An Open Letter to Larry Ellison on AWR and ASH Licensing

Posted in: Technical Track

Please note this late-breaking news related to this story. Then still please sign our letter!

15 years ago, with the release of Oracle 7.0.12, Oracle gave the world—or at least its customers—something really great: the Oracle Wait Interface (OWI).

The OWI is one of the reasons that Oracle’s database product and its customer base are what they are today. It provides a clear, transparent, and above all useful view of what the database is doing and where it is spending its time. This level of instrumentation has allowed Oracle customers to not only tune their databases and applications but also to understand them.

Most importantly, this instrumentation was stored in performance views that were accessible by SQL so that tuning techniques could be invented and refined using the data that the wait interface provides. The wait interface revolutionized Oracle performance tuning, massively increased Oracle users’ ability to scale applications, and enabled Oracle to dominate the world-wide-web revolution thanks to the users’ new ability to genuinely understand the performance characteristics of their applications.

Over time, performance tools evolved from BSTAT/ESTAT reports to Statspack, both provided by Oracle to interpret OWI data. SQL tracing and session profiling using TKPROF and other utilities were the next tools that DBAs turned to, and they allowed an even deeper understanding of the functioning Oracle database. Neither the OWI data nor the interpretation tools were separately licensed. And in 10g, Oracle released Automated Workload Repository (AWR) and Active Session History (ASH), a revolution in the level of instrumentation provided by the database. However, Oracle decided to separately license both the data collected in the performance views and the interpretive tools in OEM. As a result, the true power of AWR and ASH have yet to be unleashed.

AWR and ASH boast a number of very useful capabilities already covered in great detail elsewhere. Unfortunately, the majority of Oracle customers have never been able to use even the most rudimentary capabilities because of licensing restrictions. In fact, these restraints not only prevent the majority of Oracle users from accessing AWR and its underlying data but they also leave customers with no supported means of turning AWR off.

(If you’re not already familiar with these restrictions, you can read about them in the Oracle 10g Licensing Information Manual, here, here, and many other places.)

What concerns us most is our belief that Oracle Corporation is missing out on a great opportunity to make an excellent product even better. These licensing terms are causing Oracle customers to adopt this otherwise excellent feature more slowly than they otherwise might, if at all. To give a statistically significant example, of Pythian’s 70 outsourced DBA-for-Oracle customers, so few have licensed the use of this feature as to approach zero. We assert that by relaxing the restrictions on accessing the data layer underlying AWR, Oracle may encourage more customers to purchase their “Diagnostic Pack,” the option still needed to access the advanced features of AWR, such as advisors and graphical analysis tools.

We believe that the Oracle database software is the best instrumented database software available. The fact that Oracle already leads the industry in this regard probably led to their decision to make this leap forward in instrumentation an extra-cost item. However, in the interest of making Oracle even better, we would like to invite readers to join us in signing the following open letter to Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation. We plan to deliver this letter to Oracle Corporation by courier on July 10, the day before the planned announcement of Oracle 11g.

Dear Mr. Ellison,

On behalf of the community, please accept our congratulations on the release of Oracle 11g.

We are writing in the hope that you might seize the opportunity presented by the release of your next-generation database management software to review the licensing policy regarding access to the Automated Workload Repository (AWR) and Active Session History (ASH) features, at least for Oracle 11g.

We believe that AWR and ASH are breakthrough features and represent a leap forward in the already industry-leading instrumentation provided by Oracle. While we fully support your freedom to assess extra license fees for the advanced functions provided through the Diagnostic and Performance Tuning Packs of Oracle Enterprise Manager, we want to give voice to a consensus building among the Oracle user community that Oracle is missing its chance to capitalize on its lead in this area.

We are disappointed by the decision to restrict access, at least using SQL, to the lowest-level tables and views in which performance data, essentially our data, are recorded. Many of us are frustrated by the fact that AWR and ASH collect and retain this data regardless of our wishes, while we are not even able to look at it.

AWR and ASH are integral parts of Oracle, which is why there are no effective means of disabling them. They are even built in the Standard Edition, for which no way to license them exists. Consequently, Oracle customers are exposed to substantial licensing liabilities (since according to the licensing terms even a single accidental query of the data would entail a requirement to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition plus the Diagnostic Pack).

We believe that changing the licensing terms to allow customers to access the basic data in the tables and views underlying AWR and ASH would actually benefit Oracle’s sales by making Oracle databases substantially better instrumented and thus easier to manage than those built using any competitor’s RDBMS. This would also encourage customers to adopt the basic features of AWR and ASH and eventually become more likely to consider the advantages of licensing the more advanced features accessible through Oracle Enterprise Manager.

