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Distilling between Legally Binding vs Educational Purposes only documents

The prospect of working through the copious documentation from Oracle can be very daunting.  This can be even more confronting when you become a target of the Oracle sales engine and are invited to an audit. The array of ‘educational’ guides/policies and contracts along with the numerous white papers and opinions available online can be confusing and contradictory in their advice. It’s important to understand from the outset which documents are legally binding, and which are just guides and not legally incorporated into your contract. Examples of these guides are:

  • The Oracle Partitioning policy: which is interesting as this is the document Oracle refers to on how to “hard partition” your servers to reduce licensing cost. It is also the ‘thorn in the side’ of many a customer as VMware is not regarded within this document as a way to “hard partition”.  Not a legal document.
  • Cloud Licensing Policy: How to deploy your licenses onto Oracle, AWS, Azure cloud, and the like. Not a legal document. 
  • Licensing Data Recovery Environments: Not a legal document.
  • The Oracle Software Investment Guide: (Now removed from the internet by Oracle), Not a legal document.
Distilling between Legally Binding vs Educational Purposes only documents

So, what are we left with that is actually legally binding?

  • The Oracle Master Agreement (also known as an OLSA, SLSA, OMA) and the Transactional Oracle Master Agreement (TOMA); This is what the customer signs when they make their first Oracle purchase so some of them are pretty old. Customers can of course have new Master Agreements over a period of time that supersede or introduce new terms and conditions so the organisations will need to know the order in which they are signed and which products they may impact.
  • The Oracle Core Processor Factor Table on the web where we check how to calculate the number of licenses required depending on the type of processor you have.
  • Technical Support Policy which tells the customer the terms and conditions of using the Oracle software.
  • The Ordering documents and Maintenance/Renewal documents. It is worth noting that items such as Ordering document amendments and the customer Maintenance/Renewal documents can have new terms and Conditions that may take precedence over the original ordering document. 


If you should be in a position where you are about to be audited or want to pre-empt this risk by doing your own internal due-diligence audit then contact us. We are specialists in audit defence and have ex-Oracle auditors ready to help you navigate through the gates of peril! Do not take the chance, contact us today.