Oracle Java SE License Change

In April 2019, Oracle made licensing changes that affected UW-Madison's ability to use certain versions of Java on university owned systems.

What has changed with Oracle’s Java SE License?

Oracle has changed its Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE as of April 16, 2019. Common products covered under this new license agreement are Java Runtime Environment (JRE), Java SE Development Kit (JDK), and Java Web Start. For additional information on the new license agreement see these FAQs.

The new license agreement continues to permit the following use cases at no cost. 

  1. Personal Use

  2. Development Use

  3. Oracle Approved Product Use (see UW-specific products below)

  4. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Use

  5. Products from vendors with approval to distribute java (See UW-specific products below) 

Other use cases, such as accessing or distributing production products , are no longer free and require an Oracle Java SE Subscription

What is the impact of this license agreement change to UW-Madison?

The major risks introduced by Oracle’s license agreement change are (a) remaining in compliance with the new license agreement to avoid future audit findings and financial implications, and (b) incurring subscription costs that are prohibitive for an organization our size.

The following approach is being taken to mitigate these risks associated with non-compliance use cases: 

  1. Minimize or eliminate dependency on Oracle Java wherever possible, including new desktop or server installations.

  2. Migrate to open-source alternatives to Oracle Java (e.g. AdoptOpenJDK).

  3. When necessary, purchase Oracle Java SE Subscription.

What do I need to do? 

Nothing if your Oracle Java usage is in compliance with the new license agreement. See (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) above.

Uninstall Oracle Java from your computer if you do not require it.

Install AdoptOpenJDK on your computer if you need java but not explicitly Oracle Java.

Purchase a Oracle Java SE Subscription if you have an explicit need for Oracle that is not in compliance with the new Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE. DoIT departments should contact DoIT Purchasing and other campus departments should utilize their IT purchasing process.

What was the process and outcome of DoIT’s Oracle Java Remediation project? 

  1. Identified 900+ workstations, servers, and products with Oracle Java installations using Qualys and BigFix.

  2. Analyzed use cases and determined approximately 40% of the workstations, servers, and products were in compliance with the new license agreement. The analysis utilized BigFix and manual assessments.

  3. Remediated approximately 80% of the non-compliant workstations, servers, and products by uninstalling Oracle Java and installing AdoptOpenJDK. The workstation remediations utilized BigFix and the servers and products were manually remediated.

  4. These approved UW products identified during the project can continue to use Oracle Java at no cost. Other UW products need to be evaluated.

    • AIX Server Operating System (OS) from IBM

    • Brocade SAN switches

    • Common Business Systems (CBS)

    • COS (Cloud Object Storage) from IBM

    • Human Resource System (HRS)

    • Job and Employee Management System (JEMS CHRIS-HR/PVL/HIRE)

    • Oracle SQL Developer

    • Oracle WebLogic

    • Shared Financial System (SFS)

    • Student Information System (SIS)

    • Workspace ONE (formerly known as Airwatch) Mobile Device Management (MDM) from VMware

For additional questions and details please contact the DoIT Helpdesk at support@doit.wisc.edu or 608-264-4357.