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It's dead

Oracle announces Java 7 end of life

Natali Vlatko
Grave image via Shutterstock

Java 7 has finally met its maker and will no longer be supported by Oracle via security updates. While the wind-up announcement was made long ago, there are still questions about Java 7 being killed off too soon.

Public updates for Oracle JDK 7 have ceased as of April 2015. This means that Oracle will not post further updates of Java SE 7 to its public download sites. Users who still wish to access security updates are recommended to purchase commercial long-term support or upgrade to Java 8.

Done and dusted

The End of Life (EOL) announcement was initially made in March 2014 in order to allow users to upgrade and organise themselves where necessary. The Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap states that “Oracle Java SE product releases – starting with Java SE 7 – are supported for no less than eleven years from initial release date, enabling IT managers and ISVs to plan their upgrades according to their individual business practices”.

Versions preceding Java 7 are also granted long-term support via commercial subscription. Java 7’s EOL doesn’t effect existing Java SE 7 downloads already posted as of April 2015 – these will remain accessible in the Java Archive on the Oracle Technology Network.

SEE ALSO: Java 9 release date announced

Oracle had included an automatic update feature in Java 8 through its January 2015 CPU release, which accounted for a good number of migrating users from Java 7 to Java 8. For those who have chosen to not upgrade, the Java 7 EOL won’t mean it stops working altogether. However, it does leave users at risk to new vulnerabilities that may arise without regular patching being provided.

There are still tools and libraries out there that rely on now-deprecated features in Java 7, many of which have been removed in Java 8. This has resulted in a number of tools now incompatible with JDK 8, with modification required before users can upgrade their version of Java.

The Java ecosystem has often been said to be difficult to navigate, with Redditor limscoder summing up his worries quite nicely:

The prospect of updating Java also reignited the Java community’s anger at the infamous Ask.com toolbar. As a quick tip for users upgrading or downloading for the first time, the pesky adware install can be avoided by following these steps:

  1. Navigate Explorer to Control Panel\Programs
  2. Click on the Java icon
  3. Select the Advanced tab
  4. Scroll to the very bottom
  5. Check Suppress sponsor offers [...]

Java Application Developers who want more information about migrating to Java 8 can find the official adoption guide here.

Author
Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for JAXenter.com (S&S Media Group).

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