We hope that with this successful release of Oracle 11g your licensing team at Oracle Corporation will consider revising the licensing terms to allow us to access at least the lowest-level views and APIs of AWR and ASH in your current release. We believe that making this licensing change effective with the 11g release will assure that the rate of adoption of 11g will be substantially more rapid than otherwise because there is more pent-up demand for this feature today among Oracle performance enthusiasts than for any other in Oracle. In so doing, you will also make us more confident of our ability to assure our respective managements that we comply with with our Oracle licensing terms.

Yours truly,

Members of Oracle user community
(signed electronically at http://www.pythian.com/blogs/526/)


N.B. Please join us in signing this letter by placing your name and (optionally) your company affiliation(s), along with the word “SIGNATORY,” in a comment on this blog article. Comments that do not include this word will not be considered signatures.

Please also help by publicizing this open letter on your own blog, on mailing lists, forums or anywhere else Oracle users congregate. We are hoping to achieve a critical mass of signatures by the morning of July 9; the letter will be couriered that day.

Interested in working with Mark? Schedule a tech call.

About the Author

Mark Brinsmead is a staff DBA with The Pythian Group. He has almost 20 years' experience in consulting, providing a variety of services to clients both very small and very large.

252 Comments. Leave new

Alex Gorbachev
June 29, 2007 8:53 pm

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I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope that this letter is taken into consideration when AWR licensing is discussed in Oracle.

Alex Gorbachev, The Pythian Group

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I’m all for it and wish this would happen.
Will make us maybe even buy more oracle tools

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Dominic Brooks
June 30, 2007 2:18 am

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Not holding any hopes: after all, Oracle seems to be hell bent
on reducing the “dba expense” by increasing their fees with
every opportunity…
but here goes anyway.

Nuno Pinto do Souto, DBVision P/L

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Morten Larsen
June 30, 2007 3:18 am

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Good luck with this effort.

I am lucky enough at the moment to work with a customer who has paid for the required licences. (Such sites do exist, but I suspect that the customer often doesn’t truly appreciate the benefits they’ve paid for.) That just makes me support this effort even more because I can see how *useful* this information is.

I could perhaps understand an extra payment for pretty graphs, but it’s difficult for me to accept that some data dictionary views can be queried and some can’t without paying extra and that I pay the system overhead without benefiting from the results.

You know, it wouldn’t surprise me to find some of Oracle’s own support analysts think that you can run awrrpt.sql without the Diagnostics licence. Mmmm, imagine if you actually witnessed that ;-)

Come on, Larry. You’ve got the best product already – think of the great publicity you would get from this. Why not charge for XML or Java in the database? It makes more sense!

P.S. Was bstat/estat really used to analyse OWI data? That’s not my recollection, but I could certainly be wrong.

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ASH and AWR are seriously awesome tools to help diagnose what has (just) happened without requiring tracing.
I don’t mind if the GUI tools still require licenses, just let the V$ views and @?/rdbms/admin/*rpt*.sql be provided as part of a database license.

Paul Moen, The Pythian Group (Australia)

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Nigel Thomas
June 30, 2007 5:07 am

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Freelance Oracle application development and performance consultant.

No question, this functionality makes a significant differentiation between manageability of Oracle RDBMS versus “other” – whether commercial or open source.

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Lewis Cunningham
June 30, 2007 8:38 am

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I have always thought Oracle support and even Oracle Security (the two most often maligned areas of Oracle) are great. My only real beef with Oracle over the last few years has been the restrictive licensing. I hope they read this and take action. I would actually like to see partitioning be part of the EE license and maybe an add on license for standard.

One thing at a time though. ;-)

Good luck,

LewisC

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An Expert's Guide to Oracle Technology
June 30, 2007 8:47 am

Mr Ellison, set our data free!…

Paul Vallee over at Pythian has posted An Open Letter to Larry Ellison on AWR and ASH Licensing. There is some good information in the entry about the history of the Oracle Wait Interface and database tuning. The letter is……

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Another inconsistency is that AWR is installed and running in the free Oracle Express Edition (XE).
Snapshots are collected hourly, DBMS_WORKLOAD_REPOSITORY.create_snapshot works,
awrrpt.sql produces beautiful HTML reports, etc.

XE is supposed to be free without restrictions. I hope I haven’t just admitted to a license violation.

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Michael Möller
June 30, 2007 12:46 pm

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I would love a license violation make it to the courts – whether you can enforce that it is forbidden to look at a V$-table in your own database. Forbidding use a specific software, yes, there is precedence for that. But to “look” at some data? Would I be allowed to look at the datafile content?

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Manufacturing Execution System » Blog Archive » Mr Ellison, set our data free!
June 30, 2007 1:12 pm

[…] Paul Vallee over at Pythian has posted An Open Letter to Larry Ellison on AWR and ASH Licensing. […]

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Patrick Wolf
June 30, 2007 2:45 pm

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Patrick Wolf, Sphinx IT Consulting

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Bravo Mark. Bravo!

