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Oracle Java Licensing Changes 2023 – Do you need to pay?

How Oracle Java Licensing works:

In 2023, Oracle Java Licensing requires that organizations purchase a license for their entire employee population if even a single employee or server has installed a licensable version of Java.

This is the second significant licensing change since 2019. This new requirement doesn’t depend on the actual number of Java users:

  • Employee-Wide Licensing: A licensable Java version on any server or used by any employee necessitates a license for the entire workforce.
  • Version and Security Patch Review: Java Licensing is determined by the specific Java version and applied security patches.
  • Oracle’s Audit Strategy: Oracle intends to audit organizations that haven’t purchased Java licenses, recognizing Java’s widespread deployment in businesses.
  • Oracle Soft Audit: The second strategy is where Oracle sends e-mails to organizations that have not yet purchased Java or have downloaded Java, and Oracle has logs of these downloads.

How Redress Compliance Can Help

Redress Compliance, with its team of former Oracle auditors, offers specialized assistance in Java licensing:

  • Licensing Assessment: They guide you in identifying which Java deployments require a license.
  • Expert Advisory for Audits: If you’re already managing your Java Licensing, Redress Compliance provides expert advice to counter Oracle during audits and supports communication with Oracle regarding Java licensing issues.
  • Audit Defense and Licensing Strategy: They assist in developing strategies for audit defense and negotiating better discounts for Java license purchases.

Contact us now to avoid paying audit fees to Oracle for Java.

Did Oracle change the Java license?

Did Oracle change the Java license

Yes, Oracle altered the Java licensing in a significant way. As of January 23, 2023, they introduced a significant shift in their pricing structure for Java.

They unveiled the Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription Global Price List, which replaces the old PROC and NUP models.

The charges are based on the total number of full- or part-time employees and contractors.

Is Java free in 2023?

Java is not accessible in 2023, unlike the previous model, where charges were per desktop user and per Processor where Java SE was running.

The new model implemented does away with separate charges for desktop and server. Instead, every employee will now be billed for the Java subscription.

Did Oracle make Java free again?

Yes, they did! Oracle declared on September 14, 2021, that Java 17 and future Java versions are now available for free once more.

However, for older versions, you may still need a license.

Do you need an Oracle Java License?

Yes, if you are an organization that downloaded Java from the Oracle website, you should assume you need a license.

Unless you determine otherwise, that should be your approach to Java licensing.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Oracle’s 2019 Announcement: Oracle declared 2019 that security updates for Java 8 could no longer be downloaded without a subscription. This marked a significant shift in how Java updates were accessed.
  • Java Licensing Since 2010: Java has been available under a license agreement since 2010. However, until 2019, this fact was largely overlooked, and Oracle did not have dedicated sales teams for Java. Despite this, most organizations should have purchased a license many years ago.
  • 2023 Update – Enterprise-Wide Metric License Model: In 2023, Oracle introduced the enterprise-wide metric license model. This new model implies that if you need Java for even a single user or server, you must buy a license for your entire employee population. It’s no longer possible to license a subsection of your users or servers.

Is Java still free?

Is Java still free

Java was never completely free. Some Java licensing was free before 2019.

Most companies should have purchased a Java license many years ago, but they didn’t because Oracle was not auditing Java and did not have sales teams for Java products.


Review the Java licensing agreement to understand whether you need a license. Depending on which versions you run, you may need a license for your deployment of Java.

Is Oracle Java 17 Free?

Java 17 is indeed free to use, with specific conditions around security patches.

  • Usage Without Licensing: You can use Java 17 without a license until September 2024 without any restrictions.
  • Security Patch Considerations: The licensing requirement comes into play if you apply a security patch released after September 2024.
  • Options to Avoid Licensing:
    • Option A: Choose not to apply any security patch released post-September 2024.
    • Option B: Upgrade to a newer version of Java to continue receiving security updates without licensing.

It’s essential to carefully consider these options based on your security and operational requirements.

The Oracle Java Licensing Agreements to Review

Oracle Java Licensing Agreements to Review

Three Oracle Java Licensing Changes

oracle java licensing changes

There have been three Java licensing changes, one in 2019, a second in 2021, and the last in 2023.

Below is a summary of the changes and how they impact Java licensing.

Oracle Java Licensing Change in 2019

Oracle Java Licensing Change in 2019

In 2019, Oracle made several significant announcements regarding Java licensing. 

