Azul OpenJDK

Azul vs Oracle JDK: A Comprehensive Analysis

Azul vs Oracle JDK:

  • Licensing and Cost:
    • Oracle JDK: Subscription-based model with costs for commercial use.
    • Azul: More flexible and cost-effective licensing.
  • Performance:
    • Both offer high performance, but specific advantages may vary based on application needs.
  • Support and Maintenance:
    • Oracle: Comprehensive support tailored for enterprises.
    • Azul: Known for dedicated support, including 24/7 assistance.
  • Security and Updates:
    • Both provide regular updates, but their approach to long-term support may differ.
  • Enterprise Suitability:
    • Oracle JDK: Traditionally favored by enterprises for stability and extensive support.
    • Azul: Attracts enterprises seeking cost efficiency and flexible support.
  • Community and Ecosystem:
    • Oracle JDK: Large user base with extensive resources.
    • Azul: Growing community, especially among cost-conscious enterprises.

Introduction Azul vs Oracle JDK

oracle jdk vs azul

Overview of the Evolving Java Landscape

  • Java’s Evolution: Java has evolved significantly since its inception, adapting to the changing needs of developers and businesses. This evolution has led to various versions of the Java Development Kit (JDK) with unique features and capabilities.
  • The Java Ecosystem Today: The Java ecosystem now includes multiple JDK offerings, including Azul and Oracle JDK, catering to different use cases and requirements.

The Significance of Choosing Between Azul and Oracle JDK for Java Applications

  • Impact on Development: Azul and Oracle JDK can significantly influence Java application performance, cost, and compliance.
  • Strategic Decision: Selecting the right JDK is a strategic decision for organizations and developers, balancing long-term support, licensing terms, and technological needs.

Background and Development

History and Evolution of Azul and Oracle JDK Versions

  • Oracle JDK’s Journey: Oracle JDK, which originated as SUN JDK, has been a foundational part of Java’s history, undergoing numerous updates and changes, especially after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems.
  • Azul’s Emergence: Azul emerged as a robust contender in the JDK market, focusing on performance optimization and enterprise-level support. It offers the Azul Platform Prime and Azul Platform Core, aligning with different Java versions and needs.

Key Milestones and Changes in Each JDK’s Development

  • Oracle JDK Milestones: Oracle JDK has seen significant milestones, especially with major releases like Java SE 8 and Java SE 17 (LTS). Oracle shifted to a new release cadence and changed its licensing and support model, impacting the Java community.
  • Azul’s Innovations: Azul has introduced innovations in garbage collection and performance optimization. It provides extended support for older Java versions, allowing enterprises to upgrade on their timelines, and focuses on eliminating Java garbage collection pauses for large heap sizes.

Understanding the historical context and development paths of Azul and Oracle JDK is crucial for comprehending their current standings in the Java ecosystem and making an informed choice for Java application development.

Comparative Analysis: Azul vs Oracle JDK

Azul vs Oracle JDK

Licensing and Cost

  • Oracle JDK Licensing Model: Historically, Oracle JDK was available under the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement. Recent changes, especially post-January 2019, introduced new commercial licensing for business, commercial, or production use, impacting how organizations adopt Oracle JDK.
  • Azul Licensing Model: Azul offers open-source OpenJDK builds that focus on providing a more cost-effective and flexible alternative to Oracle’s subscription model. Azul’s licensing is seen as more accommodating, especially for enterprises looking to manage costs without compromising on JDK features and support.

Performance Metrics

  • CPU Usage Comparison: In various benchmarks, Oracle JDK shows optimized CPU usage tailored for enterprise applications, while Azul JDKs are known for their performance efficiency in specific use cases.
  • Response Times and Garbage Collection: Detailed comparisons show variations in response times and garbage collection efficiency. Azul has been noted for its focus on eliminating garbage collection pauses, which can be crucial for applications that require large heap sizes and consistent performance.

Enterprise Support

  • Oracle JDK Support: Oracle provides comprehensive support for its JDK, mainly focusing on stability and responsiveness for enterprise customers. This support is integral for businesses that rely heavily on Java applications.
  • Azul Support Services: Azul’s JDK versions are supported by expert Java engineers and include 24/7 responsiveness, making it a strong contender for enterprises that need reliable and immediate support services.

Practical Implications and Use Cases

Situational Suitability

  • Project-Specific Needs: Your choice between Azul and Oracle JDK should be based on your Java project’s specific requirements. Factors like application scale, performance requirements, and existing infrastructure play a significant role in this decision.
  • Long-Term Project Considerations: For long-term projects, future JDK updates, support, and licensing implications become crucial in choosing the appropriate JDK.

Cloud and Enterprise Integration

  • Cloud Compatibility: Both JDKs offer compatibility with major cloud platforms. However, specific optimizations and integrations may vary, affecting performance and scalability in cloud environments.
  • Integration with Business Systems: Oracle JDK and Azul JDKs differ in their approach to integration with existing business applications and systems. Evaluating how each JDK interacts with current systems is essential for ensuring seamless operation and minimizing disruptions.

Choosing between Azul and Oracle JDK involves carefully examining licensing models, performance metrics, and support services, as well as considering the specific requirements of your Java application and its integration within cloud and enterprise systems.

