Either transition to other technologies, or purchase a Java SE Subscription

End of the line for Java 8 public updates – Commercial users at a crossroads

Gabriela Motroc
Java 8
© Shutterstock / Min C. Chiu

The countdown to the end of public updates for Java 8 business users has officially begun. Later this month, commercial users will have to make a choice: transition to other technologies, or purchase a Java SE Subscription. What will it be?

2018 was a year of uncertainties and misunderstandings for the Java world as people struggled to understand the differences between Oracle JDK vs Oracle’s OpenJDK builds vs OpenJDK builds, the costs involved, whether it’s a good thing to jump on the Java release train or not and the list goes on.

Some Java Champions joined forces to untangle the Java releases and support confusion; they created a Google Doc which summarizes all the changes Oracle is making, as well as the options Java SE users can choose from. Although the most common provider of Java SE implementations is Oracle JDK, there are others out there such as Azul, Eclipse, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, SAP, and the list goes on. In short, you can still get the Oracle JDK, Oracle’s OpenJDK builds and OpenJDK by other providers for free. 

SEE ALSO: Manual on Java 11: One small step for the new Java release train, one giant leap for Java 8 users

The heart of the matter: No more public updates for Java 8 business users

Public updates for Java 8 will remain available for individual, personal use through at least the end of 2020 but business users won’t be that lucky — the ‘public updates’ tap will be turned off this month. “However, since Java SE 9, Oracle is also providing Oracle’s OpenJDK builds which are free for commercial use, and there are free OpenJDK builds from other providers like AdoptOpenJDK, Azul, IBM, Red Hat, Linux distros et al.”

If you want to continue using Java 8 (and, according to our poll, a lot of people are still using Java 8) you can either

  • continue to use Oracle JDK 8 indefinitely but without updates,
  • go onto a paid support plan or use a Java SE 8 / OpenJDK 8 binary distribution from another provider (i.e. Linux distros, AdoptOpenJDKAzul,IBMOracleRed Hat, and others) or
  • if you’re not using Oracle JDK 8, your current Java SE 8 / OpenJDK 8 provider will provide updates and/or paid support plans to choose from.

Sharat Chander, Director of Java SE Product Management at Oracle explained in a recent blog post that “if you rely on Java 8 for games, personal banking, or other individual consumer type activities on their desktop or laptop computers will continue to get free updates through at least 2020.” However, if you’re a commercial user, you will have to either update to a newer Java version (but beware of the implications of adopting the release train!) or consider a Java SE Subscription if you want to continue to use older versions such as Java 8.

Let’s talk pricing! If you’re thinking of going down the subscription path, you should know that this option allows you to use updates on LTS releases so you can remain in a given LTS release version for up to eight years. Desktop pricing is $2.50 per user per month (or lower with tiered volume discounts) while processor pricing for use on Servers and/or Cloud deployments is $25.00 per month or lower. The standard term is one year.

For additional information, check out the Java SE Subscription FAQ for additional information.

SEE ALSO: Keeping up with the modern world: Can Java leave its old ways behind?

Next week’s Critical Patch Update is the last one available under the BCL license

The last Java 8 update (Critical Patch Update – 8u201, and the related 8u202 Patch Set Update ) available under the BCL license will be released next week (January 15th, 2019).

The following update of Java 8, scheduled for April 16, 2019 (8u211 and the related 8u212 Patch Set Update), will be made available under a new license. It will, however, be free for personal individual desktop use, and free for development, testing, prototyping and demonstration purposes.

“New licensing for Java 8 updates only applies to updates released under the new license after January 2019, starting with the April 16th, 2019 scheduled quarterly update,” as explained in the Oracle Java SE Releases FAQ.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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