Oracle is being short sighted about this. If we could look at the data, create our own queries, we could determine how valuable AWR/ASH are for our organization. We might then look at licensing the Diagnostic Pack so we don’t have to keep running sql over and over and over again.

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Mike Rothouse
June 30, 2007 3:58 pm

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AWR and ASH Licensing - Letter to Larry Ellison « Mike R’s Blog
June 30, 2007 4:20 pm

[…] ASH Licensing – Letter to Larry Ellison Mark Brismead on the Pythian Group Blog presents an open letter to Larry Ellison regarding AWR (Automated Workload Repository) and ASH (Active Session History) licensing.  This […]

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Forgot to include my

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Mikhail Veramchuk
June 30, 2007 5:20 pm

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Chris Stephens
June 30, 2007 5:22 pm

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Perhaps while we’re at it we can get partitioning included with EE!

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Syed Jaffar Hussain
July 1, 2007 2:14 am

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Flaco
9i/10g OCP
independent dba

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I run standard edition, so I can’t even buy the diagnostics pack. How silly is it to have a proportion of my database workload dedicated to generating performance data which I am not allowed to look at.

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thierry vergult
July 1, 2007 4:44 am

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Vladimir Sadilovskiy
July 1, 2007 8:42 am

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I think it is not bad that you cannot look at it, it is bad that the restriction is not technically supported and illegally uses the end-user resources while giving no benefits.

Solution might be in allowing querying the awr/ash tables and also permitting disabling functionality, but prohibiting use of the intelligent part (the packages mostly) of the packs.

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Niall Litchfield
July 1, 2007 9:02 am

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It probably doesn’t come as a great surprise that someone who organised a petition that gathered over 150 signatories for Oracle to allow SE customers to use this data at all is in favour of this, but I am.

At the moment Oracle’s licensing position on this data is selling their competitor’s products. Either dedicated ones like quest, or simple network monitor tools. Come on Oracle get a grip.

Niall

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Connor McDonald
July 1, 2007 7:12 pm

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Coskan Gundogar
July 2, 2007 3:14 am

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Let everyone use this feature and let performance tuning techniques can be improved widely

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Ingrid Voigt
July 2, 2007 5:00 am

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Paweł Barut
July 2, 2007 5:57 am

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Campaign against separately licensed Diagnostics Pack « Coskans Approach to Oracle
July 2, 2007 6:33 am
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Christopher Boyle
July 2, 2007 7:40 am

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Radoslav Rusinov
July 2, 2007 8:58 am

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Oracle Musings » Free Data Now!
July 2, 2007 9:12 am

[…] was working on this post last week when the 10g AWR/ASH petition came online here.  I’m of two minds about the issue.  In the end, I think limiting access to this […]

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Jason Heinrich
July 2, 2007 9:27 am

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Paul Baumgartel
July 2, 2007 9:46 am

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Riley McLeod
July 2, 2007 10:01 am

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Kirtikumar Deshpande
July 2, 2007 10:09 am

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DanNorris.com » Licensing continues to "uninterest" me
July 2, 2007 10:13 am

[…] linkfest led me to a great Open Letter to Larry Ellison on AWR and ASH Licensing by Mark Brinsmead. I first had to understand the issue as I’ve made it a high priority to […]

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Alessandro Vercelli
July 2, 2007 10:18 am

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Jo Holvoet, AMI Semiconductor

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AWR/ADDM/ASH charge your money!…

[…]????????Fenng?? Larry Ellison ??????? AWR ? ASH?????Mark Brinsmead????????????AWR/ADDM/ASH??????????????????????????[…]

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J. M. Dias Costa
July 2, 2007 10:22 am

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Good luck with this effort.

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People have budgets for Oracle software. Even if they are properly licensing the Diagnostics Pack in order to get the AWR and ASH (and ADDM) functions today, by saving them money on Diagnostics Pack licenses, it’s quite likely they’ll spend the budget on other Oracle-licensed options.

Refactoring can and does happen–just like Oracle Enterprise User Security was included with 10g for the first time (instead of just with ASO).

May the force be with us ;).

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Chandra Pabba
July 2, 2007 10:29 am

Lot of useful information which can help troubleshoot performance related issues is available in AWR/ASH and I am sure Oracle Corp might have invested time and money in instrumenting these details. To really leverage and help everyone use this information, it would be really great and worth the efforts, it the licensing restrictions are relaxed.

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I’m a oracle employee, but … I support this personally.

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Oracle Corp’s reputation is already not the best in some places, and things like this restriction sure don’t help.

