The ITAM Review

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Oracle to charge for Java from Jan 2019

Oracle have announced that, “after January 2019”, Java SE 8 public updates will not be available for “business, commercial or production use” without a commercial license.

Organisations will now need to take stock of all their software running Java SE 8 and start to work out what potential bill they are looking at next year.

Finding Java

The Java package – that will already be available within your organisation – includes a tool called “Java Usage Tracker” that will report on:

  • The Java versions
  • Application name
  • Type (applet, command line etc.)
  • Location

And more. While this may seem like the perfect tool to help find what Java you have, and where, there is one big caveat:

Oracle Java Usage Tracker requires a commercial license – even though it is included in the installer for the free components.

How does your SAM tool handle Java?

What’s on the roadmap?

The Oracle Java SE Roadmap site tells us that:

“… Oracle will not post further updates of Java SE 8 to its public download sites for commercial use after January 2019. Customers who need continued access to critical bug fixes and security fixes as well as general maintenance for Java SE 8 or previous versions can get long term support through Oracle Java SE Advanced, Oracle Java SE Advanced Desktop, or Oracle Java SE Suite”

New release schedule

Oracle, possibly taking a leaf out of Microsoft’s book, are changing the Java SE release cadence to every 6 months – rather than the 3 years between Java SE 8 and 9. This change will take effect from September 2018.


For organisations that, for one reason or another, are unable to upgrade all their Java to the “latest major releases of the Oracle JDK or OpenJDK” – what are the costs going to look like?

A look at the April 2018 price list shows:

  Per NUP* Support Per CPU Support
Java SE Advanced Desktop $40 $8.80 N/A N/A
Java SE Advanced £100 $22 $5,000 $1,100
Java SE Suite $300 $66 $15,000 $3,300

*Named User Plus

It seems likely this will be a significant cost for many companies, and an unbudgeted cost at that.

Next steps

You need to understand your situation. How much Java do you use, where and why?

From there, looking at whether some can be retired or perhaps a different tool can be used in its place.

Finally, for the Java that must remain – what is that going to start costing you from January 2019?

Not the first time

Back in 2016, it was reported that Oracle had started making moves to turn Java into more of a money spinner for the organisation. Apparently, Oracle License Management Services (LMS) hired 20 Java specialists to ramp up audits in that area. These tended to focus around the fact that while some parts of Java SE are free, some aren’t…and the free parts are only free for “general purpose computing” – a loosely defined term open to interpretation.

Further Reading

Oracle Price list –

Java Usage Tracker –

Java release cadence –

Java Release Notice –

About Rich Gibbons

Rich has been in the world of IT and software licensing since 2003, having been a software sales manager for a VAR, a Microsoft licensing endorsed trainer, and now an ITAM analyst looking at software licensing and cloud.

A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!

Connect with Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. Pavel Solopov says:

    It isn’t fully correct to say “Oracle charge for Java since January 2019”.
    Currently updates for Java v6 and v7 are available for commercial versions only.
    More than, it isn’t available if you don’t have support, so have to make some efforts to be incompliance with Java.

  2. Amit says:

    Nice post. A quick question – how do we interpret the numbers mentioned in the price list? Can’t follow the difference between the two support columns? I assume “Java SE Advanced” refers to server deployments. Is the price per server and the support cost is per server per year?


  3. George says:

    Oracle knows it’s dying and is desperate.

  4. Lucas says:

    This is a great way to kill off Java completely. The industry already recognizes Java as antiquated and riddled with security holes. This should be the push needed to move on.

  5. George says:

    You do realize that Java 10 is now available and still free and is completely compatible with Java 8?

  6. Jamie Aimes says:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Java.

  7. blahblah says:

    @ Lucas … plus, colleges are starting to push Python instead of Java. At the college I’m at for IS degree(s) (undergrad IS and now MIS) they shoved me through Java for intro and advanced programming. Then they changed intro to Python, and I had to take intro again, b/c a lot of data science / data mining classes use Python tools / libs.. not Java. Java is taught as middle-ware OO, but the big push in business world these days is big data, data science, AI, machine learning, and Python provides an easy-to-learn functional language that has lots of libs already wrote to leverage a lot of that w/o getting mucked around in C-style OO language syntax. I think there’s going to be quite a few companies having a wake-up call when their IS / IT dept’s show them a subscription bill for the Java they use, and start to look for another language to switch things over to. There’s lots of other free languages chomping at the bit to be used. Progamming languages are a commodity these days. Oracle wanting to charge folks to use and support Java is either the most ballsy or dumbest thing I’ve heard to date. Larry Ellison is grasping I think.

  8. JAVA fan says:

    This is the end of Java. RIP

  9. Foobar says:

    I think it will be more correct to remind people that the OpenJDK is completely open source and free. You will have to pay if you need to support a specific version for more than 6 months

    @Lucas and @blahblah: the TIOBE index still shows that Java is the most popular programming language, it’s also still evolving so no, it’s not antiquated. Saying it’s riddled with security holes is misleading. The platform has some issues, like any other, the part that had most security issues is the applets, the same way flash had many security issues, and no sane person would have started a project with applet or flash for the last few years.

