Oracle Java SE licensing pricing update – how does this affect your business?

James Peck 03-Feb-2023 16:01:05

Oracle has recently announced a significant change to their licensing policies for Oracle Java SE deployments. This change could make your Oracle Java SE license exposure significantly more expensive, depending on how you deploy Java in your business. The following content is to be used as a high-level guide to the new licensing changes, and should you wish to speak to an Oracle licensing specialist about your specific scenario, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch for confidential advice. Or, you can find out more about our Oracle Licensing services here.

In the previous licensing model, you would either license based on the number of physical processors or the desktop users where Java SE was installed and/or running. This was a fairly simple model to understand and allowed you to license just the instances where you had Java SE deployed. However, the updated license policies announced on 23rd January mean you have to license Java SE using a different license metric. The historic metrics of Desktop User and CPU have been superseded by the Employee metric, with Oracle’s definition of Employee highlighted below:

  1. “all of Your full-time, part-time, temporary employees”, AND

  2. “all of the full-time employees, part-time employees, and temporary employees of your agents, contractors, outsourcers, and consultants that support Your internal business operations.”

What does this mean in terms of license exposure? Well, put simply, your Java SE license bill is no longer based on your actual usage or the hardware specification that you are deployed on, but rather the total number of employees in your business using the above definitions. So, in essence, the larger your company is in terms of the number of employees, the higher your Java SE license bill. It doesn’t matter if you only deploy and use Java in one small area of the business, you are required to license based on the employee metric. The price list is based on the number of licenses you require, with bands provided lowering user costs the more employee licenses you buy. Nothing changes in terms of the right-to-use functionality that is provided under the license.

It is key that you understand how you have Java deployed in your application estate to determine what any exposure may be. DSP-Explorer can help with this process, along with helping with your wider Oracle license estate compliance.

Please contact our Oracle licensing specialists if you need any help or advice, or you can check out our Oracle licensing pages for more information.

Find out more