I would like to know some details about oracle licensing. What is oracle processor licences? How does it differ from the other?We are planning for a dual processor server, do we need to purchase 2 diff licences?? Thanks in advance. .

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about licensing. Questions on licensing should be referred to the vendor, and an answer obtained in writing from them.
    – Hannah Vernon
    Jan 6, 2015 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


Oracle licensing is a complex topic. You can find information on the Oracle pricing page.

You can find there links to a paper called "Software Investment Guide" that has a lot of licensing samples. Also there can be found some papers about special licensing topics and a price list.

There is also a FAQ concerning Oracle licensing (not an Oracle site) that may be interesting.

DISCLAIMER: All information is offered in good faith and in the hope that it may be of use, but is not guaranteed to be correct, up to date or suitable for any particular purpose.

Oracle has several different types of "editions" of its database prodcut: Enterprise Editions, Standard Edition, Standarad Edition One. Enterprise Edition has additional options must be licensed if enabled.

Oracle has two types of licenses: so called "Named User Plus" licenses and "Processor" licenses. You can either license the machine where Oracle is used. Then you have to use Processor Licenses. Or you can license the users/devices that are able use the database. Then you have to use "Named User Plus" Licenses.

If you use Enterprise Edition the number of Processor Licenses needed is the number of cores multiplied by a factor that depends of the processor type. I you use Standard Edition (Standard Edition One) the number of needed Processor Licenses equals the number of processors in the machine. You cannot use Standard Edtition (Standard Edition One) on all machines: machines that have or can have more than 4 processors cannot be licensed with Standard Edition . For Standard Edition One the limit is 2 processors.

If you use Processor Licenses you always have to license whole machines except for some special situations (look at the "partitioning" document in the "Speciality Topics" section of the Oracle pricing page) where it is possible only to license a part of a machine. If you have a cluster , failover, backup or test environment you havee to check how to license this environment additional machines.

If you use "Named User Plus" licenses than bear in mind that a user is not a database user but a person or device that uses the database. So for example if you have an application that is accessible by all of your employees and this application stores its data in an oracle database then all of your amployees need "Named User Plus" license. Even if the application uses only one database user.

There is also a minimum number of "Named User Plus" licenses that is needed depending on the number of Processors/Cores that are used for Oracle databases

A machine with 2 intel processors and standard edition needs 2 processor licenses if one uses processor licensing.

If enterprise edition is used it depends on the number of cores. The core factor is 0.5 for Intel processors. For 2 Hexacore processors 2*6*0.5=6 "processor licenses" are needed. The same number of licenses is needed for every licensable option, too.


First thing to do is to determine what kind of the above licences do you really need.

Based on the features you need you can determine what kind of licence fits you best.

In short:

  • NUPs if you have only limitied users and are able to name them
  • Processor if you can't track your users (internet sites e.g.) or if the required NUPs are more expensive than CPU

If you have a two-socket system and don't need any enterprise features, StandardEditon One might be the way to go – you only need one license per CPU socket.

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