IBM i: Do You Own Your Power System’s Enterprise Enablement Licenses?

software licenseIn IBM parlance, Enterprise Enablement is the “…Capacity on Demand Advanced function that enables the system for 5250 online transaction processing.” It’s basically what allows you to run interactive green-screen applications on IBM i machines, and it is a machine dependent function.

Enterprise Enablement (EE) can be sold and set up for one or more processors or it can be sold and set up for all processors on your entire Power system (Full System Enterprise enablement). With a Full System Enterprise Enablement license, 100% of the processors are enabled for OLTP.

In its simplest form, Enterprise Enablement is a license for 5250 processing.

Where Enterprise Enablement licenses get tricky is when you’re upgrading a system you own or lease.

Since EE licenses can be expensive, many customers wonder if you can transfer your Enterprise Enablement licenses to new hardware when you upgrade. Here’s what I understand about owning and transferring EE licenses.

The EE license is a hardware feature that belongs to the Power systems machine not the owner of the machine, and it runs on a specific serial number.

Given that, here are the possible scenarios you can run into when you upgrade or replace your machine.

  • If you replace your machine or upgrade to a different serial number, you have to buy new Enterprise Enablement licenses, because you have changed your hardware
  • If you upgrade ¬†your machine with the same serial number, you can use the existing EE licenses because you’ll be running on the same serial #

Both of these situations would be true regardless of whether you lease or own the machine.

The key question as to whether you need new EE licenses is whether or not you are changing Power system serial numbers. If you’re changing serial numbers, you need new EE licenses. If you’re not changing serial number, you don’t need a new license.

This is my understanding of how the process works. If there are any IBMers out there who have additional information or a correction to this info, please feel free to email me at and I’ll be glad to post updated information.


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