Here’s a breakdown of these changes:

  1. Subscription Requirement for Updates: Oracle announced that updates to Oracle Java JDK 8 would require a subscription from patch 211 onwards.
  2. Introduction of Java OTN SE Agreement: Oracle introduced a new Java licensing agreement, the Java OTN SE. This agreement forbids all commercial usage.
  3. Implications of the Old BCLA Agreement: The old licensing agreement, BCLA, which most companies did not read, was already making most companies non-compliant.
  4. Timeline of Changes: The changes were announced in 2019, but the Java license change took effect in April 2020.

Oracle Java Licensing Change in 2021 – Introduction of the NFTC Agreement

In 2021, Oracle introduced another significant change to Java licensing.

They announced a third licensing agreement, the NFTC – Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions.

Impact of Java Licensing Changes in 2021

Oracle made significant announcements regarding Java licensing in 2021. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Free Commercial Usage: Oracle announced that Java is free for commercial usage from Oracle JDK 17 onwards.
  2. Security Updates: In a blog post, Oracle hinted that if you do not update to Java 17, you may need a Java subscription to apply security updates. However, this has not been officially confirmed.
  3. Older Versions of Java: If you run older versions of Java (1-16), you are unaffected by the NFTC licensing agreement.

Understanding the Oracle Java Licensing Change in 2023

Oracle Java Licensing Change in 2023

On January 23rd, Oracle significantly changed its pricing model for Java SE subscriptions.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s new:

  1. Introduction of “Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription”: Oracle has replaced the old Named User Plus Licensing (user licenses) and Processor licenses (server licensing) with a new license model called “Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription.
  2. Removal of Old Licenses: The Named User Plus and Processor licenses are no longer available.
  3. Validity of Existing Agreements: Existing licensing agreements such as Java BCL, Java OTN, and Java NFTC remain valid despite these changes.
  4. Change in License Metric: The change only affects the license metric and not the terms of usage. The new pricing model is based on the number of employees, with different price tiers for different ranges of employee numbers.

Which versions of Java with Oracle require a license?

java jdk license

Oracle Java JDK versions 1-8 with pre-211 security updates

  • Review the general-purpose definition in the BLCA; you are most likely using Java outside of free usage, which should have triggered you to purchase a Java SE license long ago.
  • If you have used Java commercial features, you should have purchased an Oracle Java SE license long ago.

The use of Commercial Features requires a separate license from Oracle. These features cannot be used for free under the Java BCLA.

Oracle’s Commercial Features are listed below.

  • Java Enterprise (MSI) Installer
  • Java Flight Recorder
  • Java Mission Control
  • Java Se Runtime environment Usage Tracking
  • Java Advanced Management Console
  • JRockit Mission Control, Flight Recorder, or Real-time Deterministic GC

Oracle Java JDK versions 1-8 – applying security patch 211 and later.

  • Once you apply security patch 211 or later, you must license Java under the Java OTN agreement.
  • The only exception is that you do not need to license Java if usage is for any products listed in schedule b.

Oracle Java JDK versions 11-16

  • You must license Oracle JDK on clients and servers; no free usage is allowed.
  • The only exception is that you do not need to license Java if usage is for any products listed in schedule b.

Oracle Java JDK versions 17+

  • Currently, you do not need to license Oracle JDK 17 and later. However, if you apply a security patch released after September 2024, you must license Java 17.

Was Oracle Java (JDK / JRE ) –  free before 2019?

The BCLA allowed for commercial usage if you were using Oracle Java for “general purpose computing.”

If you used Oracle JDK or JRE for purposes other than general-purpose computing, you were not allowed to use Oracle JRE and JDK, and your company should have purchased a license from Oracle (Oracle Java SE licenses were available on the Oracle technology price list).

Oracle java license

Oracle Java License Cost (Pre-2023)

Oracle Java License Costs

Oracle offers two different products on its Java price list:

Java SE Desktop Subscription: This is a license for your users accessing Java-based applications. It’s important to note that this is not licensed per device but per individual authorized to access a Java-based application.

  • For instance, if you have shared usernames for a device and 20 users are accessing the computer, all 20 individuals must have a Java SE subscription license.
  • Java SE Desktop Subscription costs 2.5 USD per month per user.

