‘New Oracle JDK’ Java available under ‘No-Fee Terms & Conditions’ but there’s a catch – as Certero Oracle licensing expert explains.

You may recall that back in September 2017 Oracle stated that it would publish the JDK under the General Public License (GPL) as “Oracle OpenJDK” and also under an Oracle Technology Network (OTN) license as the Oracle JDK.

Whilst providing OpenJDK builds under the GPL is helpful, it still begs the question if it would ever be available again under free terms enjoyed by developers, businesses and academia alike. Oracle directly responded to the expressed desires of the developer community for confirmation of a less-ambiguous free version, stating that the issue would be addressed with Java 17.

An update was finally provided in September 2021 on the latest Oracle long-term Support Java 17 which brought a new license type – Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC).

So whereas ‘No Fee’ sounds great, as expected, it doesn’t come without a catch, as Certero Oracle expert Hazel Hopes explains:

“In September 2021 Oracle released the latest Long Term Support Java (17) which is available under a new license type of “Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions” (NFTC). This release is akin to the OpenJDK variety of Java and includes the usual quarterly security updates but no support contract or use of Commercial Features such as Java Management Service etc. The license for the Oracle JDK permits free use for all users, even commercial and production use.

However, the NFTC license will expire 1 year into the next LTS release. This means that customers downloading Java 17 under the NFTC license will have to update to Java 21 in September 2024 in order to keep pace with the “free” license terms or, if they want to stay with Java 17, would then have to consider alternative licensing, such as via the OTN agreement or a Java Subscription”.

So, great news for many but definitely one to keep a strategic eye on.

For any guidance and advise on your Oracle licensing, Certero can help. Find out more about Certero’s Oracle Software Asset Management Services and LMS/GLAS Verified Oracle Solutions to help bring clarity and governance over your Oracle estate.

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