Monday, February 13, 2012

Oracle Internet Directory (OID) 11g: Part I - Which License?

Well, it has been quite some time since I last posted but I've been kept busy doing a lot of different things at work and of course family life. One such thing that has kept me occupied at work is getting up to speed on Oracle Internet Directory (OID) 11g. My previous experiences with OID were to do with merely using it much like most other people. Yes, I knew how it worked at the high level and of course what it was for, but not the internals such as how to do an installation, configuration, migrations, upgrades, patching, maintenance, backup/recovery, and other fine grained details. To be honest I still don't know a LOT of this stuff as the more I get to know OID the more I realize how much I did not know about directories and their internals and how much I appreciate the need for a separate Identity Management (IDM) Administrator. There is simple a lot to know and do, much like a normal DBA.

Anyways, the point of this series of blogs is to try and help others by exposing a lot of the simple things which I now know. Things such as installation and requirements, backup/recovery, configuration, a few notes on designs and usage, and some license assistance. By far the trickiest thing for me was the licensing which is the focus of this first blog.

How do I get OID?
At first glance this might seem like a simple topic and is exactly what I though. However, OID is bundled, and can be purchased as well, with a variety of software suites such Internet Application Server or iAS, Identity Manager, and Directory Services Plus as examples. You will need to purchase the correct suite, which depends on your actual need or usage, otherwise you may end up buying software and licenses you don't need and spend excessive capital funds as the cost depends on the suite and can be quite a large difference. Case in point:
  • Directory Services Plus: $50,000 per processor (+$11,000 for maintenance)
  • Internet Application Server (EE): $35,000 per processor (+$7,700 for maintenance)
  • Internet Application Server (SEO): $11,500 per processor (+$2,530 for maintenance)
  • Internet Application Server (SE): $5,800 per processor (+$1,276 for maintenance)
This listing does not include the other suites in which you can obtain OID, they are just examples as to the varying prices (and options). Of course, each suite also has different pieces, and restricted use licenses for varying included components. The latest pricing information can be obtained here, with FMW11g license information here. I know what some may be thinking that this is just Fusion Middleware. Yes, but Fusion Middleware is the broad software suite name, out of which you purchase individual application suites (such as those I've mentioned). Going through the various options and such is too much for a simple blog posting so I'll just say my current employ licensed OID via iAS as at the time that was the best option. Now it seems the best option, based on our current and future usage, is Directory Services Plus. This means new licenses, or does it?

OID for free!
Apparently, and I say this because regardless of going through 2 months of discussions via email and phone with Oracle sales representatives and product specialists I'm still a little confused, if you are only using OID for Directory Naming, then there is no license to be purchased. Below is the key statements taken from the "Oracle Database License Information 11g Release 2 (11.2)" manual which brought about this conclusion:

"The following restricted-use licenses are included with Oracle Database 11g in the editions indicated:

• A restricted-use license for Oracle Internet Directory (OID) is included with all editions (except for Oracle Database Express Edition) if users use the Directory Naming feature to configure Oracle Net Services. OID may not be used or deployed for other uses. Please contact your Oracle sales representative for additional information on Oracle Internet Directory (OID)."

A colleague of mine was of the opinion this meant either you can license the Oracle DB EE as the repository and use the OID mid-tier piece without cost based on this statement, or license the OID mid-tier and not the repository database (since OID also comes with a restricted use license for using the Oracle database). I though (or more hoped) this meant a license similar to OEM where the OID mid-tier does not need a license (and neither does its restricted use database repository) so long as each remote client database is only using it for Directory Naming. Turns out Oracle was of the same thinking as myself. But the problem is the license seems like such an interpretation. In any case, until we expand usage from Directory Naming into identity management we can save on some capital expenditure (CAPEX) for this financial year.

OID is bundled with many different software suites which all fall under the Fusion Middleware umbrella. Choosing the correct suite is important in getting the best deal, but if you only need the Directory Naming functionality it is already included in your database license purchase (so there is no cost). I would strongly recommend you check this out with your own Oracle sales representatives and if you are given a different response please do let me know! It has been my experience that licenses are different based on who you ask within Oracle and what type of relationship you have with Oracle (i.e. how big or important of a customer you are). You may disagree with this statement but that has been my experience.

In my next piece I will explore the requirements and installation of some required components for OID11g.