    The Java platform has a very large set of tools and libraries and is still a very good choice for many use cases today.

    But yes, to me Oracle is a terrible company and it’s not a good thing that they own Java.

  10. Ben says:

    Is that NUP, a one time charge or per year?

  11. Dan says:

    @blahblah A few points

    – Just because Python is gaining traction in part because of its use in data science uses in businesses doesn’t mean that all the uses for a language like Java don’t go away. There are still a massive number of companies that use Java in new projects and existing ones
    – Python is not a functional language
    – Python learners not wanting to”mucked around in C-style OO language syntax” is the reason many projects are destinated to fail when someone who just knows Python and has this mindset builds it. There are very good reasons for using the paradigms that have been around for a while and many times its because once a piece of software starts to grow beyond a few months hacking around you get an incredibly hard system to follow

  12. Daniel says:

    First, it looks like Oracle just wants to kill off Java 8 platforms because they have had Java 9 and Java 10 out for a bit and don’t want to maintain 3 different major versions (and who would?) for free.

    Second, to those talking about Python versus Java, you are talking about two great languages that have two vastly different purposes and one language doesn’t supplant the other, just as Java hasn’t supplanted C, C++, or assembly. IS and CS are two very different degrees and anyone with an IS, which is usually tied to the College of Business, is going to have an emphasis on scripting languages and those that are like scripting languages, as compared to a more “hardcore” language like ASM, C, C++, or Java.

    To say that you have an IS/MIS and they pushed Python, thus python is the preferred development language of business is ludicrous because IS/MIS are not programming (development) degrees… that would be CS/MCS and maybe some EE programs. If you really want to know what business programs in, talk to business or get a CS/MCS. If you want to know that business writes quick scripts in, only then would an IS/MIS likely know. As a CS and MCS holder who has developed a lot of software, I’ll tell you that actual, full-blown, complex software can be and is made in many different languages, but few use much if any Python, Perl, or Ruby in the business world because, as Dan said, such languages can be very difficult to read, maintain, build, and reuse, especially as they get very large (which tends to be more because it is unlikely that they were written by programmers who were properly structuring it for such a matter… those are languages often used for small things by people who aren’t programmers… like physicists, website developers, etc.). Java is huge, Java is well used, and as nice as other languages are, Java isn’t being supplanted by any of the newer scripting languages.

  13. Rob van der Aar says:

    Please check this site for correct information about Java:

  14. Anuj Kalra says:

    Thanks for the article but I’m still a little confused.
    From what I understand, the problem is for java se 8 only. Then, those who use the latest versions (v11) wouldn’t have to pay right?

    Also what does it mean for people/companies doing Android development? I mean that would be considered commercial use, wouldn’t it?

  15. Nikhil says:

    What will happen to existing Java 8 users?
    I mean, if currently we are using java 8 for commercial use and we do not take license from Oracle. Then what will happen to my current installation after Januray 2019?
    Will I be able to use Java 8 with my old installation?
    Or will that installation be of no use?

  16. anthony says:

    Nikhil, as long as you don’t install updates after January 2019, your old installations will be fine.

  17. Steve J says:

    This is just like Novell owning Unix all over again . . . . .
    Either Oracle will sell Java entirely to some major competitors or it will go broke when the industry says “kjhkjh you Larry!”.

    Hadoop killed Teradata and is doing the same to outdated old Oracle . . .

  18. dibya says:

    C# , .Net Core went free and Java is making Developers life hard by charging more.

    What A Time to live in.

  19. Shayne says:

    $15K per CPU?

    What PLANET are these people from?

    Honestly, Java is a ball and chjain anyway. The productivity of our Java team is so much lower than our Python guys. When we need features, the python guys have things for us in days, whilst the Java guys can take months. And now Oracle wants to collect rent on this junk?

    Hell no…..

  20. Knosis says:

    Looks like Oraclees has updated their website (See the end of this post). Their website says it’s a monthly subscription.


    1. Java costs in the cloud: The potential hundreds of CPU’s needed during spikes will drive up costs of cloud computing exponentially. Billing could look like tens of thousands per month for a fairly small amount of use.

    2. If you are a start-up or a developer, Java becomes a major night-mare for legal problems, and unexpected costs.

    3. Oracle will expect to extract profits from newer releases as well. Software languages owned by a for profit, traded corporation are likely to be “leveraged” for maximal profit. Leverage is especially great when your clients are a captured audience. Java has a nice large captured audience that has been growing due to it’s support by public and private universities. The majority of Java developers were required to take Java to earn a degree in Computer Science and now support Oracles profit engine. Oracle is flexing its superiority granted by law to profit from that leverage.

    — What a beautiful profit model which has been very low cost for Oracle.

    4. Python and other interpreted languages, although easier to develop with, are not compiled languages. This means that they are compiled at runtime (the last minute) and are too slow to be considered for enterprise level use.

