Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Do you use Oracle Java 17? Be careful because your license agreement will change

Assess the impact now to plan for alternative solutions. 

How can we protect the budget from commercial uses under the new contract for Oracle Java 17.

In September 2023, Oracle released Oracle Java SE 21, the latest LTS (Long Term Support) implementation of the world's most widely used development platform, under an NFTC license and with free support until September 2026 (after that date, you will need to purchase a support plan from Oracle).

Why should this news be of interest to those involved in licensing? This is because only one year of free updates(until a September 2024) will remain for Oracle Java SE 17, after which all versions of Java 17 with update 13 or higher will be licensed under the terms of the OTN Agreement and no longer under those of the NFTC Agreement.

Here we have delved into the OTN and NFTC contracts: in summary, OTN (Oracle Technology License Agreement) is the contract that covers Oracle Java SE 8u211 up to Oracle Java SE 16. Unlike NFTC, it requires you to license any commercial use (except for certain contracted uses noted under "License Rights and Restrictions").

The change of contract will have important consequences: from September 2024 all future updates of Java SE 17 will be licensed under OTN and thus will no longer be allowed to be used WITHOUT a commercial subscription. The NFTC license will only be available for Java versions 17.0.1 to 17.0.12, but with no longer the ability to receive support.

The risks associated with the contractual change

If you do not want to take out a commercial subscription for your Java SE 17 installations-considering also the possible high costs associated with the new employee metric -you need to start by understanding what the impact of the contract change will be on your environment.

First, one needs to note how many Java SE 17 installations within one's environment might fall under commercial uses and how many of them would fall under the free uses provided by OTN.

A SINGLE Java SE 17 installation for commercial use, in fact, could be expensive.

If we consider that the monthly price for Java SE starts at USD 15 per user (up to 1,000 employees) and goes up to USD 5.25 per user in case of 49,999 employees, a company with 5,000 employees (and here again the concept of "employee" is very broad) would face a monthly cost of USD 10.5/user or USD 52,500.

In conclusion, the total cost could then be around $630,000 per year, regardless of how much Java SE 17 is used in the company.

Assessments to be made

With less than a year to go, we recommend that you sound out your environment to see which hosts are running Java SE 17 and to check what you’re using the application for.

In fact, we remind you that the following do not require a license:

  • use for personal purposes
  • development use (provided that the application is not in production and therefore developed for internal use only)
  • Oracle-approved product uses (we can find them here)
  • use on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

Where commercial uses are present, some alternatives can be considered:

  • upgrade to v21, which is under NFTC
  • make sure to use v17 with updates up to 12, which is still under NFTC (but beware, it is no longer supported)
  • remove Java or switch to Open Source versions (OpenJDK) where use is free (but not supported)

On the scale of options available as an alternative to paying for commercial uses of Java SE 17 a few elements should be taken into account:

  • the potential internal costs for any migration/version upgrade
  • the costs of maintaining the status quo to avoid security risks associated with versions that are no longer supported
  • how much control you have over your installations: as mentioned, all it takes is for an employee or contractor to install Java SE 17 with the latest updates at any time to have to license all users

For the last point, the activation of SAM processes of continuous compliance verification with alert setting can mitigate the risk of unintended uses of Java SE 17 (or any other paid version).

At WEGG, we have decades of experience with Oracle licensing and contracts, so contact us if you need to do an assessment on your environment to find out what Java SE versions are running and evaluate alternative scenarios to optimize Oracle Java licensing-related spending.

02-s pattern02

Vorresti scoprire se hai Oracle Java 17 in esecuzione nel tuo ambiente?