Oracle ULA Certification /Exit

Independent Oracle Unlimited License Agreement Audit & Certification Advisory

What is Oracle ULA Certification /Exit?

Oracle ULA Certification /Exit is the process to be followed at the end of the ULA contract term to count the number of Oracle licenses deployed, send this count as a declaration to Oracle and obtain a certified grant of perpetual licenses.

Apart from ‘What is Oracle ULA Certification /Exit?, the other most common questions that we are asked are:

  • Does Oracle want to certify ULA?
  • What are the risks in ULA Certification?
  • What are the timelines in ULA Management?
  • What should be the steps for ULA Renewal or ULA Certification?

You will get answers to all the questions here.

Oracle does not want you to certify the ULA

There are many Oracle ULA problems, the biggest being that Oracle has a vested interest in keeping its customers locked into ULA agreements. Oracle does not want any of its customers to certify the ULA.

The reasons for this are quite simple:

  1. Oracle makes a significant amount of money from its ULA agreements. By making it difficult for customers to exit the ULA, Oracle can lock customers into paying high licensing fees for multiple years.
  2. The ULA has a corresponding annual support fee attached to the license cost. If customers exit the ULA, Oracle will not get increased support fees.
  3. The customer will have a choice to move out of Oracle in the future.

Because of these reasons Oracle makes the certification process or exiting from a ULA a very complex, obstacle filled and potentially expensive process.


We have worked on advising more than 125 customers on their ULAs. After conducting a due diligence on their contracts, deployment and future licensing needs— we advised nearly a 100 to certify. We also advised quite a few to renew the ULA. Not a single one of our clients were allowed to be ‘forced’ by Oracle to renew.

Challenges of Certifying the ULA

  • Non-compliance: Oracle knows that many customers who are non-compliant will simply renew their ULA agreements to avoid the hassle and expense of the certification process.
  • Complexity of Oracle licensing: Oracle licensing is complex and can be difficult to understand, even for experienced IT professionals.
  • Licensing restrictions: Each Oracle ULA contract is a customized for a specific customer. And they typically include several licensing restrictions. Not understanding the implications of these restrictions can lead to heavy penalties or a forced ULA renewal.
  • Oracle Audit Process: Oracle is known for its aggressive audit process. If you exit your ULA, Oracle may conduct an audit of your environment to verify your licensing compliance. If you are found to be non-compliant, you may face significant penalties

Oracle ULA Management Timelines

Oracle ULA End of Term Goals

  • Knowledge of compliance position
  • Remediation & Rebalancing
  • Optimize deployments
  • Be Audit Ready


Internal License Audit of Oracle ULA Deployments


  • Conduct an enterprise/data center wide discovery.
  • The discovery should, ideally, be conducted across all known and un-known Oracle deployments. This is a crucial point that many ULA customers forget, ending up in accidental non-compliance discovery when Oracle conducts the audit.

Count Again

  • Conduct discoveries across the remediated and rebalanced servers.
  • Be audit ready


  • Understand your contract and create an Effective License Position
  • Remediate and Rebalance the deployments. There are lots of nuances to make this activity successful.

Oracle ULA Contract Review

We recommend you to review:

  • Standard and non-standard language in the Oracle Ordering Documents.
  • Standard licensing policies for each product, options, packs and modules
  • Special usage rights (if any)
  • Restrictions on deployment and usage
  • Restrictions on certification
  • Support Costs and contract terms
  • Any non-contractual, but traditionally accepted obligations (& your deployment status)
  • Future obligations and terms

You might want to read more about our CEO Sheshagiri Anegondi (Sheshu). He is amongst the foremost Oracle License Experts globally. He personally assists customers who want to certify or renew their Oracle ULA.

Apart from ULAs, the biggest concern now for Oracle customers is Java. Click here if you want to know the Oracle Java License changes that have happened in over the past few years.