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Pervasive PSQL v11 Licensing Primer

The licensing for Pervasive PSQL v11 can get a bit confusing at times for certain configurations, so we have put together this description of how Pervasive licenses their product.

Please read this information carefully! Pervasive Software does NOT allow product returns on their software once it is delivered! If you order the wrong product, you may need to order the correct version and have no recourse for returns. Goldstar Software is the premier reseller in the United States, but we must still work within the rules provided by Pervasive Software. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us or Actian directly at 800-BTRIEVE *before* you place your order!

If needed, you can view the Pervasive license documents here.

License Types

The Pervasive PSQL database can be purchased in two license types, either the Workgroup Engine (WGE) or the Client/Server Engine (CSE), often just called the Server Engine. Licenses are purchased and used on ONE computer only, so if you have two servers, you'll need two server licenses.

The Workgroup Engine is designed for stand-alone machines, machines accessing local database files (like in a POS system), and for small networks of less than 5 concurrent users. You can NOT build a multi-user system for a WGE for more than 5 users at the same time! If you think you will expand to more than 5 users at some point, we recommend purchasing a CSE instead. (There is an upgrade path, but the discount is minimal.)

The Server Engine is designed for a multi-user environment and offers a number of additional features over the WGE that pertain mainly to performance and scalability:

  • Operating System Security: The WGE does not enforce any OS security of any kind. The CSE is properly locked down based on OS user access rights.
  • XIO Cache: This driver-level cache is only available in the 32-bit Server Engine, providing better performance for 32-bit CSE systems with more than 4GB of memory.
  • Asynchronous I/O Disk Writes: This method of writing data to the disk provides increased performance for the CSE only.
  • 64-Bit Capability: The WGE is available in 32-bit only. The CSE can leverage all of the improvements in the 64-bit memory model.

License Platforms and Bit Levels

The Workgroup Engine is available only in a 32-bit Windows version.

The Server Engine is available in four distinct platforms:

  • Windows 32-bit (Win32, also called x86 by Pervasive)
  • Windows 64-bit (Win64, also called x64 by Pervasive)
  • Linux 32-bit (Lin32, also called x86 by Pervasive)
  • Linux 64-bit (Lin64, also called x86_64 by Pervasive for some strange reason)

Starting with Pervasive PSQL v11 Service Pack 1, all licenses are platform-agnostic. This means that your purchased license will work on ANY platform of PSQL v11 that you install.

Note: It *is* possible to run the 32-bit Windows engine (and license) on a 64-bit operating system -- it will just run in 32-bit mode with all the capabilities and limitations that mode provides.

Workgroup Engine User Count Increases

The Workgroup Engine, as previously stated, supports a maximum of 5 concurrent users. It should be licensed for the number of concurrent workstations that will be accessing the database engine simultaneously. The current "base" licenses available are 1U, 3U, and 5U.

If you purchase a smaller user count, then you can increase the user count by adding a User Count Increase (UCI) in quantities of +1U or +2U. Note that you cannot get over 5 concurrent users -- this is a stated maximum for the WGE. Thus, buying a 5U license and trying to add +2U will result in an error.

Server Engine User Count Increases

The Server Engine can be licensed for a number of users starting at 6U and going up from there. The current "base" licenses available are 6U, 10U, 20U, 50U, 100U, 250U, and 500-User. However, you can have only ONE base license installed on a server at a time.

If you purchase a smaller user count, then you can increase the user count by adding a User Count Increase (UCI) in quantities of 6U, 10U, 20U, 50U, 100U, 250U and 500U. Thus, it is possible to build a 12U, 16U, 18U, 22U, 24U or other intermediate user counts. However, economies of scale will kick in due to the reduced pricing of the CSE for the larger user counts, so this seldom makes sense. In many areas (except, perhaps for the 30-User mid-level engine), it is much cheaper to simply over-size the license to the next user count and avoid using UCI's. As such, we recommend checking all of your options for additional price breaks.

