Simon Haslam's Oracle Fusion Middleware blog

OFM 11g Licence Upgrade Options for IAS/OAS Users

The most frequent question from Veriton's application server customers at the moment is "what are my options for upgrading to Fusion Middleware 11g?"

This is still a very new topic - I attended a webcast about it for Oracle Partners back in August but there hasn't been much publicity yet. It turns out the upgrade path is rather different from the answer I got when I asked Thomas Kurian back in July.

Looking purely at licensing, existing IAS/OAS customers (with an Updates agreement with Oracle) have 3 options:

Oracle Application Server 10g 

1. The most common option you'll hear is to upgrade your existing licences to WebLogic Server Suite. To do this Oracle is offering a list-to-list trade-in, in other words, you'll pay the difference between the OAS list price of the licences you own and the WLS list price, minus any discount. This licence is quite flexible as it still gives you the option of running your existing software - you can upgrade all your licences now but then migrate your server estate on a gradual basis (of course, if you're going to make the extra investment now there's a strong argument for upgrading sooner rather than later). This allows you to take advantage of some powerful WebLogic functionality that wasn't available in OAS/OC4J.

2. Migrate to 11g using the WebLogic Server Basic licence: this is intended to give you just the capabilities you already have in IAS/OAS but on the WebLogic platform (described in more detail below).

3. Do nothing: that is certainly still an option, and may be more attractive for mature applications that aren't changing very much. Note that Oracle's Premier (i.e. normal) Support is only available on 10g R2 and R3 until the end of 2010.

Now, the big question is: how does WebLogic Server Suite differ from WebLogic Server Basic...

WebLogic Server Suite

The components of WebLogic Server Suite (see are WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition plus:

  • WebLogic / JRockit Real Time
  • WebLogic Operations Control
  • Coherence Enterprise Edition
  • Management Pack for Coherence
  • IAS EE (i.e. for Forms, Reports, Discoverer, Portal)

In summary, WebLogic Suite contains all the options you could want for very high performance, and highly available, distributed application infrastructure (plus the old stuff!).

Now let's compare it to the cut-down WebLogic Server Basic licence:

WebLogic Server Basic

This licence type is only available to customers with Oracle Internet Application Server 10gR2 or 10gR3 licences. The WLS capabilites are the same whether you have IAS Standard Edition One, Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition licences. There's no special WLS Basic installation version though - you install WebLogic in the normal manner but are legally restricted in what features you're allowed to use. There's a new WLST utility on Metalink (see note 885587.1) that you (or an Oracle auditor!) can run on your system to check what feaures you're using.

Note: WebLogic Server Basic is not available for purchase as a standalone product. Also, if you run SOA Suite 10g you'll need to upgrade to WebLogic Suite and SOA Suite 11g - WebLogic Basic is not an option.

The good news from an ADF perspective is that you are allowed to run WebLogic for ADF 11g applications without needing to upgrade your IAS/OAS licence to WLS Suite if you don't want to. Therefore if you are running typical ADF applications on a supported OAS 10gR3 installation you can migrate to 11g without charge.

The following features are available in WebLogic Suite but not in the Basic edition:

  • Advanced JMS features
  • Advanced web services
  • WebLogic Tux Connector
  • Advanced clustering including whole server and service migration
  • MAN/WAN state replication
  • QOS: custom work managers
  • Diagnostics framework and management by SNMP
  • Side-by-side deployment
  • Configuration wizard, template builder and managed server cloning
  • Console recording of WLST scripts
  • Option to purchase Management Pack for WebLogic
  • Application Fastswap
  • WebLogic HTTP Publish/Subscribe Server

You'll notice that none of these features were available in IAS anyway. However the ones I think I'd miss the most are side-by-side deployment (a very nice feature of WebLogic), managed server cloning and recording of WLST scripts (which I've been raving about at various UKOUG events). In due course I'll write up what I think are the most important differences and restrictions for different types of applications; in the meantime, if you'd like to see for yourself read Appendix A in the Oracle Fusion Middleware Licensing Information document (and by all means add a comment here if you have any observations).

Of course, there's a lot more to moving from 10g to 11g than just licensing and Oracle has provided a number of upgrade tools. I'm also giving a two hour Masterclass on WebLogic Server for OAS Administrators at the UKOUG 2009 conference at the end of November - in this we will take a clean server, install and configure WebLogic and deploy a JEE application (ADF).

I hope this summary is useful - please use this as informal advice only - as with all licensing issues you should speak to either your Oracle Sales Rep or your trusted Oracle Partner for the latest information.


I appreciate the update. Thanks also for responding to the aside on my blog. You are a careful reader apparently. Things do sound like they have settled down a bit. At the time we knocked on FMW 11g conversion door, the Oracle Sales reps were willing to make a deal, but they were dealing with the military, which does not make deals...only it was a bust. I am sure things will go better in the future since FMW 11g is more "real" now.

Posted by Michael A. Fons on November 19, 2009 at 04:47 PM GMT #

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