    5. The language used in Oracles website when describing who pays a monthly subscription fee does not exclude charges to non-commercial users.

    6. As you update your non-commercial version of Java in your laptop, Oracle makes it clear that open JDK may not be free in the future. Just in case you didn’t notice, the open JDK download site is owned by Oracle.

    7. In case you are a developer or a start-up, When considering your competition and future competition, you should question if using organizations and people will use your software when they discover the hidden costs. It is very likely, that if a good substitute exists that does not incur extra overhead, management, and costs, they will choose the other more stable and less expensive product.
    8. If you are a developer or a start-up, and your competition is using Java, it would be a great strategy to develop in other languages.

    Oracle may make a massive initial amount of cash, or maybe not.

    1. It will be difficult to extract it from developers, universities, companies and individuals who feel they are being extorted. 2. Law suits and the garbage collection industry will probably drag on for years as Oracle hunts down all of Java’s users.
    3. The victims will be sweet Grandmothers and Grandfathers who do not have the energy to fight the Oracle Giant.

    This is the end for Java. Thank you UC system for requiring me to take courses in Java.

    — From the Oracle website —
    Note that this has minor editing (4 words) to remove obfuscation of Oracles intent.

    Oracle Java SE 8 Release Updates

    Public updates for Oracle Java SE 8 will remain available for individual, personal use through the end of 2020.

    Public updates for Oracle Java SE 8 released after January 2019 will not be available for business, commercial or production use without a commercial license.

    If you are a CONSUMER using Java for individual, personal use, you will continue to have the same access to Oracle Java SE 8 updates as you do today through the end of 2020. In most instances, the Java-based applications you run are licensed separately by a company other than Oracle (for example, games you play on your PC are likely developed by a gaming company). These applications may run on the Java platform and be dependent on Oracle Java SE 8 updates beyond 2020. Accordingly, Oracle recommends you contact your application provider for details on how they plan to continue to provide application support to you.

    If you are a DEVELOPER, Oracle recommends you review the roadmap information for Java SE 8 and beyond and take appropriate action depending on the type of application you develop and your distribution model.

    If you are acting on behalf of an ENTERPRISE, Oracle recommends you review the roadmap information for Java SE 8 and beyond and begin to assess your ongoing Java support requirements in order to migrate to a later release or obtain a Java SE Subscription, as appropriate, on a timely basis.

    If you are an ORACLE CUSTOMER who is licensed to use Java SE as part of another Oracle product, you continue to have access to Oracle Java SE 8 updates beyond 2019 for use with those Oracle products, see this My Oracle Support (MOS) note for more information.
    Further information is available on these sites:

    Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap
    JavaFX and Other Java Client Roadmap Updates
    Java Client Roadmap Update (An Oracle White Paper, PDF)
    Getting Java updates when required by an Oracle Product(Requires Oracle Support Login)

  21. Piotr says:

    Perfect. The new reason for Python to grow towards Java replacement.

  22. Get says:

    It’s funny. Python is the language of choice for people who do not have the mentality to design a well structured program. That meaning the horrible idea of having encapsulation, explicit parameter typing, or even that namespaces are a honking good idea but having to pollute your namespace with all the functions in a given namespace is stupid. std::cout system.out.println system.console.write, good languages let you import only what you need and just pass down the namespace tree in code.

    Isn’t EXPLICIT code supposed to be better Pythonians? Oh right, you violate everything “import this” says yet still act like python is better for allowing you to rapidly prototype something that “works” but does not have a longterm maintenance plan.

    All languages suffer from allowing them to be used exactly like python, with code modifying a structure located in 30 different places so one update in one class’s API breaks everything. Only python celebrates that, while everyone else admits it is a major problem that programmers refuse to encapsulate classes and refuse to make maintainable and modular code.

    Notice how all the Pythonic Supporters are ignoring that Java 8 is at end of life, just like Python 2 issued the statement that they would continue development only with financial support after Python 3 was released… Old software is obsolete, but you cannot expect someone who programs in python to have the mindset to make a logical argument can you?

  23. Sim Bako says:

    Time for Swift to expand and provide more cross platform support. Needs to support Windows development in addition to the existing Linux and OSX platforms supported. Oracle’s greed must end…Free open source…

  24. Paniolo Kamaaina says:

    One small step backwards for Java, yet one more huge leap forward for Python. Sun was a great company… How do you like Oracle?

  25. Andy M says:

    There is OpenJDK which is compatible with Java SE SDK 8+.
    And Microsoft has Azul Zulu which is perfectly compatible and enterprise grade security support free of cost on Azure cloud. It also include security patches and other updates free of cost on Azure Cloud and Azure Stack.

  26. […] “Organizations will now need to take stock of all their software running Java SE 8 and start to work out what potential bill they are looking at next year” is how The ITAM Review reported the change. […]

  27. […] “Organizations will now need to take stock of all their software running Java SE 8 and start to work out what potential bill they are looking at next year” is how The ITAM Review reported the change. […]

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