This is a follow-up to my post earlier this week: ATG Licensing – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.

I feel like Oracle has really shot themselves in the foot on this. They’ve changed up how many licenses need to be sold as a minimum to small and medium customers, and they’ve done this without adequate training for their sales staff. They’ve dramatically increased the mid-market entry level costs, pricing themselves out of many deals – even with aggressive discounting. They’ve also really failed to take care of their existing customers. There’s a huge number of existing ATG customers out there, who were sold a bundle of licenses which prevents them from upgrading without spending a significant amount out of pocket. Those customers have been paying annual support fees against a broken promise of free upgrades.

The problem will get worse as future generations of processors start shipping with hex- and octo- core base configurations. In short Oracle’s licensing policy does not work with modern CPUs and ATG software pricing and infrastructure architecture.

So what could they do? I have a few solutions:

  1. Allow for software disabling of cores. This is simple. Just add an “ATG Licensing Addendum” to the contracts that allows for this. Problem solved now and in the future.
  2. Use the Oracle Standard Database licensing model based on “Sockets” not “Processors”. This is really a clean solution, has precedent in Oracle’s licensing practices, and scales well in the future.
  3. Automatically allow all MC4 bundle customers to upgrade to 6 “Processors” of Commerce and 6 “Processors” of Search on ATG 10, for free. They were sold a small but deployable bundle of Production and Staging licenses. They’ve been paying their support fees. They deserve to still be able to run a small but deployable setup of Production and Staging.
  4. Automatically upgrade any customers who have been sold ATG 10 with less than 6 “Processors” of Commerce and Search to 6+6. These customers have been sold an impossible to deploy list of licenses. Through ignorance (most likely) their ATG Sales rep sold them a lie. Make it right.

What do you think is most fair?