Java / Java licensing

Java Licensing Model Comparisons

ava Licensing Model Comparisons

  • 2019 Model:
    • Named User Plus: $1.75 per user/month.
    • Total annual cost for 12,000 employees: $252 000
  • 2023 Model:
    • Employee Metric License: $15 per employee/month.
    • Total annual cost for 12,000 employees: $2,160,000.
  • Cost Increase: Approximately 683%.

Introduction Java Licensing Model Comparisons

Introduction Java Licensing Model Comparisons

Java’s licensing models have evolved significantly, particularly since Oracle’s shift to a subscription-based model in 2019.

This article compares the past and present Java licensing models, focusing on the financial implications for businesses.

We’ll also assume a company with 12,000 employees to illustrate the cost differences.

2019 Licensing Model

2019 Licensing Model

Subscription-Based Licensing:

In 2019, Oracle introduced a subscription-based licensing model for Java SE. This model replaced the previous perpetual licensing approach and required businesses to pay ongoing fees based on two primary metrics: Named User Plus (NUP) and Processor Licensing.

Named User Plus (NUP):

  • Cost: $1.75 per named user per month.
  • Example Calculation for 12,000 Employees:
    • Assuming each employee is a named user, the monthly cost would be:
    • 12,000 users×$1.75 per user=$21,000 per month12,000 users×$1.75 per user=$21,000 per month
    • Annual cost: $21,000×12=$252,000$21,000×12=$252,000

2023 Licensing Model

2023 Licensing Model

Employee Metric License:

In 2023, Oracle introduced the Employee Metric License, a new licensing model that simplifies the licensing process by covering all employees, regardless of their actual use of Java.

  • Cost: $15 per employee per month.
  • Example Calculation for 12,000 Employees:
    • Monthly cost: 12,000 employees×$15 per employee=$180,00012,000 employees×$15 per employee=$180,000
    • Annual cost: $180,000×12=$2,160,000$180,000×12=$2,160,000

Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis

Cost Comparison:

  • 2019 Model:
    • Named User Plus + Processor Licensing Annual Cost: $276,000
  • 2023 Model:
    • Employee Metric License Annual Cost: $2,160,000

Percentage Increase:

To calculate the percentage increase in costs from the 2019 model to the 2023 model:

Percentage Increase=(New Price−Old PriceOld Price)×100Percentage Increase=(Old PriceNew Price−Old Price​)×100

Percentage Increase=(2,160,000−276,000276,000)×100Percentage Increase=(276,0002,160,000−276,000​)×100

Percentage Increase≈683%Percentage Increase≈683%

Assumptions and Implications:

  • The above calculation assumes that all 12,000 employees are named users in the 2019 model.
  • The new Employee Metric License simplifies compliance and license management by covering all employees.
  • Despite the significant cost increase, the new model reduces administrative overhead and potential audit risks by ensuring comprehensive coverage.


The shift from the 2019 subscription-based licensing model to the 2023 Employee Metric License represents a substantial increase in business costs. For a company with 12,000 employees, the annual cost under the new model is approximately 683% higher than the old model.

While the new licensing model simplifies compliance and management, accommodating the increased expenses requires careful financial planning. Businesses must evaluate their needs and consider alternative options, such as OpenJDK, to manage costs effectively.


  • 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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