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Sanjay Jaiswal
July 2, 2007 11:25 am

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Peter Sørensen
July 2, 2007 11:59 am

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Jeremiah Wilton
July 2, 2007 12:14 pm

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11g’s revolutionary feature is Real Application Testing (RAT), which includes Database Replay and SQL Workload Analyzer. Effective use of this feature set requires ASH/AWR data, so in order to even contemplate 11g’s core feature advance, customers will need access to ASH and AWR. Don’t hamstring your customers in a way that will result in unnecessarily poorly-performing Oracle databases around the world.

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Stéphane Faroult
July 2, 2007 12:42 pm

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Alex Gorbachev
July 2, 2007 1:05 pm

Jeremiah, good point but I won’t be surprised if RAT will be a part of Diagnostic or Performance Tuning Packs.

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Bob Stauffer
July 2, 2007 1:07 pm

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Alexander Feinstein
July 2, 2007 3:24 pm

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Joel Wittenmyer
July 2, 2007 3:29 pm

Please, help us make the industry acceptance of the Oracle database even larger by enabling us to make it better in the eyes of our co-workers, supervisors, and clients. When we win, Oracle wins. And we can win faster and more frequently when we can use all the tools that Oracle provides.

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Steven Peterson
July 2, 2007 5:01 pm

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Fairlie Regi
July 2, 2007 5:13 pm

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Stephen Andert
July 2, 2007 5:43 pm

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John Kanagaraj
July 2, 2007 6:24 pm

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It is time Oracle Corp woke up to the fact that this useful tool is stymied by its own licensing terms. I would actually request that this be applied to 10g itself.

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Matthew Watson
July 2, 2007 8:59 pm

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Larry, set the data free

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Sanjay Madan
July 2, 2007 11:30 pm

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Dhirandra Dewan
July 3, 2007 1:11 am

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Norman Dunbar
July 3, 2007 1:59 am

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Yavor Ivanov
July 3, 2007 2:08 am

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johan eriksson
July 3, 2007 4:19 am

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Chris Dunscombe
July 3, 2007 4:33 am

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Larry, please make it free….
as I really was helped by the tools :)

regards
Ujang
@Indonesia

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Giovanni Cuccu
July 3, 2007 7:12 am

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Tom J Morris
July 3, 2007 7:15 am

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I agree, this basic functionality would go further to impress if availble with the license than it does to generate revenue requiring a license.

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Piers Truman-Baker
July 3, 2007 7:26 am

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Anssi Lehtinen
July 3, 2007 8:35 am

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Anssi Lehtinen

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David L Phillips
July 3, 2007 9:05 am

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In a cost conscience marketplace the benefit from the extra functionality is a selling point for Oracle, but only if it isn’t cost prohibitive. What good are extra license fees if the cost of getting this functionality drove the clients to a competitor’s database product? You can’t sell the extras if you didn’t sell the base product.
It’s this type of functionality that differentiates Oracle from it’s competitors. Set the data free.

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David A. Barbour
July 3, 2007 11:08 am

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Irving Perez
July 3, 2007 11:23 am

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“Open” the access of this data and its benefits, in my case, would help to convince managers to buy OEM. Brochures and videos are not good enough as reasons to buy. In the meantime, we have to spend money and time buying several third party tools which most of the times only address a part of the whole.

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Uwe M. Kuechler
July 3, 2007 11:54 am

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On behalf of myself and my company: Valentia GmbH, working for many of Oracle’s major accounts.

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Brandon Allen
July 3, 2007 12:39 pm

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The ASH & AWR v$ views should be included with the database license. Restricting them is like selling a car and telling your customer they’re not allowed to look at the guages on the dashboard.

At the absolute minimum, there should be an option to license the ASH & AWR views at a discount with Standard Edition, and there should be an option to simply & completely disable them in order to eliminate the performance & storage overhead for customers that can’t (Std. Ed.) or don’t license them.

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Goran Bogdanovic
July 4, 2007 8:09 am

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Good luck!

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Marco Gralike
July 4, 2007 3:31 pm

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Amol Umbarkar
July 5, 2007 2:57 am

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Stuart Ashton
July 5, 2007 3:06 am

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Good Luck!

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Patrick Roozen
July 5, 2007 5:36 am

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Harpreet Singh
July 5, 2007 11:44 am

Good luck with this effort. I strongly agree with the author.

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Saikat Chakraborty
July 6, 2007 4:39 am

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Log buffer 52 - a carnival of the vanities for dbas « OraStory
July 6, 2007 1:44 pm

[…] open letter to Larry Ellison from Mark Brinsmead of Pythian has provoked a deluge of signatories and supporting blog articles. […]

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Sherrie Kubis
July 6, 2007 2:23 pm

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Good Luck with this effort.

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Pythian Group Blog » Postscript to “An Open Letter to Larry Ellison”
July 6, 2007 4:17 pm

[…] week, in collaboration with several of my colleagues here at Pythian, I published an open letter to Larry Ellison. The response to this letter has been — well — surprising, both in volume and in […]

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Nicolas Tremblay
July 6, 2007 11:07 pm

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Should I consider myself lucky that my employer, the University of Ottawa accepted to pay for OEM and the management packs?

