Is Java’s New Fee Structure Pricing Companies Out?

Oracle’s new and well-published fee structure for Java is now in full force. It represents the fourth fee structure change in four years. Under the new schedule, companies using Java could pay 2-5 times more to continue using it. This begs a particularly important question: is the new fee structure pricing companies out?

A January piece from Forbes Council’s Member Scott Sellers suggests that this is a very real possibility. Sellers notes that 98% of all businesses use Java for both infrastructure and apps. More than half say that Java is the foundation of most of their software. Having to pay up to five times more to use it forces some of these companies to make a tough choice. They either find a way to cover the higher costs of Java licensing or they turn to an alternative.

Genuine Concern Over Higher Prices

Concerns over Java licensing are nothing new. We are used to hearing such concerns whenever we conduct a Java compliance or license review for one of our larger clients. The fact is that Java is expensive. And with the new pricing structure, a structure now based on the total number of a company’s employees and contractors, Java might prove cost-prohibitive to organizations that have depended on it for so long.

According to Sellers, more than 80% of the companies currently using Java report being concerned about the new pricing. Sellers explains that some of them are seriously considering moving to an alternative Java distribution. Solutions based on OpenJDK are among the most common.

The University of Sydney is a prime example. They moved away from Oracle Java in favor of Azul Platform Core. Not only did they spend 70% less, but the university also reported that doing business was easier for them.

If Switching Is Not an Option

More organizations are likely to do what the University of Sydney did. Saving such a huge amount of money is nothing to sneeze at. At the same time, Java is so pervasive in the software development world that there will be those users for which switching is not a viable option. These are the types of organizations that need services like Java license and compliance reviews.

Whether a company is looking to shore up Java compliance or migrate to an alternative, there are three things to pay close attention to:

  1. Discovery – The starting point for either strategy is to identify every version of Java being used. Organizations need to know who works with Java, which applications utilize it, etc. Most importantly, organizations need to account for independent contractors.
  2. Execution – Companies choosing to switch to an alternative must be careful to install the same version and then configure their software to work with it. Those choosing to stay with Oracle Java need to ensure that their current execution is in line with licensing requirements.
  3. Review – Regardless of the product being used, software licenses are involved. And where there are licenses, there are compliance requirements. Organizations need to regularly review their licenses to ensure that everything is on the up and up.

Has your company taken a significant financial hit thanks to Oracle’s new pricing structure for Java? If so, we invite you to take advantage of our Java license and compliance review services. We can help you make sure that you are using the correct licenses and paying the right fees. We can also help you maintain compliance throughout.

If your company has chosen to switch to an alternative, please note that you will still likely have license issues to worry about. Do not take those issues lightly.

Let our expert analyst team complete a thorough license review of your organization’s Oracle Java licenses and more to assure that your organization remains in compliance with Oracle’s licensing policies.

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