Do You understand the implications of changes to your Oracle Java licensing?

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by | November 5, 2018

Important changes on Java licensing with big commercial implications!

Chances are that recent Oracle announcements regarding the licensing of it’s Java platform could effect your organisation in the coming months.  Nearly all organisations use Java in one form or another, whether internally or externally via a packaged solution.  So, it is critical that you have visibility of your entire Java deployment and understand the implications these changes will have on your future licensing requirements.

Oracle’s licensing changes could potentially effect your organisation depending on how Java is used and what category it falls into (e.g. free or chargeable). Organisations will need to identify every install and application that is running Java (e.g. Java SE 8) before January 2019.  After that business, commercial or production usage may well require a commercial license, this will obviously carry additional costs and potential non-compliance risk for audits in future years.

There are many versions and types of Java deployed. Java could have been installed automatically to support an application running on the desktop or an application sitting on a server in your Data Centre.  For example, if we assume that an organisation has 5,000 desktops and each requires a Java license from January 2019, this could equate to an annual subscription requirement of approximately £87,000 (using list price at time of writing).  This example only considers desktop deployments, with numbers in the data centre often considerably higher your costs could quickly spiral.

It is also important to note that over the past 2 years it has been widely reported that Oracle have been extending their license audit team, employing Java expertise which has been incorporated into their traditional audit processes. So the likelihood of your Oracle Java estate being audited will probably have increased too.

Key changes to Oracle’s Java licensing

Recent Oracle announcements regarding it’s Java platform have outlined how it will be supported and licensed in the future. Key areas to note are…

Commercial use of Oracle Java will be chargeable after January 2019, no further updates of Java SE 8 will be available.
Organisations will need to procure a long-term contract to accommodate critical bug and security fixes, as well as general maintenance.
Java SE 9 as well as Java SE 8 are free and available for redistribute on for general purpose computing. Java SE continues to be available under the Oracle Binary Code License (BCL) free of charge.
Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which is used for embedded devices or use of commercial features may require an embedded type license agreement.

We recommend that you review Oracle’s Java SE support roadmap, which can be found on their website at

First, understand your environment & the potential impact

Oracle’s announcements could have a serious commercial impact on your organisation, both in terms of your licensing requirements and financial penalties resulting from non-compliance found during an audit.  It is essential that you review and model the impact of these changes. We recommend you begin by considering the following…


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