Are you up to speed with the recent changes to Java licensing and the impact these may have on your business?

Published: March 25, 2019

The release of Java 11 last September marked the end of free public updates for Java without a subscription. Java 8 is the most common installed release as both 9 and 10 were interim releases only. Java 8 received its last public update in January. A Java licence and subscription is now required to keep the software patched and secure.

Older versions such as Java 6 and 7 are non-compliant if they’ve been patched without a license. The last public update for Java 7 (update 80) was April 2017. There have been numerous security fixes since, some serious. Java 6 without a license won’t have been patched legally since update 45 in 2013!

Unpatched Java isn’t an option for most businesses as vulnerable software raises security concerns and is at odds with regulations such as GDPR. The cost of falling foul of GDPR or being caught out during a licence audit could destroy a business. It isn’t worth the risk. Per machine, a Java subscription costs no more than most anti-virus software. It’s a small price to pay for security and keeping up to date. There are other benefits too in terms of additional features such as tools to help manage your Java deployments.

You can keep up to date if you’re prepared to use the free community edition (Open JDK) and migrate every 6 months to keep in step with Oracle’s more frequent release cadence. That might be possible for some users but will be impractical in most cases due to the constant need to code, test and migrate every 6 months. Open JDK and other third party alternatives will also diverge over time from the Oracle commercial release.

To determine your most economic subscription model, you will need to consider how Java is being used by your internal systems and third-party applications, both on the desktop and server-side. There might be opportunities to optimise hardware and virtualisation for consolidation purposes.

Please call us on 01364 654100 for assistance in determining requirements and setting up your Java subscriptions.

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