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Oracle is now charging for Java updates

From the end of January 2019, Oracle is no longer providing Java updates for free. The vendor is going to charge customers a fortune for these instead. Does this affect you?

To understand this, let’s use an example.  Let’s say that you are a customer running Oracle E-Business Suite on Oracle Database 11g.  You may be using Financials, Purchasing including iProcurement, and HR including Self-Service HR.

What is Java and what does it do?

Java has two components:

  • JDK – the Java Development Kit
  • JRE – the Java Runtime Environment

JDK is used on a server to deliver software from there. JRE is used to provide an environment on the PC to run Java software there.

So where is Java used by the Oracle E-Business Suite?  The Oracle forms (screens) are written in Java so you use JRE to deliver screens to users of your core applications like Financials, Purchasing, and HR.

However, you do not need JRE to deliver self-service pages like iProcurement and Self-Service HR. You don’t need to worry about Java updates for these types of users, which probably form a large part of your user community.  Many of your other business systems such as Office 365 and Google Chrome also don’t use Java, so you do not need Java updates to use these applications.

When and where do you need Java updates?

The possible need arises when you have one business user that uses one or more Oracle E-Business Suite core modules. They may want to use another Oracle system for another business application like an Oracle-based billing system for example. If you have users who need to do this, then you may find that the E-Business Suite needs one version of JRE while the billing system needs another.

You can resolve this by using a tool like Thinapp. This type of tool allows users to run legacy or incompatible apps on the same Windows desktop environment.

In reality, it is likely that you would only need this solution for a very small subset of your users. This tool would not only facilitate this, but it would also separate these environments on the desktop. This means that updates to one of these will not cause knock-on effects on any of the other environments.

Security fixes

The other reason Oracle now charges for updates to Java is to get security fixes. However, there are much better solutions on the market for security.

For example, Support Revolution uses Trend Micro Deep Security.  This tool acts as a fence around your estate to stop any attack on any software (including Java) before it gets anywhere near your users.

Patches are downloaded onto a console and applied to the fence without touching the Java or desktop code (so no risk of systems not working after such updates). These security fixes are delivered in days or hours from finding a new vulnerability. With Oracle, you would have to wait weeks or months for fixes.

Avoid paying for Java updates and receive security fixes

With a little planning, most customers will find that they do not need to pay Oracle for Java updates. They can move to third-party support and save even more money than before. You won’t have to pay for expensive Oracle Support or Java updates either!

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