How to Prep for New Updates to Oracle Java SE 8 Licensing

As explained in the original article Oracle will charge for Java starting in 2019, Oracle has announced that Java SE 8 public updates will no longer be available for "Business, Commercial or Production use" without a commercial license, effective January 2019.

But in June 2018, Oracle replaced its initial message with a new one, which changes how Oracle Java SE 8 customers can access product support, and bug/security fixes.

End of Public Updates for Oracle JDK 8

Oracle will not post further updates of Java SE 8 to its public download sites for commercial use after January 2019. Customers who need continued access to critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 8 or previous versions can get long term support through Oracle Java SE Subscription, or Oracle Java Desktop Subscription. For more information, and details on how to receive longer term support for Oracle JDK 8, please see the Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap.

How does this change impact your Oracle Java license management?

Oracle seems to understand that customers won’t want to purchase licenses for Java SE Advanced, Java SE Advanced Desktop or Java SE Suite if they only need to apply patches (for Bug and/or Security issues) and to access Support services.

Beginning in January 2019 for Java SE 8 as stated above, Oracle Java customers can subscribe to a specific licensing contract to access Support Services benefits.

However, there are three important factors for you to keep in mind:

  1. If you already have Java SE Advanced (or Advanced Desktop) or Java SE Suite licenses: Nothing changes. You’ll still have access to patches, bugs and security fixes, and Support Services for all versions of your Java SE product and any included features.
  2. If you are using a JDK release 8 without commercial features (meaning that you’re using the free release, Java SE) and you want to be able to access any patches (bugs, security, etc) and Support Services: You will have to purchase an Oracle Java SE Subscription or Oracle Java SE Desktop Subscription depending your usage requirements.
  3. If you plan to upgrade your JDK every 6 months to keep up to date: You won’t need to purchase any additional licenses to have access to patches and/or Support Services. Oracle explains on the Java website: "Since the release of Java 9, the Java platform has shifted to a six-month release cadence..."

What about the Oracle Java commercial features?

A commercial feature is a paid feature which allows you to use some of the many advanced Java items like Java Advanced Management Console or JRockit Flight Recorder, for example.

Upcoming Oracle Java licensing changes may cause potential issues if you’ve downloaded a package to use JDK and this package contains some commercial features (a package named Java SE doesn’t exist).

  • If you use only the JDK, you can assert you are using Java SE (it's free).
  • If you accidentally use a commercial feature, you are in fact now using Java SE Advanced or another edition - and you need to pay for that.

How do you know if you’re using the right Oracle Java license?

The safest way to avoid the risk of unexpected software costs is to use an automated Software Asset Management solution. A SAM tool can detect, collect, measure, and provide your compliance position related the Oracle Java changes.

Specialized technologies like an IT asset management tool and an Oracle license management tool are already built to take the surprise out of Oracle contracts and maintenance costs, and they ensure that you pay the lowest price for Oracle licensing.

 Oracle license management uses Oracle-verified data so you can be fully confident about the results. Get a clear view of your Oracle usage to make informed contract decisions and lower your maintenance costs. Have more questions? Reach out to one of our Oracle licensing specialists for advice!


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