Certification is the requirement to report how much software is deployed at the end of a ULA. It is defined contractually as furnishing Oracle with a certification signed by a C-level executive that verifies the quantities of the applicable license types that are installed and running as of the date the ULA ends. The language often requires designations such as installation location by country and environment type by production versus test and development. Additional fine print usually prohibits claiming software deployed in public clouds.
Ultimately, the result of certification is as simple as, for example, stating 1,000 Processors of Enterprise Database in a letter signed by your CIO in Sarbanes-Oxley fashion.
Of course, there is nothing simple about the certification process and it’s best to think of it in three ways.
First, certification is an audit insomuch as the requirements and pain-potential are similar. Oracle will seek additional information and assistance as may be reasonably requested to validate the information contained in the certification letter. This should sound familiar given Oracle certifications are carried out by its audit organization.
Second, certification is Oracle Sales’ opportunity to capitalize on an assortment of revenue opportunities, including an extension or roll into the next ULA. Many customers are confused, ill-prepared, scared, or a combination thereof. Many ULAs contain a golden parachute that somehow creates a license shortfall. Certification also redefines the definition of a Processor by editing installed and/or running to installed and running.
Finally, and most importantly, certification is your opportunity to rightfully and defensibly claim enough software to last a lifetime.