Java SE Subscription: This is for licensing the servers where Java is installed. To calculate how to license Oracle Java, you need to apply standard Oracle licensing rules and policies such as:

After calculating and counting the processors you must license, you can look at the Java price list to calculate your financial risk.

  • Java SE Subscription costs 25 USD per month per Oracle processor.

Please note that after January 23, 2023, the legacy price list is no longer available on the web. Staying updated with the latest pricing models is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid unnecessary costs.

java license cost

Oracle Java Licensing on VMware

Oracle believes that if you deploy an Oracle JDK on a virtual server using VMware ESXI 6.0 and upwards, you must license every physical host in all your vCenters, even in vCenters where you have not installed Java.

The procedure for licensing Oracle Java SE on VMware varies with each ESXi version you’re operating.

For a comprehensive understanding, refer to the Oracle and VMware Licensing article.

java licensing on vmware


Customers should review their Java licensing before purchasing or engaging with Oracle sales teams.

In addition to reviewing all your Java deployments considering all Oracle licensing rules and policies – you also need to check the following:

  • Java Commercial features usage.
  • If existing Oracle products included a license.
  • If any other third-party software includes a license.
  • Review all three licensing agreements and match them to your usage.

Oracle Software with Included Java SE Licenses

Oracle Software with Included Java SE Licenses

Certain Oracle products come with a restricted-use Java SE license. You might not need to purchase a separate Java SE license if you own a license for any of these products.

Here’s how it works:

  • Included Java SE License: Some Oracle products include a restricted-use Java SE license. You may not need to purchase an additional Java SE license if you have a license for any of these specific products.
  • List of Products: There are about 100 different products that include a Java SE license. A list of some of these products is provided below (please note this is not comprehensive).

You can save on additional licensing costs by understanding which Oracle products have an included Java SE license.

Oracle lists products with Java licenses under different categories.

  1. Schedule A Products: Includes tools like Oracle SQL Developer and JACIC Electronic Bidding Systems.
  2. Schedule B Products: Features a wide range of products such as Oracle Forms, Oracle E-Business Suite, various client applications of Oracle WebLogic Server Product, JD Edwards, and more.

In addition:

The following Oracle products include a Java SE restricted license. Please note this list is not exhaustive:

  • Weblogic Server Standard Edition
  • WebLogic Enterprise Edition
  • WebLogic Suite
  • Internet Application Server Enterprise Edition
  • GlassFish Server
  • Coherence Standard Edition
  • WebCenter Content
  • WebCenter Universal Content Management
  • WebLogic Suite for Oracle Applications
  • Coherence Enterprise Edition for Oracle Applications
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Server Enterprise Edition
  • Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition
  • Oracle Data Integration Suite
  • Oracle Data Service Integrator
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Server Enterprise Edition
  • Oracle BI Publisher
  • Oracle Hyperion
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite
  • Oracle Identity Governance Suite
  • Legacy BEA WebLogic product purchases
  • Oracle Application-Specific Technology Products
  • Oracle Identity and Access Management Suite Plus
  • Oracle Access Management Suite Plus
  • Oracle Identity Manager
  • Oracle Access Manager
  • Oracle Directory Services Plus

This list is inconclusive and should be referenced for detailed information on each product’s specific Java SE usage rights. Please review your license documentation to confirm if Java SE is included in your Oracle license.

Steps for Oracle Java Negotiation

Oracle java negotiation

Navigating Oracle Java licensing can be complex. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the process and prepare for negotiation:

  1. Understand Your Java Deployments: Identify which Java deployments in your organization require a license. This understanding is crucial as it forms the basis of your licensing needs.
  2. Create a Java Deployment Report: Count the number of users and servers. 
  3. That would require a license based on the old Oracle Java licensing metrics. This report will provide a clear picture of your organization’s Java usage.
  4. Calculate Licensing Costs: Calculate the potential licensing costs based on the old Java licensing metrics. This will give you an estimate of the financial commitment involved.
  5. Approach Oracle with Prepared Data: With your data in hand, approach Oracle and explain that your willingness to purchase is based on the old licensing metrics. This shows you’ve done your homework and are prepared for the negotiation.
  6. Share Your Deployment Report: Be ready to share your deployment report to prove you have complete control over your licensing information. The account you share must be credible and created using best practices in Oracle license management.
  7. Negotiate a Purchase: Either negotiate a purchase based on the employee-based metric or legacy metrics, with the business logic to pay for what you are using and move away from the employee-wide metric pricing. This approach ensures you’re only paying for what you need.