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Augusto Bott
July 7, 2007 3:07 pm

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Lars Bo Vanting
July 8, 2007 1:31 pm

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jason arneil
July 9, 2007 5:57 am

It’s crazy not to have this important info available as part of the enterprise license.

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Jeremy Schneider
July 9, 2007 7:47 am

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Blake Wilson
July 9, 2007 11:03 am

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Charles Schultz
July 9, 2007 11:17 am

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ditto

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Robert Fenstermacher
July 9, 2007 11:30 am

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Vincent Sciancalepore
July 9, 2007 11:40 am

A required item to preserve.

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Being a small Non-profit organization forces us to keep costs down – which is why we use Standard Edition. We tried to purchase Diagnostic pack, but were told we had to upgrade all databases to Enterprise Edition to use it – way too many $$$$ involved. So we purchased Confio’s Ignite for Oracle. It is an excellent alternative to Oracle’s packs if you are on Standard Edition

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Juan Carlos Reyes
July 9, 2007 12:08 pm

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Larry Holder
July 9, 2007 12:10 pm

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Another example of odd marketing is Partitioning. Many medium sized sites have a minimal number of tables large enough in size to be worth considering the license for Partitioning. If the license cost were significantly lower such that a proportionately higher number of customers decided to buy Partitioning as a result, Oracle could get more total revenue and also have more satisfied customers.

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Dennis Williams
July 9, 2007 12:30 pm

Given the nice easy-to-use performance tools included with Microsoft SQL Server, it seems odd that Oracle would charge additional fees.

Dennis Williams

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Strongly agree with the author.

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It seems strange to require additional licensing for a tool whose infrastructure is included with the database.

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While I think something this useful should be part of the base product, it should be part of Enterprise as the least.

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Carel-Jan Engel
July 9, 2007 1:13 pm

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Stefan P Knecht
July 9, 2007 1:18 pm

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Absolutely agree, Mark !

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Kashif Islam
July 9, 2007 1:42 pm

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Muhammad Waseem
July 9, 2007 1:43 pm

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Madhu Sreeram
July 9, 2007 2:49 pm

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Ram Srinivasan
July 9, 2007 3:29 pm

Ram Srinivasan

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Abslutely agree with the contents of the letter to Mr.Ellison.

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Randy Johnson
July 9, 2007 4:24 pm

I agree. This data collected belongs to the owner of the database and should be freely available to the customer.

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Peter McLarty
July 9, 2007 5:28 pm

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I am working with a licensed site, but it seems ridiculous that it cant be disabled especially for SE clients who cant even buy a license, Something wrong there

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Raj Jamadagni
July 9, 2007 8:32 pm

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Govindan Muralidharan
July 10, 2007 12:22 am

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Jörg Jost
July 10, 2007 7:20 am

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AWR and ASH is the brain of Oracle 10g. Oracle Corp. shouldn’t sell the body without the brain to anybody.

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Rumpi Gravenstein
July 10, 2007 8:03 am

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Victoria DeVore
July 10, 2007 8:23 am

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I do not believe that I can anything new to the comments already posted. Hopefully Larry is listening.

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Lauren E Ross
July 10, 2007 10:32 am

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Signatory

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Robert Mulqueen
July 10, 2007 11:21 am

Computing Services
Adams State College

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Prabhu Krishnaswamy
July 10, 2007 12:15 pm

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James Thomson
July 10, 2007 2:51 pm

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Paul Bennett
July 11, 2007 8:39 am

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Edward Stoever
July 11, 2007 10:25 am

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At least let us disable the features if we cannot use.

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Nilesh Jethwa
July 11, 2007 3:43 pm

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Richard Armstrong-Finnerty
July 12, 2007 3:27 am

IMHO:
Appealing to a sense of Fair Play might well fall on deaf ears.

Instead, how about adding to the Letter something along the lines of:

“If Oracle were to make access to AWR & ASH via SQL free, then Oracle would spend a lot less on Support costs, as more Customers would, themselves, be better able to diagnose & fix issues that must currently take up a lot of Oracle Support’s time. This would allow Oracle to invest more in the product, rather than answering relatively trivial Support calls.”

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Mark Burgess
July 12, 2007 8:16 pm

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Martin Preiss
July 13, 2007 6:54 am

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Bala Chalasani
July 13, 2007 10:04 am

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Joseph Armstrong-Champ
July 13, 2007 3:23 pm

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Having these tools in house has enhanced our ability to trouble shoot problems in the database. We now use OEM exclusively for our administration and performance tuning. From a purely marketing point of view Oracle would take a lot of business away from their competitors by offering this as part of the database product.

