Following mounting criticism over the recent years for its software licensing and audit practices, Oracle appears to making a change with PULA.
The PULA was reported originally by The Register and confirmed by Craig Guarante, Co-founder and CEO of Palisade Compliance who said, “It’s not a rumour—Oracle is putting that in front of customers.”
The change involves a new license that will offer flat-rate pricing for unlimited use for Oracle’s namesake product in perpetuity.
Oracle had previously offered what it called an Unlimited License Agreement which ran for a set period of time before customers had to certify their usage of Oracle and pay for anything additional they had used during the license period.
According to the Register, the Perpetual User License Agreement (PULA) removes the time requirement and is priced on a yearly fee based on estimate usage. This change would minimize the risks of additional payments down the line and software audits from Oracle.
The PULA Licenses are still being rolled out and Oracle is likely still in the process of setting the exact requirements so there could be radical differences between PULAs held by different companies.
Speculation over why the change is being implemented focuses on two areas, Oracle’s latest financial performances and the rise of the competitors. With the PULAs requiring customers commit to Oracle over competing outfits and following the SaaS model which has produced better revenue, Oracle will hope to retain its dominant position in the marketplace.
However Guarante has questioned the likelihood of terms that restricted customers to Oracle forever citing restraint on trade concerns.
The real question is for Oracle’s customers, according to Duncan Jones of Forrester Research is if they’ll risk a ’till death do us part deal’ with Oracle.