Following these steps, you can effectively negotiate your Oracle Java licensing, ensuring you get the best value for your organization while maintaining compliance.

Oracle Java Audits in 2024

Oracle Java Audits in 2024

In 2024, Oracle’s revenue from Java licenses and subscriptions surpassed its database license sales, mainly due to its audit practices.

Oracle conducts two types of audits:

  1. Soft Audit: This begins with Oracle contacting organizations for a license compliance discussion, typically through Java audit emails requesting meetings. Ignoring these communications can escalate the situation, involving legal and C-level executives. Understanding your licensing position and formulating an audit defense strategy is crucial.
  2. Formal Audit: In a formal Java audit, Oracle’s audit organization reviews all Java deployments within a company. This step usually follows uncooperative behavior from the audited entity. In such cases, Oracle may claim backdated usage, and the audited party often faces difficulty negotiating agreements.

These audits reflect Oracle’s rigorous approach to enforcing Java license compliance.

Oracle Java Audits – When You Try To Procure Licenses

Oracle Java License Audit

Oracle has a unique approach to Java, requiring a self-declaration “audit” before allowing customers to purchase licenses.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to understanding your risk and navigating this process:

  1. Oracle’s Approach: Oracle asks for a self-declaration “audit” before they allow customers to buy licenses. They will not permit end customers to purchase Oracle Java SE until they have reviewed the deployment data for Java.
  2. Study Licensing Agreements: Customers should study the three different licensing agreements and understand Oracle’s licensing policies, including those related to virtualization and cloud. This knowledge is crucial for compliance and successful negotiation.
  3. Retroactive Usage Payment: Oracle will ask you to pay for three years of retroactive usage of your current deployment. This means you must account for one-time use in your licensing costs.
  4. Java Included in Standard Audit: Since January 2023, Oracle has included Java in its standard Java audit. If you are hit with an Oracle audit, you may face penalties for three years of backdated use and three years in the future.

You can better prepare for an Oracle Java audit and mitigate potential risks. Always stay informed about your product licenses to ensure compliance with Oracle’s licensing terms.

Did you receive an e-mail from Oracle regarding Java?

Oracle is mass-emailing organizations in an attempt to start a discussion about Java licensing; we call this a “soft audit.”

If you receive such an e-mail, we strongly recommend you contact us. Do not reply to any e-mail or share any data on any Java deployments.

We also have made a tailor-made Java Audit advisory service to help you and your management team respond to Oracle and minimize the impact.

Understanding the Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription: Oracle’s New License Model

Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription

Oracle has introduced a new license model for Java, known as the Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription.

This model replaces the named user plus and processor licensing, which has been removed from the Oracle Java Price List.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Enterprise-Wide License Metric: The Java SE Universal license is only an enterprise-wide metric. Oracle has adopted this well-known model to license applications such as Oracle E-business suite and Siebel products.
  2. Employee-Based Metric: The metric used is “employee.” You need to license not only the actual users of Oracle Java SE but also all of your employees, including those of your agents, contractors, outsourcers, and consultants that support your internal business operations.
  3. License Calculation: If you have 10,000 employees and only 1,000 users who need Java, you cannot purchase only licenses for the 1,000 users. You need to calculate the correct number using the definition provided by Oracle. As a result, you will need to purchase at least 10,000 licenses.
  4. Price Increase: The Java license price has also increased per user. It used to cost $1.5 per user per month. Now, Java is priced at $8.25 per user. While you no longer need to license processors, this represents a price increase of over 700%.
Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription - Licensing Explained

The employee for Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription Pricing

Employee for Java SE Universal pricing follows the same price list as the legacy one.

The more you purchase, the more discounts you receive.

  • Java SE Universal Subscription $15.00 per employee for 1-999 employees
  • Java SE Universal Subscription $12.00 per employee for 1,000-2,999 employees
  • Java SE Universal Subscription $10.50 per employee for 3,000-9,999 employees
  • Java SE Universal Subscription $8.25 per employee for 10,000-19,999 employees
  • Java SE Universal Subscription $6.75 per employee for 20,000-29,999 employees
  • Java SE Universal Subscription $5.70 per employee for 30,000-39,999 employees
  • Java SE Universal Subscription $5.25 per employee for 40,000-49,999 employees
oracle java se universial subscription

A pricing example,

A company that needs 42,000 employee licenses for Java SE Universal Subscription for $5.25 per employee per month would pay:

  • For a 1-year contract: 42,000 * $5.25 * 12 = $2,808,000
  • For a 3-year contract: 42,000 * $5.25 * 12 * 3 = $8,424,000

Licensing of Employees for Java SE Universal Subscription

Oracle’s Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription employs a unique licensing model.