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Kim Bahir Andersen
July 18, 2007 4:06 am

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Marc Fielding
July 18, 2007 6:07 pm

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This has to be one of the only cases where selecting from an existing table is technically a license violation.

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Allow more people to use the most useful parts of your product and more people will buy. This is like buying a Ferrari and having a limiter put in at 100Km/h.

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Thorbjørn Johnsøn
July 23, 2007 4:11 am

The Oracle licensing is far to complicated. This should be redesigned by Oracle.

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Katrin Toedt
July 24, 2007 6:07 am

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Morten Joenby
July 30, 2007 1:17 pm

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Odd Harry Ophaug
August 6, 2007 5:11 am

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If they keep adding licenses we’ll end up rebuilding most of their tuning tools.
I hope they reconsider this.

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Pythian Group Blog » Tuning Pack 11g : Real-Time SQL Monitoring
August 14, 2007 5:15 am

[…] “Real Time SQL Monitoring” is a 11g Tuning Pack new feature. You can easily access it when the Tuning Pack is set. If a query is a “long” query, if it uses more than 5 seconds of CPU of I/O Wait or if it’s a parallel query (from the documentation), the plan execution statistics are kept by the engine and you can follow the query execution in Real Time. Note that it differs from V$SESSION_LONGOPS which enables you to follow one step of a query or other operations. Anyway, It’s very impressive even if it doesn’t look to be fully functional (Is it me ?). It’s just a shame that I won’t be able to access it for all the databases although we’ve already asked for. […]

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I work for one of the largest oil companies in the world and due to these and a few other licensing practises by Oracle we are not using these features and have made SQL Server our strategic platform. I was involved in the licensing negotiations and as such know that Oracle talked themselves out of a few million dollars by trying to chase silly money we were unwilling to pay.

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Pythian Group Blog » Open Letter to Oracle: the Response So Far
August 14, 2007 11:50 am

[…] six weeks ago, I wrote, with my colleagues here at Pythian, an open letter to Larry Ellison, imploring him and Oracle to free API-level access to Automated Workload Repository (AWR) and […]

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H.E. van Meerendonk
August 15, 2007 8:23 am

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Karl Reitschuster
August 21, 2007 1:38 am

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I remember with Oracle 7 and the procedural option which was only an option.
But after a 7.x release PL/SQL was used to impelment some exp/imp internal routines and then had to be standard!

Karl

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Pascal Oegerli
August 21, 2007 3:16 am

Pascal Oegerli, Edorex Informatik AG, 3072 Ostermundigen, Switzerland

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Signatory

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Harro M. Wiersma - Miracle Sweden
September 5, 2007 8:36 am

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How about Oracle pay you for the cost of your CPU cycles used to gather statistics that you haven’t asked for, can’t use, and at 10g can’t turn off.

Oracle’s licensing is a joke. It’s too expensive, too complex, and too restrictive.

Anyway, definitely a signatory.

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Yuri van Buren
October 2, 2007 8:58 am

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Sven’s Technik-Blog » Blog Archive » 11g und Management Pack Access
October 19, 2007 10:46 am

[…] bringt der offene Brief der Pythian Group “An Open Letter to Larry Ellison on AWR and ASH Licensing” doch noch […]

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Emmanuel HUMBLOT
December 27, 2007 5:21 am

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Yuvaraj Varadhan
February 3, 2008 11:33 pm

Signatory

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Leigh Riffel
March 7, 2008 1:43 pm

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Antti Koskinen
March 14, 2008 8:17 am

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Good initiative..hope Larry Listens to it..

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I am all for AWR and ASH to be kept out of licensing.

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good effort, appreciate. Looking forward for good news from Oracle

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Igor Berdich
May 22, 2008 12:21 pm

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Hans Forbrich
July 20, 2008 1:28 pm

SIGNATORY (Forbrich Computer Consulting Ltd. – Canada)

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This is short-sightedness on the part of a company whose licensing costs already are among the highest in the industry and have a huge user population who lack the proper tools to understand performance tuning.

By restricting access and keeping performance troubleshooting a ‘black art’ of scripts and SQL-queries, the product is at a competitive disadvantage compared to other DBMS products.

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Michael Spurling
November 5, 2008 10:09 am

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Licensing terms like this are one of the reasons that I tell the Oracle sales people that all of our new projects are coming up on SQL Server. I prefer to administer Oracle, but their greed is pricing them out of my market.

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It’s also borderline entrapment that the extra licensed options are built in just waiting to be used. I don’t know how many people I’ve had to tell to not put that fancy “partition” clause on their create table. The AWR/ASH views should definitely be accessible without licensing too.

It’s like selling a car without a dashboard, or worse with a dashboard, but you’ll get fined if you look at the speedometer.

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Alexander 'sure' Podkopaev
November 12, 2008 8:46 am

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Lets ask Tom Kyte?

ps: is it coincedence – CAPTCHA asked me to type two words: scandal pretty ?

