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What To Know About Java Licensing Changes

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Oracle (the owner of Java) announced that, starting April 2019, the popular Java version 8 would no longer receive any updates; and that Java version 11 (and later) would only be available for commercial “subscribers” (with a required annual fee).

Since Oracle’s version of Java has been the one most prominently available for download, it is extremely likely that the version of Java installed on your/your users/your clients systems is Oracle’s edition. Oracle’s changes may require you to change, or license, the version of Java you have installed.

Java was developed in 1991 at Sun Microsystems with the programming principles of “Simple, Robust, Portable, Platform-independent, Secured, High Performance, Multithreaded, Architecture Neutral, Object-Oriented, Interpreted and Dynamic”. Its primary objective was to be a portable, simple, and secure programming language. Since its introduction, Java has become one of the most widely adopted programming languages, used by over 9 million developers and running on 7 billion devices worldwide.
Part of its popularity can be traced to the fact that it has been open source software since 2006; however, in 2018 Oracle announced a series of licensing changes that has implications for all users of Java. Revelation Software uses Java as the programming language for its Engine Server and Telnet Server functionality, and so these changes may impact you and your clients/companies as well.

In order to potentially simplify the management of Java for our users, OpenInsight version 10.0.8 and later will include the OpenJDK JRE for Java (currently version 11); users can choose to allow the OpenInsight 10 installer set up this version of Java on their server system, or the installer can leave the JRE unconfigured if the user wishes to use a different solution for Java as described below.

To explain further, your options now include:
– Contracting with Oracle for a commercial annual license: This will include support and updates. For larger corporations, this may be a suitable solution;
– Switch to one of the remaining open source providers of Java (with or without paid support), known as OpenJDK: This is the recommended solution for customers who do not wish to contract directly with Oracle, and can be automatically installed via the OpenInsight 10 installation process;
– Remain on the (no-longer-supported) Java version 8: Since this has reached the end of Long Term Support, this option may potentially leave you/your users/your clients vulnerable to security issues that may arise in the future. This is not usually recommended.

For additional explanations of the licensing changes, and the various options (including URLs for downloads), please read this:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nFGazvrCvHMZJgFstlbzoHjpAVwv5DEdnaBr_5pKuHo/preview#

OpenJDK providers include Linux distros, AdoptOpenJDK, Amazon, Azul, BellSoft, IBM, jClarity, Red Hat, SAP, and others; versions of OpenJDK Java can be downloaded from any of these sources. For example:

https://adoptopenjdk.net/
https://aws.amazon.com/corretto/
https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/openjdk/8/html/openjdk_8_for_windows_getting_started_guide/getting_started_with_openjdk_for_windows