Here’s a breakdown of the key points to understand:

  1. Employee Definition: Oracle defines an “employee” as an enterprise-wide metric that includes all of your full-time, part-time, and temporary employees and those of your agents, contractors, outsourcers, and consultants. You need to calculate the total number of these individuals for licensing purposes.
  2. Internal Business Operations: The license allows Java to be used only for your internal business operations. It cannot be used to host any solution for external customers.
  3. License Quantity Calculation: The quantity of licenses required is determined by the number of “employees” defined by Oracle, not just the number of employees using the Java programs. This is a well-known enterprise license metric that Oracle uses for other products.
  4. Minimum License Purchase: The licensed quantity purchased must, at a minimum, be equal to the number of employees as of the effective date of your order. You cannot buy a quantity lower than this amount.
  5. Processor Limit: You may only install and/or run the Java SE Universal Subscription Program(s) on up to 50,000 processors. If your use exceeds 50,000 processors (excluding those installed and/or running on desktop and laptop computers), you must obtain an additional license from Oracle.

Expert Advice on Licensing Changes in 2023

Oracle’s Java license rules have undergone significant changes in 2023.

Here’s what you need to know and the steps you should consider taking:

  1. Expect Contact from Oracle: If you have purchased Java SE subscriptions, Oracle knows you are a user. You should expect to be contacted by Oracle for a substantial upgrade on your renewal fee for Java SE licenses.
  2. Oracle’s Enhanced Audit Capabilities: Oracle has improved its audit capabilities for Java. Third-party software asset management tools, which Oracle does not verify, can be used to audit your organization for Java usage.
  3. Older Versions of Java Require a License: If you have older versions of Java and thought you didn’t need a license, it’s time to reconsider. Many organizations have mistakenly assumed that older versions of Java didn’t require a license.
  4. Changes for Customers with Java ULAs: Customers who had Java Unlimited License Agreements (ULAs) will likely not be offered a renewal and will be moved to this new license metric. This change will likely result in higher costs for your company than the ULA.
  5. Importance of Negotiation Expertise: Experience and expertise in negotiating with Oracle will become increasingly important to avoid paying millions of dollars yearly for Java usage.
  6. Renew existing Java licenses: If you already purchased Java and have a subscription agreement, you can only renew if you share your deployment data with Oracle. (You will need to undergo a soft audit, and Oracle may, in the end, not allow you to renew) – If you need support in this process, we can help.
  7. Increased Licensing Requirements: If a company has 10,000 employees using Java for 500 users, you must license a minimum of 10,000 users. This could result in an annual cost of $1 million a year.
  8. Immediate Action Required: If you already have Java SE subscriptions, you need to take immediate action, as Oracle will likely contact you soon, potentially asking you to pay millions of dollars more. Understand licensing, evaluate whether you’ve made the mistake of not licensing older versions of Java, consider if you can migrate off Oracle, and if not, ensure your best Oracle negotiator is ready to minimize the impact.

Understanding the Impact on Customers Who Have Already Purchased Java SE

Oracle’s changes to Java SE licensing can have significant implications for existing customers.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Renewal Terms and Pricing: Oracle has stated in its FAQ that existing customers may renew their subscriptions on existing terms and pricing. However, it’s essential to be aware of Oracle’s requirements for renewal.
  2. Sharing Deployment Data: Oracle has previously refused to take orders for Java SE licenses unless the end customer shared their deployment data with the Oracle sales team. For Oracle to process your Java SE renewals, they require you to share deployment data on end users, servers, virtual servers, cloud deployments, and VDIs.
  3. Contact form Oracle: If you are a current Java SE customer, Oracle will likely contact you soon to discuss how your company can switch to the new employee license model

If you want to prepare for the Java audit or want an expert to guide you through the renewal, contact us.