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Rakesh Tikku
March 2, 2009 5:32 pm

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Peter de Koning
March 12, 2009 5:56 am

Some features Oracle provide can be used without the proper license. This is not correct. If you are not allowd to use it, it should be disabled by default.
Since it is not disabled you should be free to use it.

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Mark Brinsmead
March 12, 2009 1:32 pm

This is an interesting view, Peter, and your logic sounds reasonable.

Sadly, logic and reason often have little to do licenses, contracts, or legal proceedings. I will not encourage you (or anybody else) to make any decisions based on this argument.

Note, by the way, that since this blog was originally published, Oracle released a patch that will allow you to *disable* (but not remove!) AWR without violating your license.

It seems that Oracle takes these licensing terms seriously, and I for one would not want to pit this particular argument against the legion of lawyers they can undoubtedly throw at this.

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Mladen Gogala
March 26, 2009 1:15 pm

I agree 100%. SIGNATORY

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Have you read the oracle documentation?

It does not say “You can not purchase any
options with Oracle Database Standard Edition”.

There are two versions of SE, SE one
and plain SE.

http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/license.102/b14199/options.htm

It says “You cannot purchase any options with Oracle Database Standard Edition One or Oracle Express Edition. The Personal Edition includes all options except Oracle Real Application Clusters at no additional cost.”

So if you have licensed Diagnostic pack (management packs) per CPU, and if you Standard Edition (not ONE), the document does not disallow that?

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Mark Brinsmead
March 30, 2009 11:18 am

Joe,

What an interesting point you raise. Yes, of course I have read the documentation. However, I confess that I probably never noticed this particular (and somewhat fine) point. (There is a reason that I do not try to hold myself up as an “expert” on this topic — Oracle licensing is so incredibly complex, I doubt *anybody* could be an “expert”.)

The document you refer to says *nothing* about the ability to license OEM packs for Standard Edition (proper), one way or the other.

A 10 minute review of the OLSA and the Oracle online store says nothing either.

It is possible that I have fallen into a trap about which I constantly warn others — I *may* have actually accepted an Oracle sales rep’s word on this subject. :-)

I distinctly recall begin told (falsely, of course) by Oracle Sales that Oracle Enterpise Manager (Grid Control) 10g could not be used at all with Enterprise Edition databases; the reason offered at the time was that the OEM “Packs” could not be purchased for Standard Edition databases. As I recall, the reason offered was “correct” (truthful) — at least at the time — but the overall statement was of course false, as the use of OEM “Packs” has never been mandatory.

It is quite possible that in the years since Oracle10g was first released, this particular licensing constraint was relaxed; however, it may be equally possible that the constraint never actually existed.

Nice.

I think I may look for an opportunity to look into this one further. The question is definitely quite interesting.

My objections concerning licensing of AWR, however, still stand — at least with respect to Oracle Standard Edition ONE.

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Mark Brinsmead
March 30, 2009 1:35 pm

Having had a few spare minutes, I can now address Joe’s question better. Still not fully, but at least “better”.

Joe, the text you quoted relates to Oracle Database “Options” (e.g., Partitioning), not to OEM “Packs”.

The text in the Oracle 10g licensing manual (which you can find for yourself here: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B28359_01/license.111/b28287/options.htm#CIHDDBCG ) says this:
—————–
Oracle Management Packs

The sections that follow describe the Oracle management packs. The management packs can be purchased only with Enterprise Edition. The features in these packs are accessible through Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Control, Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control, and APIs provided with Oracle Database software.
——————-

So, my original comments *were* correct.

Your comments are still interesting, though, as they suggest that I should be able to license “Partitioning” (for example) for a Standard Edition (not SE-ONE) database. I have always held — rather strongly — the belief that this is not the case, so I will now have to check *that* out too.

Of course, there is nothing — that I know of — to prevent an arbitrarily wide gap between what the Oracle license *permits* and what Oracle Corp will actually *sell* you. ;-)

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Actually,

I re-read the documentation.

And now I understand the difference
of licensing OPTIONS and Management Packs.

One might be able to license options,
but not management packs to
SE.

I heard from Oracle that Larry Ellison has said twice “NO” to whether management packs should be allowed to be licensed for SE.

At that point, many choose to use other tools and pay for a tool like Confio
to be able to monitor and debug Oracle SE performance.

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Dexter Metropolis
August 5, 2009 2:46 pm

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I work mostly with AWR and ASH from SQL*PLUS command line and think Oracle should allow customers to AT LEAST use the V$ views and command line interface for AWR and ASH with SQL*PLUS without paying additional licenses for the tool. Maybe Oracle could just require license for OEM GUI interface and let us all continue to use AWR from SQL*PLUS? That would be wonderful!

