Last year, Oracle announced changes to how Java is licensed for use in businesses. That announcement caused confusion and questions such as “can my company keep using our Java based software”, “do I have to pay for something now”, and sometimes “what is Java, anyway”? We’d like to clear up the confusion.
What is Java?
In the context of Oracle’s announcement, Java is software that other applications might to run. Other programs might use Java to draw on the screen, perform calculations, or exchange information with another program. Oracle writes the most commonly used version of Java and applications can use it or another implementation. For you, the person using the software, the important point to remember is that “Some applications need Java to run correctly”.
Will our programs stop working?
Anything that is already working will continue to work.
Oracle isn’t the only version of Java, though it does control the reference implementation. Others, such as OpenJDK and Adopt JDK are also available. New computers have been shipping with Adopt OpenJDK for the past few months and we have not seen any compatibility issues.
Some programs ship an embedded version of Java, paid for by the authors of the software. Those applications aren’t impacted by this licensing change, though new versions may change.
Do we need to pay for Java now?
Oracle stopped releasing free updates to Java in April. Programs continued to work using Oracle’s implementation, but new updates aren’t available without purchasing a commercial license.
After April, Oracle’s implementation of Java is only available via a paid subscription. If your application requires Oracle’s Java implementation, it might stop working on newer releases and require a commercial license.
In short, your company would only need to purchase something if there is a requirement for Oracle’s specific implementation of Java, which is rare. If you do run into an issue that requires a commercial license, Capstone can help decide on next steps. Email us at [email protected] to get started, or contact your account manager.