Impact on Customers Who Haven’t Purchased Java SE Yet

If you’re considering purchasing Java SE, it’s essential to understand the changes to Oracle’s licensing model.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. New Employee License Metric: The new employee license metric for Java SE subscriptions will be the only option for new customers. Your licensing costs will be based on your organization’s total number of employees.
  2. Options for New Customers: Customers who have not yet purchased Java SE can buy a new employee license. Alternatively, they may uninstall Java SE if it is feasible for their operations.
  3. Running Without Licenses: Customers may choose not to purchase Java SE and run without licenses and security patches. However, this is not recommended as it exposes the customer to security vulnerabilities and potential legal risks.
  4. Considering Alternatives: Another option to consider is to look for alternatives to Java SE, like OpenJDK, which is a free and open-source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE).
  5. Oracle’s Outreach: Oracle’s sales organization mass-distributes emails requesting meetings with businesses that have not yet purchased a Java SE universal subscription. If you receive one such e-mail, we recommend contacting us for help with your Java.

Why You Need to Review Your Oracle Java Licensing

Oracle Java Licensing

Understanding your licensing is crucial for maintaining compliance and optimizing costs.

Here’s why you need to review your Java:

  1. Understanding License Requirements: Many organizations fail to understand which Java deployments require a license. Older versions may require a license, while other Oracle products include different versions. It’s important to clarify these details to ensure compliance.
  2. Planning for Transition: If you plan to move away from Oracle Java, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t leave licensable deployments in your data center. This can lead to unnecessary costs and potential compliance issues.
  3. Preparing for Negotiation: If you plan to negotiate with Oracle, it’s crucial to have accurate deployment numbers. Providing Oracle with real deployments of your current Java use will enable your procurement team to build a negotiation strategy to achieve the best commercial deals.
  4. By reviewing your Java, you can better understand your organization’s needs and obligations, helping you make informed decisions about your Java usage and licensing strategy.

Java Licensing FAQs

Why are there three different Oracle Java licensing agreements?

One agreement is applied to older Oracle Java versions and patches, and Java OTN is for Oracle Java 11 and 17.u003cbru003eIn Java 17, the Java No-fee license agreement applies to the third licensing agreement.

Do you have to have a Oracle Java 8 license?

It depends on three factors: a) Have you applied a security patch to Java and that 211 or later? b) Have you used Java Commercial features? c) Have you read the licensing agreement, and are you clear that your usage falls under “general purpose computing?

Suppose we bought a third-party application that requires Oracle Java SE. Who is responsible for making sure we are compliant?

Review your agreement with the third-party application if it mentions Oracle Java SE licensing. If it does not, you, as the end customer, may be responsible for licensing.

Oracle Java licensing and ISV / OEM licenses?

Only a few OEM partners have agreements with Oracle Java, and it’s usually big software companies that have had this agreement in place for years. A good rule of thumb is that the smaller the ISV is, the less chance of such an OEM agreement with Oracle.

Oracle Java and Commercial Features?

To review Oracle Java SE commercial feature usage is the wrong place to start; the question of whether you need a license or not will most likely be determined by a) reviewing your Java licensing agreement and b) your IT security policy that requires you to patch servers and desktops c)

When you apply a security patch, you will be on the new licensing agreement (Oracle Java OTN SE), which allows no commercial usage.

Oracle Java SE OTN does it require a license for non-prod?

Yes, only if you develop your applications; you do not need to license that development environment. However, you must license both if you bought a third-party application and have a prod and dev environment.

How to purchase Oracle Java SE licenses?

Few resellers sell Java directly from Oracle because Oracle doesn’t provide the reseller any margins. You can also purchase Java from the Oracle webshop.

Does Java Development Kit license?

Yes, the Java Development Kit might need a license review of the Java licensing terms applicable to your specific version.

Oracle Java Audits?

Yes, since January 2023, Oracle has included Java in its standard audits.

What recommendation would you give to a company that has not yet reviewed its licensing?

Start because the Java licensing review will not give you a clear answer,” This is what you need to buy.” It will only give you an understanding of your current situation.

Then, in our experience, there will be a long internal discussion between your IT, IT security, management, and legal teams about your company strategy. If you do not start, you might be rushed if Oracle audits your company and will be forced to purchase Oracle Java SE licenses you do not need.

We have tried purchasing Oracle Java SE licenses for a few servers, but Oracle seems unwilling to take my order and requests a meeting to review our licensing.

