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Micro Focus Commercial Licensing guide

Following this Micro Focus Commercial Licensing guide – be on the look out for our Academic, Government and non-profit, and Support guides soon!

Micro Focus Commercial Licensing guide

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

There are two agreement types for commercial businesses:

  • Volume License Agreement (VLA)
  • Master License Agreement (MLA)

Micro Focus Volume License Agreement

This is the entry level agreement for customers of any size; there’s no agreement to sign nor any purchase minimums. Licenses are transacted via the reseller channel and these partners can offer volume discounts based on transactional thresholds.

Most products are available as perpetual or subscription licenses however you may not mix and match within a product; licenses for each product must be all perpetual or all subscription.

Setting up the agreement

A click-through contract is set up when ordering from a reseller and you then receive a Micro Focus VLA customer number. All global locations can purchase under the same VLA number or each location may choose to setup their own.
Products can be installed before they are purchased but must be purchased within 30 days of install.

VLA Documents

VLA Terms and Conditions
VLA Program Guide
VLA Services Guide

Micro Focus Master Licensing Agreement

The MLA is aimed at large, global organisations and offers greater benefits than the VLA in return for long-term, high volume purchase commitments. These benefits include:

  • Higher discounts
  • Enhanced support
  • Price protection
  • Direct purchase option

The contract is signed between the customer and Micro Focus and lasts for two years, split into two equal annual sections. It is an evergreen contract – meaning it renews automatically.
Products must be purchased before being deployed – unlike the VLA. You can choose to order via a reseller or directly with Micro Focus – the contractual discount level is the same. Licenses deployed prior to purchase must then be ordered directly with Micro Focus within 30 days. Note that having an MLA precludes you from also purchasing via the VLA.
You can prorate support purchases based on the number of months remaining in the annual period.


The pricing level is set based on overall annual spend and additional discounts may be available when certain license specific thresholds are exceeded.

The typical purchase minimum is $1,000,000 net revenue to Micro Focus per year. However, with prior approval from Micro Focus, it is possible to join the MLA with a spend of just $100,000. There are 5 discount levels in total:

Subsidiaries can join an existing contract with a commitment of $5,000 net revenue to Micro Focus per year.

Price Protection

This caps the price increase on support renewals and additional purchases of existing licenses to 3% per annum. This doesn’t apply to non-compliant licenses, promo pricing, or additional services such as Premium Support.

MLA Documents

MLA Program guide
MLA membership form – North America
MLA membership form – EMEA
MLA membership form – EMEA (French)
MLA services guide

Concepts applicable to both VLA & MLA commercial licensing

Perpetual licenses

When you purchase perpetual licenses, you must purchase support for those licenses and any others you have acquired outside of this current agreement. Back maintenance will be charged on any licenses deemed to be non-compliant.


Support automatically renews. To prevent this, you must notify Micro Focus 30 days before the renewal date. You must place the renewal order with your reseller no less than 5 days before the renewal date – late orders may be charged an “order administration” fee of up to 20% of the renewal value. (There will be more information regarding support in our upcoming Micro Focus Licensing Support Guide).

Subscription licenses

Most products can be purchased as subscription licenses, which include 1-year of Business support. If you continue to use subscription licenses after the subscription period has ended, Micro Focus will expect you to purchase perpetual licenses for them.

Subscription licenses automatically renew. To prevent this, you must notify Micro Focus 30 days before the renewal date. You must place the renewal order with your reseller no less than 5 days before the renewal date; late orders may be charged an “order administration” fee of up to 20% of the renewal value.

Prior versions

All products are eligible for downgrade rights except those on the exclusion list. Previous and current versions may not be run simultaneously on the same license, other than for a 90-day transition period.
Licensing rules are based on the version you own, not the version you are running.

Business-to-Consumer licensing

Available for select products, business-to-consumer licensing allows organisations with large numbers of external users such as banks, utility companies etc. to purchase licenses at a discounted price. The definition of “consumer” in this scenario is:

any entity or person outside your organization to whom you provide services or goods as part of your normal business operations, except that it does not include your current or former employees, agents, contractors or suppliers

Inactive User pricing

Inactive User pricing is available for certain products. For purposes of such pricing, a User (which is defined in the applicable product EULA) is considered to be “Inactive” when the system has disabled the person’s (or device’s) ability to authenticate for more than 120 continuous days.

Micro Focus Hosting

There is a Hosting add-on available for both the VLA and MLA programs. This is aimed at organisations who offer hosted services, based on Micro Focus product, to their users.


On top of the VLA/MLA requirements, organisations must sign the “Hosting Service Addendum” and there is a minimum purchase of $5,000 (gross revenue to Micro Focus) per annum.

Hosting Services Agreement

This is a separate agreement, direct from Micro Focus, that allows organisations to track software on a monthly basis and pay quarterly.

Hosting documents

Hosting Service Addendum

Further Reading

Following on from this Micro Focus Commercial Licensing guide, you may enjoy these articles too:
Getting to know Micro Focus
Micro Focus metrics: An audit story
Micro Focus audit: Customer win

About Rich Gibbons

Rich has been in the world of IT and software licensing since 2003, having been a software sales manager for a VAR, a Microsoft licensing endorsed trainer, and now an ITAM analyst looking at software licensing and cloud.

A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!

Connect with Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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