Direct Collection of Oracle Inventory

FlexNet Manager Suite 2022 R1 (On-Premises)
The phrase 'direct collection of inventory' refers to techniques where an inventory beacon connects directly to a data source (possibly through an API) to collect information. In the case of Oracle, the method requires that FlexNet Beacon (the code engine on an inventory beacon) connects to the Oracle Database (using an OLEDB client library) through the Oracle Net Listener, and collects the available information as database inventory.
Important: The direct collection inventory method only gathers information about database instances. It does not, for example, collect any hardware inventory data nor software inventory about any other products. This means that the direct collection inventory method alone is insufficient to correctly determine license consumption for Oracle products:
  • For licensing of database instances and options, hardware information (such as the count of cores) is missing, making this inventory method (used alone) unsuitable for managing, for example, Oracle Processor licenses
  • For other products such as Oracle Fusion Middleware, there is no software inventory available from the Oracle Database (although inventory for Oracle Fusion Middleware can be collected separately by the FlexNet inventory agent, as outlined in Special Handling of Oracle Fusion Middleware).
  • No inventory of database instances that are in standby mode is possible.
This means that, if you choose to use direct collection of Oracle inventory (and want to manage Oracle licenses), you must augment the approach with other ways of gathering hardware and general software inventory. You could achieve this, for example, through third-party products, from which you import inventory into FlexNet Manager Suite to allow for data integration and license consumption calculations. Alternatively, reconsider local Agent-Based Collection of Oracle Inventory.
Tip: Using a locally-installed FlexNet inventory agent solves all of the above issues. For example, it can return inventory of Oracle Fusion Middleware and report this in the standard archive for handing off to Oracle GLAS at audit time. FlexNet Manager Suite is verified by Oracle for collecting inventory of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

The direct method for direct collection of Oracle inventory does not inherently include any process for discovery of Oracle installations. Details of an Oracle database instance must be already available to allow the direct connection to proceed. Therefore, before using direct collection of Oracle inventory, you must decide on, and implement, a discovery process.

Four distinct methods of providing discovery details are available:
  • Network discovery: You can set rules so that the FlexNet Beacon engine probes the network to discover appropriate servers. It tests those servers for the presence of one or more Oracle listeners, from which it collects access details for the database instances known to each listener. The inventory beacon then accesses the discovered servers immediately for inventory gathering; and it also uploads the discovery results along with the inventory results. This approach produces discovered device records in FlexNet Manager Suite.
    Note: This discovery approach is supported only for earlier versions of Oracle Database:
    • For version 9i and below, it is recommended that you have set a listener password. If you have done so, you need to provide this password as part of the credentials needed for this approach to work.
    • For versions 10g and 11g, it was best practice not to set a listener password, since the default behavior was changed to disallow remote connections and rely on operating system authentication for local access. If you wish to use direct collection of inventory with these versions, you must supply a listener password to turn on support for remote connections.
    • Making a remote administration connection to the listener (using the listener's administration password) to discover the services known to the listener is not possible from Oracle 12c onwards. Therefore, for Oracle Database 12c and beyond, you cannot use network discovery in conjunction with direct collection of Oracle Database inventory. (This does not affect the remaining discovery methods, below, which already provide the service name for each Oracle database instance; and, together with the credentials saved in the inventory beacon's Password Manager, these are the only details required for the listener to broker remote connection to the database instance to allow for inventory gathering.)
  • Using tnsnames.ora: This is a standard Oracle file that identifies database instances and connection details. You may take a copy from your Oracle server and save it on the inventory beacon, or you may use the OEM adapter to create one. When you first trigger direct inventory collection using this method of discovery, there are no matching discovered devices visible in the web interface of FlexNet Manager Suite; but as the first inventory upload occurs, discovery information is also uploaded, and matching discovered device and inventory device records are created in the same import process.
  • Manually-created records: You can manually enter the listener and services information for each Oracle server through the web interface of FlexNet Manager Suite.
  • Amazon connector: This connector does the work of discovering installations of Oracle Database running in Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The data imported from the connector automatically creates records for both a discovered device and an inventory device. The discovered device can then be used as a target for direct collection of Oracle Database inventory, with all the usual prerequisites (such as recording credentials for each database in the password store on the inventory beacon that accesses the database, and also using the Cloud regions tab of the Beacon Properties page to narrow the management range of each inventory beacon).
More information about each discovery method is available in the appropriate topics:

When discovered device records are available from a previously-completed discovery process, you may also choose to conduct direct inventory collection using those existing records. In this case, the existing discovery information is downloaded from the central application server to the inventory beacon, and used for direct inventory gathering. In operation, this is identical to the case with manually-created records, so see Using Manual Discovery with Direct Inventory.

Prerequisites for direct collection of Oracle inventory

The following must be in place for collection of Oracle inventory by direct connection from an inventory beacon to the Oracle Database:
  1. You have licensed the FlexNet Manager for Datacenters product (for details, see Appendix F: Features Enabled in FlexNet Manager for Datacenters).
  2. You have deployed and configured one or more inventory beacon(s) in your network, such that at least one inventory beacon can access each of your target Oracle servers. For detailed information about inventory beacons, their deployment, and configuration, see the topics under What Is an Inventory Beacon? in the online help. You initiate deployment of an inventory beacon by navigating to Discovery & Inventory > Beacons.
  3. You have set up the accounts required for operation and recorded these in the Password Manager on the appropriate inventory beacon (for more information, see Credentials for Direct Collection of Oracle Inventory).
  4. You have downloaded and installed on each inventory beacon the appropriate version of the 32-bit Oracle Provider for OLEDB used by the FlexNet Beacon engine to connect the Oracle Database. This driver is included the Oracle Data Access Components (ODAC), and must be the version that is compatible with the target Oracle Database accessed by that inventory beacon.
    • To determine the appropriate driver for your target version of Oracle Database, use your Oracle support account to access the OLEDB driver compatibility matrix from Another version of the compatibility matrix (maintained by a third-party consulting organization) is available at The ODAC versions are available for download from Oracle.
    • Each inventory beacon may have exactly one version of the OLEDB drivers installed. As a result, if you have two (or more) different Oracle Database servers that require different versions of the OLEDB drivers, each must be managed by a separate inventory beacon. Since inventory beacons are assigned distinct subnets to manage, this means that if the incompatible Oracle Database products are installed within the same subnet, you must split the subnet to separate those Oracle servers, and then assign each new subnet to a distinct inventory beacon, each of which has the appropriate OLEDB driver matching the target Oracle Database version.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R1