Moving commercial applications to the cloud

14 May 2024
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Inoapps Oracle Licensing Series: Part Seven

By Hazel Hopes
Licensing Consultant at Inoapps

So far this year, I’ve looked at right-sizing before a move to cloud and what happens to cloud deployments when they aren’t properly monitored. These focus on Oracle technology intended for use within a business, to run business processes. But what happens if you’ve developed your own commercial application using Oracle products and now want to move to cloud? Let’s have a look at some of the considerations if this is your strategy. We’ll start with some terminology.

What does Oracle mean by ‘hosting’?

The intended use for Oracle products is for internal business operations only. When you sign an agreement to use Oracle products, this is the default position and Oracle assumes you will use those products only for your business.

If you have a commercial application that’s available to outside parties, you then become a ‘hosting’ entity. You are then subject to a different and/or new agreement or ordering document, created by Oracle and signed by you, which should include language to that effect. Oracle’s official definition for a hosting company is one with commercially available applications or services to multiple end users.

What does Oracle mean by ‘proprietary’?

If your business develops a commercial application that you market to third parties and it  incorporates an Oracle product as part of its functionality, you will need to complete a Proprietary Application Hosting (PAH) Registration form. This specifies the Oracle technology that’s being used in your application.

It also asks you questions about your application, including:

  • Its functions and objectives
  • Your target markets
  • How users will access it
  • Its architecture

This forms the basis of your agreement with Oracle to use their products and needs to be accurate.

Considerations before you move to cloud

If you’re planning to move your proprietary application or hosted environment to cloud, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Contact Oracle or your Oracle accredited partner sooner rather than later. It’s likely some of the data you have provided to Oracle, including the registration form, will change, and it’s important that you communicate this to Oracle well in advance of any migrations to cloud.  
  2. Establish viability. You will also need to establish if your original architecture and application functionality is still viable in a cloud environment. Remember that some older database releases are not supported so it may be you have to migrate to later releases to achieve your goals.
  3. Consider how cloud options impact your application. Give some consideration to whether you might want to increase or change the abilities of your application given the resources readily available in cloud, and what strategy you might employ to do it.

Proprietary Application Hosting: common challenges

As the adoption of cloud progresses, it’s inevitable that hosting customers will need a plan to manage the move from on-premises to cloud. If they don’t, they will have to adopt a multi-environment hybrid approach, which then brings its own overheads in management and productivity. If your PAH is constrained by the amount of compute power available in your on-premises data center, but the rest of your business is cloud based...well, you can see the potential for performance mismatch.

Over the years, we’ve helped customers review and understand their PAH contractual language and then apply it to their on-premises estate. Often customers assume their PAH agreement applies to both production and non-production environments, but this is often not the case.

Another common issue is to list products and product options that were on their original PAH but are no longer relevant to the latest iteration of the commercial application.

In a lot of cases, customers are reluctant to engage with Oracle directly for fear of triggering an audit, so working with a partner is often the preferred approach.

How Inoapps can help

From infrastructure to applications, procurement to migrations to decommissioning, Inoapps has proven expertise of Oracle software asset management. We are also Oracle Partners, accredited in the Joint Partner Engagement program and the Oracle Partner SAM Service, and are here to help you evaluate your Oracle deployments.

You can find out about our services on our Oracle Licensing & Subscription Services web page. Or get in touch today if you have questions.

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