In about one and a half month – more accurately January 1st, 2019 – Oracle ends all support on Java 8 for “commercial users”.
This means that if any of your organisation’s applications are built on Java 8, you should be aware that the Oracle support of the platform is discontinued by the end of this year. This is rather soon.
The Oracle Java platform has always been free of charge. However, this is about to change. Oracle runs two parallel tracks: an LTS (Long Term Support) track and a Rapid Release track.
These two tracks are rather different. The LTS track has developed slowly for a long period of time. If a developer wanted to use some of the newest technologies the LTS track would in most cases not have allowed it because it was only updated every two to three years.
In contrast the Rapid Release track has developed quickly. Frequently new versions and more extensive updates, which have required migration to new versions - all happening annually. However, this is highly resource-demanding for developers and it has resulted in large applications being unable to run in the Oracle Rapid Release track.
The new LTS track, which is the only track available for large software projects, is Java SE 11. Unlike Java SE 8, it is not free of charge when used for commercial purposes.
If you want a supported version of Oracle Java, you need to pay for it starting January 1st, 2019.
Do we really need support on our Java platform?
No, you are not required to have support on your Java. Just like you are not required to wear kettle holders when removing a baking tray from a hot oven. However, we strongly recommend it. Similarly, we recommend you order support for your development platform at least for your critical applications.
For safety reasons exclusively, support is a good idea. With support you are guaranteed that you have access to updates in case of security gaps in Java.
Therefore, support is about operational reliability and that your application is functional when you need it to be.
Let’s go over the prices
At this moment you are probably wondering how much it will cost to get support on your Java SE 11.
My initial answer is “it depends”. Below are Oracle’s list prices.
Named User Plus: The number of users on your Java based applications
Processor: This is a bit more complicated. The number of processors is found by multiplying the number of processor cores from servers containing Java installed applications with a core processor licensing factor found via Oracle. Please contact us if you need any help with this.
All prices are monthly and in US dollars.
As many other list prices in the IT industry, they should be perceived as a basis for negotiation rather than definitive prices.
Please contact us for an informal talk about your Java platform. We will discuss prices, options and alternatives.