Top 5 Recommendations for JDK Selection

Key Factors to Consider

  1. Licensing and Cost: Evaluate the terms and overall cost, including potential long-term expenses.
  2. Application Requirements: Consider the specific needs of your Java applications, such as performance demands, scalability, and feature set.
  3. Support and Maintenance: Assess the level and quality of support services Azul and Oracle offer.
  4. Security and Updates: Ensure regular security updates and patches align with your organizational security policies.
  5. Community and Ecosystem: Consider the community support, ecosystem, and resources available for each JDK.

Best Practices for Evaluation and Decision-Making

  • Conduct Thorough Testing: Perform benchmark tests to compare performance under your specific use cases.
  • Review Community and Industry Feedback: Gather insights from other users and industry experts to understand real-world experiences with each JDK.
  • Align with Business Strategy: Ensure the JDK choice aligns with your long-term business and technology strategies.

FAQ Section

What kind of support can I expect from Azul compared to Oracle?

Azul is known for providing dedicated support, including 24/7 assistance, while Oracle offers comprehensive support tailored to enterprise needs.

How do Azul and Oracle JDK differ in terms of licensing and cost?

Oracle JDK operates on a subscription-based model that incurs costs for commercial use. At the same time, Azul offers more flexible and cost-effective licensing options, making it an attractive alternative for businesses looking to manage their software expenses.

Which provides better performance, Azul or Oracle JDK?

Both Azul and Oracle JDK offer high performance, with the choice often depending on specific application needs. Certain Azul optimizations may benefit particular application types, so testing both in your environment is advisable.

What kind of support and maintenance can users expect from Oracle and Azul?

Oracle offers comprehensive support tailored for enterprises, including access to various resources and expertise. Azul is known for its dedicated support, including 24/7 assistance, and is often praised for its responsiveness and quality of service.

How do Azul and Oracle JDK compare in terms of security and updates?

Both Azul and Oracle JDK provide regular updates to ensure security and performance. However, their approach to long-term support (LTS) may differ, with each offering different policies and schedules that can affect how updates are managed over time.

Which JDK is more suitable for enterprise use, Azul or Oracle JDK?

Enterprises have traditionally favored Oracle JDK due to its stability and comprehensive support offerings. However, Azul has become increasingly attractive to enterprises seeking cost efficiency and flexible support options without compromising on quality or performance.for

How do the community and ecosystem compare with Azul and Oracle JDK?

Oracle JDK boasts a large user base and extensive resources, benefiting from Oracle’s long-standing presence in the industry. Azul’s community is growing, particularly among cost-conscious enterprises and those looking for alternatives to Oracle’s licensing model.

Can Azul be a cost-effective alternative to Oracle JDK for commercial projects?

Yes, Azul can be a more cost-effective alternative for commercial projects. It offers competitive licensing terms that can reduce overall software costs compared to Oracle JDK’s subscription-based model.

Are there any specific application needs that might favor Azul over Oracle JDK?

Specific application needs, such as the requirement for certain performance optimizations or the use of particular Java features, might favor Azul. Evaluating both JDKs in the context of your application is recommended to determine the best fit.

What makes Oracle JDK traditionally favored by enterprises?

Oracle JDK’s long history of stability, extensive support network, and comprehensive resources have made it a go-to choice for enterprises prioritizing reliability and direct vendor support for their critical applications.

Is the support quality different between Azul and Oracle JDK?

While both offer high-quality support, the difference may lie in the type of support agreements and responsiveness. Azul is particularly noted for its dedicated support and the ability to provide personalized assistance, which can be a deciding factor for some enterprises.

How important are security updates when choosing between Azul and Oracle JDK?

Security updates are crucial for maintaining the integrity and safety of Java applications. Both Azul and Oracle JDK commit to regular security updates, but differences in their LTS policies and update frequencies may influence an organization’s choice.

Why might an enterprise seek Azul’s JDK over Oracle’s for cost efficiency?

Enterprises seeking cost efficiency might prefer Azul’s JDK due to its more favorable licensing terms, which can offer significant savings over Oracle’s subscription-based pricing, especially for large-scale deployments.

Does the choice between Azul and Oracle JDK affect application compatibility?

Azul and Oracle JDK aim to maintain high compatibility with Java standards, minimizing the impact on application compatibility. However, testing is essential to identify any potential issues specific to your application.

How does the growing community around Azul impact its ecosystem?

The growing community around Azul contributes to a richer ecosystem of resources, shared knowledge, and support, making it an increasingly viable option for enterprises looking for community-backed alternatives to Oracle JDK.

In what scenarios would dedicated 24/7 support from Azul be a deciding factor?

Dedicated 24/7 support from Azul could be a deciding factor for businesses that operate critical applications requiring immediate assistance at any time, especially in industries where downtime can have significant financial or operational impacts.


The comparison between Azul and Oracle JDK reveals several vital considerations, including licensing and cost, performance, support services, and community resources.

While Oracle JDK is a traditional choice for many enterprises, Azul offers competitive advantages, particularly in licensing flexibility and support.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on carefully evaluating your specific application requirements, business strategy, and the long-term implications of your JDK choice.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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