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It’s time to figure out how “Oracle Java New Licensing Model” operating


Oracle announced in 2018 that updates for Java 8 would become chargeable from January 2019,
meaning Java SE commercial users must buy a license in order to receive updates.

Understandably, many organizations are still under the impression that Java is free. The root of this misconception comes from the fact that Java was originally developed and offered under proprietary software licenses by Sun Microsystems. By 2007, Sun relicensed most of Java under a General Public License (GPL) which allowed users to modify, use, and copy Java software for free.

But in 2010, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems and progressively commercialized Java in order to see a return on their investment. Java hasn’t been entirely free since Oracle got its hands on it and introduced the Oracle Binary Code License (BCL) Agreement for Java SE.

On commercial features, the Oracle BCL agreement states:

“You may not use the Commercial Features for running programs, Java applets or applications in
your internal business operations or for any commercial or production purpose, […]. If you want to
use the Commercial Features for any purpose other than as permitted in this Agreement, you must
obtain a separate license from Oracle.”

Changes to Commercial Java SE Model

Previously, there were three Java SE products known as Java SE Advanced, Java SE Advanced Desktop, and Java SE Suite. These models required commercial users to purchase upfront licenses and pay annual support.  In January, those three models will officially be replaced by two new subscription-based models: Java SE Subscription and Java SE Desktop Subscription.

These changes include:

  • New Java SE Subscription Licensing Structure
  • New Java SE Subscription Pricing
  • Changes to Public Updates

If you are using Java SE for non-commercial use and under a very restrictive scenario, you might have the rights to use Java SE for free. However, activating and using any ‘commercial features’ of Java requires a license, so it is worth confirming that you are not using any commercial features and are in accordance with Oracle’s Java licensing policies.
Oracle customers of Oracle products that use the Oracle JRE or Oracle JDK are entitled, without the need to separately purchase Oracle Java SE Subscriptions, to the following:

  • Download and use Oracle Java SE updates, patches and tools for use with the licensed Oracle product. Customers are only entitled to download such Java SE versions as are required by their Oracle product.
  • Install and use such Java SE updates, patches and tools to develop or deploy an Oracle product.
    Customers can file service requests for Java issues against an Oracle product, but not directly against Java SE.
  • Oracle JFR may be used when requested by Oracle Support for troubleshooting Oracle products, on any supported Oracle product.

Oracle products are licensed as server products, but also contain client applications or client-side libraries. For such Oracle products, Java SE updates and patches can be installed on the client side and used to run only client applications provided by Oracle, or custom client applications built using client libraries provided as part of the Oracle product and accessing it through a proprietary, product-specific protocol.

Calculate Your Java SE Licensing Requirements

Under the new Java SE subscription models, customers can choose between as below.

  • Server deployments will use a processor-based metric (CPU)
  • Desktop deployments will use a Named User Plus-based metric (NUP)

These metrics are currently defined in the same way as standard Oracle technology products.


New Java SE Pricing for CPU and NUP licensing

Conclusion
If you are an existing commercial Java SE user, you should conduct an internal assessment of your current Java deployment and the commercial features you are using to:

Ensure you are compliant and properly licensed based on the number of desktops or servers where Java is deployed. Determine whether switching to the new subscription model would be more cost-effective based on your current annual support fees with Java.

If you anticipate your requirements for commercial use of Java to grow, you may want to consider switching to the subscription model. If you decide to switch, you can use the processor (CPU) or NUP metric to determine whether the server or desktop-based subscription is best for your environment based on your licensing requirements.

Reference
1) Support Entitlement for Java SE When Used As Part of Another Oracle Product (Doc ID 1557737.1)
2) Using JAVA? Here’s how Oracle new 2019 Java SE licensing affects you by upperedge.com

Author
Hi, Myself Rajesh from 4i Apps DBA team with 5+ years of expertise.

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