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Image: What you need to know about the new Oracle Java licensing

Flexera has been helping large enterprises manage IT costs for many years. We help you see into your technology black hole and inform your IT spending through complete visibility. Recent economic uncertainty underpins the need to be cost conscious, and our IT solutions are saving customers millions—sometimes even tens of millions—by providing these insights.

A general but accurate rule of thumb at the negotiating table is, “the person with access to the best data typically wins.”  Regardless of the type of agreement you have with your IT vendor, every technology agreement should be compared to actual consumption. There are millions of hard savings to be found by tracking what’s being consumed and what’s going to waste. This is money that can be invested in R&D and innovation to help you come out stronger as the economy starts to grow again.

Today, we’re seeing a need and opportunity to find savings related to Oracle. Oracle customers must have clear insights into how much Java they use; Flexera One helps ensure appropriate Java licensing as part of a comprehensive IT asset management (ITAM) approach.

Oracle’s Java licensing changes

Oracle has made a number of changes to its licensing model over the past few years, which have created some concern and extra attention from large enterprises. In response, the company extended its verification program to Java SE in 2022 in order to offer more tooling options to customers. For Flexera, being verified for Java SE meant our customers collected the same data as Oracle collects for GLAS.

On January 23, 2023, Oracle released significant changes to its pricing model for Java, Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription Global Price List, moving away from PROC and NUP to a new model that charges per total number of full or part-time employees and contractors.

Oracle illustrates the change with this example: “Your company has a total employee count of 28,000 as detailed in the Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription definition below. This includes 23,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees plus 5,000 agents, contractors and consultants. Therefore, the price would be 28,000 X $USD 6.75/month X 12 months = $USD 2,268,000/year”

The impact of Java SE pricing changes for Flexera customers

So what do these Java SE pricing changes mean for our customers, and what should they do?

Transparency: Visibility and insights into where Oracle Java is installed has become increasingly important. Flexera One and its inventory agent provide the insights you need to be well prepared for negotiations with Oracle. In addition, with the new employee metrics, each Oracle Java installation can mean extensive re-licensing. No matter what you think of the licensing changes, having transparency can help drive better decisions.

Impact based on amount of Java usage:

  • Heavy Java-users: Some Flexera customers, especially those with heavy usage, see the advantage to the new licensing. For companies that use Java extensively and to which Java belongs, the new licensing simplifies the entire process for everyone involved. The new licensing model will allow more Java usage again and tightly tie monitoring and project resources to Java.  A subset of this group, super heavy users, have additional considerations. Oracle has a cap of 50,000 processors. Beyond that, additional licenses will be required. Oracle says “contact Oracle for pricing if Java SE Universal Subscription is installed on and/or is running on more than 50,000 Processors. For purposes of calculating the 50,000 Processor limit, desktops and laptops are excluded.” This means that enterprises will need to be able to quickly/easily calculate the number of processors where Java is installed and/or used
  • Light Java users: Other organizations that are less committed to Java are more concerned. If you use fewer processors that need to be licensed for Java, does this justify having every employee in the organization licensed? Some have told us they’re actively looking for ways to abandon Oracle Java and use alternative solutions. These processes began when Oracle subscriptions became mandatory. We expect this trend to continue and that some customers will continue to replace Java

Breadth of Oracle product portfolio: As Java is just one Oracle product, it’s still worth using SAM solutions in the areas of middleware or databases in order to avoid the enormous budget risks that arise from uncontrolled use in complex, hybrid IT landscapes.

The value of Oracle Verified + Flexera One

The key takeaway from Oracle’s recent changes for Java licensing is loud and clear: You must have insights into how much Java you’re using. You need to be able to calculate the number of processors where Java is installed and/or used.

That’s where the value of Flexera One shines. Flexera One helps you ensure that you have the most data to help move forward as licensing programs change. Our customers turn to Flexera for visibility into their IT estate across vendors and across cloud, SaaS on-premises and containers. Having data and insights is transformative for our customers. With regard to Oracle:

  • Flexera One helps customers who are currently licensed for Java according to the old Proc and NUP models to ensure that sufficient Java licenses are available before subsequent licensing occurs
  • Your SAM vendor should be an Oracle Verified Third-Party Tool vendor. Flexera is one of the very few vendors that has been verified and provides data sets on Oracle Database and Database Options; Oracle Fusion Middleware; and Java SE. Oracle accepts Flexera as an alternative to installing Oracle measurement tools. This data doesn’t replace Oracle License Audit or revoke Oracle’s contractual right to perform one; usage data gathered from these tools will still need to be analyzed by Oracle to assess license needs and provide the customer with a compliance statement
  • Flexera offers end users the ability to create their own compliance reports in minutes, and they can quickly see if enough licenses are available to cover the current deployment

No matter what happens with Oracle licensing in the future, Flexera One ITAM customers will rest easier. Knowing what you have will help you mitigate unexpected and expensive new license positions.

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