Server Engine Upgrades

The Server Engine can also leverage upgrade discounts, if you are upgrading from an older version of Pervasive to PSQL v11. (Upgrades are not available for the Workgroup Engines.) These discounts range from 10% to 50% depending on your existing database version. You are eligible to upgrade to the SAME total license count you have today, or to the NEXT USER COUNT HIGHER. However, you can ONLY upgrade to the "base" licenses of 6U, 10U, 20U, 50U, 100U, 250U and 500U. You cannot use an upgrade discount towards a UCI.

Sample Workgroup Engine License Configurations

Let's review a few examples in configuring the Workgroup Engine:

Single, Stand-Alone Machine: Simply purchase a 1-User WGE (P11WGE1).

Four Users Accessing Shared Data on a Windows Server with Processes Running on the Server: If something will be running on the server that accesses the database, like an automated data transfer application, then you will really have 5 computers total accessing the system, and you'll need 5 licenses. Purchase a 5U WGE, install it to the server, and place the Pervasive client on the 4 workstations. This is the best configuration for performance and stability. (P11WGE5)

Four Users Accessing Shared Data on a Windows Server with NO Processes Running on the Server: With the server not running any Pervasive applications, you don't need to include it in your user count. Like the above, you would need to license ONE machine, the database server,but you only need 4 licenses. If you never expect to install a fifth computer, you can buy a 3U base license and a +1U UCI (for a total of 4 users). Install these licenses to the server and put the client on the others. (P11WGE3, P11WGE+1)

Four Users Accessing Shared Data on a Windows Server AND Accessing Local Database Files: This configuration is common for POS applications or other such environments where the machines need to work standalone or otherwise store files locally. This is actually a combination of the above scenario and the stand-alone scenario. For this configuration, the server (or primary gateway machine) must be licensed for at least 4 users, so you'll either need 5U or 3U+1U for the "main" machine. Each POS system will then need a local engine for accessing its own local files, so the other three computers will each need a 1U WGE. (P11WGE5 and three P11WGE1)

Four Users Accessing Shared Data on a non-Windows Server with NO Processes Running on the Server: With the server not running any Pervasive applications, you can even leverage a NetWare or NAS device for storage of the database files. You would purchase a WGE with licenses for 4 users (3U, +1UCI) and install it to the fastest machine. Unfortunately, the current Pervasive Client does not handle this combination correctly, so you must ALSO install and license the Workgroup Engine on each machine. Each of these can be a 1U Workgroup Engine (P11WGE1). Note that for this to work properly, you will need to use the Gateway Locator tool to lock down the gateway for the database directory to the machine with the database engine.

If you have other Workgroup Engine configurations that you would like clarification on, please let us know!

Sample Server Engine License Configurations

Let's review a few examples in configuring the Server Engine:

Windows 32-bit Server with a Maximum of 10 Concurrent Users: Purchase a 10U Server Engine for the server, and install the Pervasive client to each workstation. (P11W-010)

Windows 64-bit Server with a Maximum of 35 Concurrent Users: You can either purchase a 50U Server Engine (and have room for 15 more), or a 20U Server Engine and a +20U UCI and have room for 5 more. (It is possible, but simply NOT cost-effective to buy a 20U engine, a +10U UCI, and a +6U UCI.) (P11W-050, or P11W-020 and P11W-020UCI)

Linux 64-bit Server with 18 Concurrent Users, and Three Laptops that Can Store Local Copies of the Data: The server side is easy -- get a 20U Server Engine and install the Pervasive client to each workstation. However, for the three laptops which will be able to take data "on the road", get three additional 1U WGE licenses. (P11W-020 and three P11WGE1)

Finding the Right Solution For Product Upgrades

Upgrades increase the confusion a bit, and it may be challenging to find the cheapest option. Avoid the confusion, and let us help you determine what is needed! Contact us with the following information, and we can determine the best way to make your upgrade happen:

  • Original Pervasive Engine Version
  • Original Pervasive Engine User Count(total user counts, if UCI's involved)
  • Desired Pervasive Engine Version and Platform
  • Desired Pervasive Engine User Count

Be sure to do this for EACH server that you have, and we will ensure that we find you the right licensing in the end!

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