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R. van der Hoorn
October 27, 2009 1:11 pm

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Below is a quote from the licensing information document (10g). From these two paragraphs one must conclude that using any option with XE is not allowed:
– You can only use them when you buy them (except RAC for SE)
– You can not buy them for XE.

The leak in the text is that it does not exclude buying options for SE, but rest asured: Oracle won’t sell them to you if you don’t have EE licenses.

Quote:

You may not use the options, packs, or products described below without separately
purchased licenses. The fact that these options, packs, or products may be included in
product CDs or downloads or described in documentation that you receive does not
authorize you to use them without purchasing appropriate licenses.
– Oracle Database Options
All the Oracle Database options can be purchased with Oracle Database Enterprise
Edition. Oracle Real Application Clusters is included with Oracle Database Standard
Edition. You cannot purchase any options with Oracle Database Standard Edition One
or Oracle Express Edition. The Personal Edition includes all options except Oracle Real
Application Clusters at no additional cost.

End of quote

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Christoph Robitschko
October 30, 2009 7:29 am

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One of the main reason we choose to pay more for oracle standard edition, in stead of other databases is the ability to see what is going on inside the database, and tune our application accordingly. Without AWR report, we could use any other databases and treat the database internal as a black box.

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Mark Brinsmead
January 26, 2010 2:25 pm

William,

Remember that AWR is not the *only* way to access performance data.

In Standard Edition, you *must* install and use StatsPack. StatsPack reports are very similar in content and value to AWR reports, although slightly less detailed in a few categories.

Standard Edition + StatsPack is still probably going to meet your needs, and should be a good value.

Standard Edition + AWR is a (serious) licensing liability — the bill you receive from Oracle to bring your licenses into compliance will probably be absolutely breath-taking.

If you are presently using AWR on SE, I advise to stop immediately, and promptly install and configure StatsPack in its place.

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In regards to awr, what oracle is doing is equivalent to extortion. There is no other way to describe it, and I am shocked that to this day they haven’t been sued for it.

The fact that they install all these views by default, and then expect the customer to be familiar enough with the terms not to use them, is simply absurd. It’s like putting your cash out on the street in front of your house and expect no one to take it.

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Oracle has become arrogant and anti-customer. No company can become so big and powerfull that they can forever mistreat their customers without penalty.

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Libor Vejpustek
February 17, 2011 4:27 am

I agree.

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Alexander Nikolaev
April 9, 2011 3:26 pm

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Chris Leadbeater
August 22, 2011 8:32 am

After an 11gR2 upgrade I was surprised to see that the Tuning Pack options were not there and especially surprised that I could not even purchase this for Standard Edition.

I request that this be available for the Standard Edition. Signed, Chris Leadbeater

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Mark Brinsmead
August 22, 2011 8:46 am

Chris,

If this were a request I can grant, I surely would. But, alas, it is not within my power.

It is odd, isn’t it, for a feature to go from “free” in one release to “not available at any price” in the next ?

If you look, you can probably find 3rd party replacements for some things, but few of these will be “free”, either. (If you need things like stored plans, etc., you are just plain out of luck, though, I fear.)

Good luck!

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I’m guessing this might be not be active any longer, but as a DBA, I’m really missing the AWR reports for SE, and want to voice my encouragement. Thanks.

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Yolanda Suarez
July 2, 2012 9:54 pm

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David DEUDON
July 30, 2012 9:48 am

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Good luck… :-(

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Yury Velikanov
October 28, 2012 4:40 am

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Stefano Giostra
January 23, 2013 8:51 am

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Stefano Giostra
January 23, 2013 8:54 am

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Mr. Allison if is a business decision, required a different licence for the “Diagnostic Pack”, please give to the SE users the possibility to buy the Diagnostic Pack licence. Thanks

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I truly believe that Oracle is the most brilliantly designed application in the history of mankind, I would request Mr Allison to allow the Oracle lovers to drill down the oracle capabilities using the AWR and ASH.

With Regards
Abuzar kamal

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Fedor Poradovsky
July 4, 2013 10:05 am

I agry

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Rainer Stenzel
December 3, 2013 3:45 am

Using these fundamental product perfomance data (AWR) has to be core functionalty without any additional costs.

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Mark Gruenberg
April 9, 2015 6:29 pm

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Basic AWR & ASH reports and adhoc queries should be licensed the same as RMAN and add additional licensing cost for the packaged GUI tuning tools.

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Not giving it by default is like taking away vital support system to 90% of oracle user. It is important to see why there business model is to collect money at every toll gate or having intention to make IT is better place.

I trust Oracle would get huge boost to it’s business by enabling it by default on standard edition.

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Only to keep the idea alive..

Sad in 2015 and no feedback from Larry.

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They should have enabled it for free at least for a little part of AWR information, because the winter is coming and AWR is useful data ;-)

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