organization transitions to perpetual licenses for the declared quantities.


  • 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.

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