oracle-java-release-17

Oracle Java Release 17

Is it Free Again?

Oracle Java Release 17 - Is it Free Again?

  • 21 September 2021
  • 4 minutes to read

On September 13th, Oracle released its new Long Term Support (LTS) release of Oracle Java: Release 17. With this new release, Oracle has also introduced new licensing terms and conditions under the so called “Oracle - No Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC).”

Many individuals and/or consultancy firms claim that with this new release and the new agreement, Oracle Java is “free of charge” again. But is it? As always, the devil is in the details. Let’s have a closer look at what the agreement actually says.

Governing Agreement

Firstly, the agreement states that the use of Oracle Java – Release 17 is governed by the NFTC, unless you have received the program (stand-alone or as part of another Oracle program) under another Oracle License Agreement (e.g.: Oracle Master Agreement). In other words: if you are already licensed for Oracle Java programs (e.g.: through an Oracle Java Standard Edition Subscription or as part of another Oracle license (e.g.: Oracle WebLogic), then your deployment and use of Oracle Java Release 17 is NOT governed by the “No Fee Terms and Conditions.”

License Rights and Restrictions

In case your company has not obtained the right to make use of Oracle Java through another license agreement from Oracle (which are most likely just a few end-user organizations across the globe), then the following use rights and restrictions are applicable for the deployment and use of Oracle Java - Release17 as per the “No Fee Terms and Conditions.”

  • You receive the right to internally use the unmodified Oracle Java Release 17 programs for the purposes of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications.

This right was already granted earlier by Oracle for previous Oracle Java releases under its so called “Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE.” An important point you need to keep mind is that the reference “your applications” is typically explained by Oracle (e.g.: during the course of an audit) as the applications that you as a company own/developed. In other words, if you are using Oracle Java for development, testing, prototyping or demonstration purposes of a third-party application (an application that is not “yours”) then such use right is not granted.

  • You receive the right to run the Oracle Java Release 17 programs for your own personal use or internal business operations.

This right to make use of the Oracle Java Release 17 programs for your own “personal use” was already granted earlier by Oracle for previous Oracle Java releases under its so called “Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE.” Such “personal use” refers to an individual’s use of the Oracle Java programs solely on a desktop or laptop under the control of such individual. In other words, a corporate laptop/desktop is not under the control of an individual (but is under the control of a corporate) and as is such not classified as “personal use.”

  • The right to run to the Oracle Java Release 17 programs for your “internal business operations.”

This right is NEW!

This means that an end-user organization is entitled to deploy and use the Oracle Java release 17 programs for its internal business operations. In other words, if you want to deploy and use Oracle Java release 17 within your organization, you no longer require a separate license for the use of Oracle Java release 17. But remember, this is ONLY applicable if your deployment and use of Oracle Java is not yet governed through another Oracle License Agreement (e.g.: Oracle Master Agreement).

How long will Oracle use the NFTC and what happens afterwards?

Oracle will use the NFTC for JDK 17 and later releases. LTS releases, such as JDK 17, will receive updates under this license for one year after the release of the subsequent LTS. After the free use license period, Oracle intends to use the OTN License, the same currently used for Java 8 and 11 LTS releases, for subsequent updates.

In other words, as an organization you can only use Oracle JDK 17 for free in production until September 2024 (1 year after the next LTS). If you want further Java 17 updates after September 2024, you have to buy Oracle Java SE Subscription and fall back to the OTN license agreement (or jump to the next LTS release every 2 years).

Does this mean that I will not require an Oracle Java Subscription any longer?

In order to answer this question, we should take a step back and think about why end-users typically decide to obtain an Oracle Java subscription. In the past, some end-users decided to buy an Oracle Java Subscription from a license compliance perspective. But this is typically not the major reason. The major reason why end-users decided to obtain an Oracle Java subscription is for security reasons. Customers wanted to be allowed to make use of patches and/or bug fixes to protect their most mission-critical applications from a security perspective. In order to do so, you are still required to have an Oracle Java Standard Subscription for your deployments both on clients and/or servers.

Need Help?

SoftwareONE’s Oracle Java Advisory Services are specialized in determining for your organization:

  • The actual use rights obtained to deploy and/or use Oracle Java programs through your different Oracle licenses, through different license agreements.
  • The actual deployment and use of the different Oracle Java programs (both Java Standard Edition & Java Commercial Features)
  • The actual security/vulnerability risks you may be exposed to in regard to the deployed Oracle Java programs
  • The actual license compliance position associated to your deployment and use of the Oracle (Java) programs.

Get a Grip of All the Java Changes

Do you feel overwhelmed by all of the changes Oracle made regarding Java? We can support you in understanding how these changes might impact you. Feel free to reach out to your SoftwareONE representative and schedule a call with one of our Oracle Solution Sales Specialists.

Learn more

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