Whether such a requirement could hold up in the legal world, however, is far from clear.
“I seriously doubt that Oracle will be able to enforce any terms and conditions that call for a customer not to use a competing product,” Scavo said. “That might border on restraint of trade, in my opinion.”
Indeed, “I would be shocked if that was in the contract,” Guarente agreed. “That would be problematic.”
Of course, “if you’re paying any vendor to use their products, why would you use a competing product?” he added.
The new license arrangement could be good news for customers if it makes database license costs more predictable and less subject to compliance disputes, Scavo said.
“It looks like a good move by Oracle,” agreed Duncan Jones, a vice president at Forrester Research. “It can’t fix its obsolete commercial model, but it can help some customers work around it—if they spend some money.”
The risk for customers is that “it’s probably a ‘till death do us part’ deal,” Jones added, “so check the prenup before you say ‘I do.’”