We experienced this when we helped a company review Oracle Java SE licensing. They concluded they needed to buy Oracle Java licenses for quite a significant sum. However, the Java SE sales rep at Oracle refused to take the order.

What happens at the end of a Java ULA?

You will need to uninstall Java from all devices and servers. You will not own any licenses, which is different from technology ULA, where you can keep the deployed software as licenses.

What kind of discounts can I expect for Java?

Discounts vary; our clients achieve very high discounts using our Java licensing advisory services.

What is a Java employee metric?

It is the new license metric that Oracle released in January 2023. Oracle says you need to license users even if they are not users of Java.

What if we have shared devices with multiple users? How to license?

You need to license every individual who has access to that device.

Which is the most common mistake companies make with Java?

They disregard the licensing agreement covering older deployments and misunderstand Oracle licensing around VMware.

Which commercial feature is most commonly used?

We see that companies have used the MSI from the Oracle website to mass update and or mass distribute. That is not allowed.

Which challenges do organizations face with Java?

Running Java on virtual environments and not understanding why Java is deployed on servers.

Any more challenges?

Many organizations who look into Java are not big Oracle customers. They struggle to understand Oracle licensing policies. And Oracle is not helping when end customers contact them. Instead, Oracle wants to audit its Java deployments.

If we owns Weblogic licenses, do we have Java licenses?

Some Oracle products contain a restricted-use Java SE license. Study the product list that includes a Java license to avoid over-purchasing licenses. These products include WebLogic, Tuxedo, Glassfish, WebCenter, Coherence, Oracle EBS, Oracle Siebel, JD Edwards, and Oracle Peoplesoft.

Do we need a license if we run Java 8 with not applying a security update after April 2020?

Most likely, yes, that would be our default position. However, you need to review the BCL agreement with your legal counsel.

Do third-party application vendors have restricted Java licenses?

Very few, a handful worldwide. Only major software vendors such as IBM, SAP, and Symantec.

Is Oracle Java 17 free for commercial use?

Yes, all commercial use is free if you do not distribute Java into solutions you sell to end customers.

What was the Java licensing change in 2019

Oracle announced that security updates would only be released if you had a subscription/license. And that all future Java versions and updates would follow a new licensing agreement, the Java OTN SE agreement. It is important to note that Java was not free before 2019.

When Oracle writes that Java is free, what do they mean?

It is free via OpenJDK or Java 17.

If we have Java 6, do we need a license?

Yes, most likely. You need to review the applicable licensing agreement (BCL)

We have Java 7. Do we need a license?

Yes, most likely – review the Oracle BCL agreement that is valid for this version

We have Java 8 with a security patch 91. Do we need a license?

Most likely, you do; you need to review the BCL agreement and pay attention to the general purpose description, which tells you what is free to use.

We have upgraded our Java 8 to a security patch 211 or later. Do we need a license?

Yes, if you are a commercial organization, you now follow the Java OTN se agreement and need a license.

How do we license Java on Hyper-V?

You must apply Oracle policy for virtualization; for Hyper-V, you count all physical hosts in the cluster and multiply them with the licensing factor. Licensing is based upon hardware, not virtual processors. Apply the Oracle Core factor table.

Do you recommend we contact Oracle for help with Java?

No, work with an independent licensing expert who can help you understand what you need to license and what not. Only when you have right-sized your environment should you contact Oracle. The Oracle licensing expert can also help you with a strategy for approaching Oracle.

How to license Java in AWS?

In AWS, you multiply the number of vCPUs; usually, you count two vCPUs, which equals one license for Java SE.

And how does it work to license Java on Azure?

In Azure, you multiply the number of vCPUs and usually count two vCPUs, equaling one license for Java SE.

Licensing Java on Google Cloud?

Google is not an approved public cloud environment by Oracle. It is not recommended to run Java on GCP. If you want to use Google Cloud, you should use Google’s bare-metal solutions.

How will this 2023 license changes impact me if I have a 3-year agreement for a Java subscription?

There will be no impact until your current agreement expires; after that, you will most likely be required to purchase the employee license.

With employee licenses,, do we need to count processor licenses for licensing Java?

No, licensing is only based on the employee definition, which you must study to understand what you need to license. We have expert knowledge and can help you if you need help.

Can I run Java on VMWare with an employee subscription?

