The New Oracle Java Pricing: What You Need to Know

Thursday, 30 March, 2023

Oracle has recently made some changes to its Oracle Java pricing model, and as a result, many organizations are now questioning the cost implications of using this technology. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what these changes mean for you and your organization.

January 2019 Oracle changes the rules on Java

Firstly, it’s important to understand that Oracle Java is a widely-used programming language that’s used for building applications and software solutions. Prior to 2019, Oracle offered a no-fee license of Java.  Since January 2019, Oracle has required businesses to obtain a commercial license for Java SE with a paid subscription. These fees apply to all commercial users, including those previously using Java for free. This means that businesses must now pay for a Java subscription to receive updates and support, which is essential for maintaining the security and stability of their systems.

Key Resource: Our Previous Blog Post on 2019 Oracle Java Changes

Previously, the cost of a Java subscription depended on a number of factors, such as the number of processors or users that would be using the software. For example, a standard subscription for a single user started at $30 per year, while a subscription for a single server could be $5,000 per year or more.

On January 23, 2023, Oracle changed the rules again

Instead of Java licensing being tied to usage, Oracle created an Employee for Universal Subscription, which is totally independent of the installation or usage of Java.  Simply, count the number of “Employees,” which, from Oracle’s definition, includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees and agents, contractors, and consultants.  Then purchase a license for everyone costing around $100 per year per employee.

So, what does this mean for your organization? If you’re currently using Java SE for commercial purposes, you’ll need to budget for the cost of a Java subscription. This may involve revisiting your IT budget and reallocating resources to cover the cost of these subscriptions.

Alternatively, you could explore the use of alternatives to Oracle Java, such as OpenJDK or Azul Java. While these solutions may offer different levels of support and different frequencies of updates, they can still be a viable option for organizations looking to reduce their IT costs.

Oracle Java Pricing Comparison

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the cost implications before and after the 2023 Oracle Java changes:

Scenario DescriptionEmployeesJava Desktop UsersJava Installed ProcessorsCost with Old ModelCost with New ModelPercentage Increase
Small Java Footprint100154$1,650/year$18,000/year1,000%
Large Java Footprint10010030$12,000/year$18,000/year50%

Oracle Java Pricing Chart by Employee Count

Employee CountYearly Cost Per EmployeeAnnual Cost (Low Range)Annual Cost (High Range)

Conclusion: Adapt and Overcome

In conclusion, the recent changes to Oracle Java pricing have made it necessary for businesses to re-evaluate their usage, costs, and value of Oracle Java. While this latest change may represent an additional cost for organizations, maintaining the security and stability of their systems may make it worthwhile.   However, businesses should carefully consider their options regarding Java subscriptions and explore alternatives such as OpenJDK or Azul Java.

Resources for Navigating the Oracle Java License Changes

  1. Oracle Java SE Subscription Global Price List
  2. Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap
  3. Oracle Java Licensing Timeline of Changes
  4. Oracle Java Solutions and Alternatives

Learn more about how LicenseFortress is helping customers address the Oracle Java license changes.