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24 October 2016

The Compleat Idiot's Guide to PBCS, No. 17 -- License Compliance

This is never a fun topic, is it?

With the caveat that IANAL nor am I the guy that actually signs the contract nor do I work for Oracle, it has been pointed out to me that PBCS – which was once Planning-in-the-Cloud-but-better – is now a platform that supports multiple products such as PBCS, EPBCS, FCCS, the soon to be released (or is it out now?) PCMCS, and I would daresay a number of future products.  Multiple products equals (potentially) multiple contracts; certainly that is true if you follow the message of this post which is a note of warning because:
  • Said products are not in your company’s contract unless you’ve specifically bought them.
  • There’s not a (technical) thing in the world to prevent you from using what you haven’t paid.
  • Oracle can see everything you’re doing on their pods.  You are after all paying to have Oracle manage the software.
  • Oracle has a reputation for pursuing license non-compliance with gusto, verve, and tenacity.
  • It really isn’t cricket to use what you’ve not paid for.

So can we say that playing with this sort of thing is as dangerous as A-Bomb testing?  Almost.

Like eating cookies in the supermarket before you get to the checkout

OMG that drives me crazy.  Do you have the money?  Is it yours?  Will you put it back if you don’t like it?  Maybe, no, and who knows but look at what you’re doing right now.  While I digress once again my philosophy on paying for things when one ought to should be clear.

Careening wildly back to the point of this post, the rules about using what you’ve paid for in the Cloud are actually no different than what happens in the on-premises world (or, arguably, the supermarket checkout line).   It isn’t yours if you (actually your company) haven’t paid for it.

It’s easy-peasy-no-big-deasy to navigate to eDelivery, download whatever on-premises EPM product your heart desires (sans patches as that is covered by your access at My Oracle Support), and – if you’re way smarter than me – flawlessly and quickly install the software in your environment.  Installed or not, if you haven’t paid for it, you’re in violation.  Yikes.

As just about everyone knows I am completely and comprehensively infrastructure allergic and moreover incompetent (I am incompetent in all sorts of areas; this one is infrastructure).  Contract violation is miles easier in the Cloud because you/I don’t have to install anything so even a profound allergy isn’t prophylactic.

Get thee behind me, Satan.  

Although I am a fan of the dramatic, I am not actually equating Oracle license violation with Luke 4:8 and Matthew 16:22-24 but I am making the point that temptation is staring you right there in the face.  Don’t be weak.

Here’s what we see on login to the service.  I feel like Eve in the Garden of Eden.  

I’m going to resist FCCS temptation not because I am morally superior but because I am not a beancounter.  I am going to go to Planning and Budgeting ‘cos that’s what I do.

With that warning, ooooooh, lookit that.  Would I like to click on EPBCS?  Why yes I would.  And what happens?

The wizard to build an EPBCS application fires right up.  And that is where I stop for now.

You Have Been Warned

I actually am too chicken to see what happens if I click on FCCS as a billet-doux from Oracle Contracts is not very high on my To Do list.  I’d ask who amongst the Best and Brightest of my many (ahem) readers have violated their license to see what happens but that would be self-incrimination.  I’m not here to tempt (there’s that theme again) you to throw away your 5th Amendment rights.

But seriously, folks, if you know what happens (I am guessing off you go on an FCCS application wizard and subsequent contract violation(s)) and you shouldn’t be doing it, there is a way to anonymously comment to this blog.  I’m curious to hear what you have to say.  And no, I don’t actually expect a response but who knows.

Also seriously, don’t do it.  If you’re a partner, sign up for that pod (these are precious things within consulting companies) internally; if you’re a customer, I understand Oracle has sales reps that are just itching to sell you all of these products.  I’ll bet they’ll figure out a way to make you happy.

Be seeing you.


I really am going out on a bit of a limb with this post because I simply haven’t navigated into a product I shouldn’t have access to.  Typically (always, actually), I for real and for true do whatever I write about because how else could I write about it.  This is different.  Call me Scaredy Cat Cameron, but as noted I’ve got lots of other things to do with my time.

My point is, I am unusually anxious to correct whatever’s wrong in this post.  Credit will be given no matter how embarrassing it will be for me.  Besides, mild embarrassment is my normal state.


Richard Philipson said...

What I found annoying is that when managing the POD, Oracle have called it planning regardless of the licence type you have. So I have two PODs both called planning even though one is FCCS and one is PBCS. Would have been easier to have a licence type match the provisioning rather than showing everyne that your paying such as difference only for the pre-developed IP, and allowing them Indiana Jones style to "choose poorly".

Cameron Lackpour said...


What I don't understand is *why* Oralce allows anyone to create an application he doesn't have access to? Surely if Contracts can identify who's in violation of a license, the logon id can be prevented from doing The Wrong Thing. Why make it possible at all?


Cameron Lackpour