Yes, you can run Java on VMware; if you have the Employee license model, you do not count the number of processors. Just be mindful of the cap of 50,000 processors.

With employee licenses, do we need to count processor licenses for licensing Java?

No, licensing is only based on the employee definition, which you must study to understand what you need to license. We have expert knowledge and can help you if you need help.

What is the new pricing model for Java SE subscriptions?

Oracle replaced the old Named User Plus Licensing (user licenses) and Processor licenses (server licensing) with a new model called Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription. This new pricing model is based on the number of employees, with different price tiers for different ranges of employee numbers.

What happens to existing Java SE customers?

Oracle is willing to extend the renewal, but only if you are willing to undergo a soft audit where Oracle verifies your deployment numbers. Our experience tells us that Oracle is sometimes not ready to renew the subscription even after you share deployment data.

What is the limit of processors that can be installed and run the Java SE Universal Subscription Program(s) under the new pricing model?

The limit of processors that can be installed and run the Java SE Universal Subscription Program(s) is up to 50,000. If the usage exceeds 50,000 processors, exclusive of processors installed and/or running on desktop and laptop computers, an additional license from Oracle needs to be obtained.

We have a Java SE desktop subscription with Oracle. Can we buy more licenses?

Yes, we help our clients negotiate a purchase based on legacy or new employee metrics. Whichever model is most optimal for them.

Why did Oracle change the licensing rules again?

Nobody knows, but if we would speculate, Oracle wants to earn more money. This license model forces customers to either buy a license for every employee in their company or uninstall Java from desktops and servers.

How to license Employee Java SE Universal Subscription AWS?

You do not count processors or users as long as you correctly calculate the employee license definition and purchase sufficient Oracle licenses.

We have a Java ULA – what will be our options?

We have clients who are either negotiating a purchase on named user plus and processor, employee-based, or a new ULA:

Can I negotiate the pricing with Oracle?

Yes, our clients receive very high discount offers from Oracle after showing the actual value of Java in their estate.

We recieved an e-mail from Oracle wanting to discuss Java licensing, what should we do?

Do not reply to the e-mail before you have had the chance to review your Java licensing optimization properly, and only after that should you contact Oracle.

We purchased Java SE Named User Plus and Processor Metrics, Oracle is refusing to renew the subscription. What can we do?

Read our article, Java Audit Renewal, then consider contacting us for help.

Is Java 17 Free?

Yes, Java 17 is free under NFTC. However, you will need a subscription for security patches after Sept 2024. However, you can continue running Java 17 without applying a security patch at no cost.

What non Oracle JDK options exist?

OpenJDK (OpenSource) and Azul Java are two of the leading options.

We signed an Java Employee Agreement, How can we leave it?

You must plan to leave it the day after signing the Java employee agreement. We have developed a service to assist your organization.

Does Java require a license?

Yes, but only under certain conditions, such as using specific versions or applying certain security patches.

Is Java open source?

Yes, OpenJDK is the open-source version of Java.

Do companies pay to use Java?

Some companies might need to pay for Java licensing depending on their usage and the Java version.

Is Java owned by Oracle?

Yes, Oracle acquired Java as part of its purchase of Sun Microsystems.

What license is Java under?

Java is primarily under the Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE. Older versions are licensed under the Binary Code License Agreement.

Difference between OpenJDK and Oracle Java?

OpenJDK is the open-source implementation of Java, while Oracle Java often includes additional commercial features and support services.

Can you negotiate Oracle Java Employee Agreements?

You must negotiate the Java employee agreement to protect your organization from price increases and audits.

How Redress Compliance Can Help

Java Licensing Service
  • Conduct an independent Java licensing assessment to determine your financial exposure and ensure compliance.
  • Develop multiple licensing strategies for stakeholders to review and select your organization’s best action.
  • Java negotiation advisory support to assist in negotiations with Oracle, leveraging industry expertise and best practices.
  • Provide audit defense plans to protect your organization during Oracle audits, minimizing risks and potential penalties.
  • Assist in understanding the complexities of Java and help identify areas where your organization may be non-compliant.
  • Redress Compliance has developed a proven methodology where our clients only purchase licenses for their Java usage and can avoid purchasing a license for users who do not need Java.

If you want to discuss how Redress Compliance can help your organization,
contact us today to schedule a consultation meeting.

We can help you mitigate the latest Oracle Java licensing changes.


  • 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, enhancing organizational efficiency.