Oracle to charge for Java from Jan 2019

01 May 2018
3 minute read

Oracle to charge for Java from Jan 2019

01 May 2018
3 minute read

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 –

Can’t find what you’re looking for?