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Oracle Insight: New for 2023! The Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription

It seems that Oracle have changed their minds around Java SE licensing yet again.

Oracle have further simplified all Java SE commercial requirements from January 2023 by introducing a single “Universal Subscription”.

It seems that Oracle have changed their minds around Java SE licensing yet again. This time, introducing the Java SE Universal Subscription effective January 2023. The new model is licensed per Employee, further simplifying all Java SE commercial requirements into a single subscription regardless of deployment method.

The Pros and Cons of the Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription

The Pros:

  • No elaborate calculations needed to assess your requirements.
  • You can now gain support for your entire Java SE environment for the same price as supporting just the subset of business critical machines.

The Cons:

  • The Employee metric requires you to license your entire user population regardless of whether you are just seeking support for 1 server or an entire IT estate.
  • The Employee definition is not entirely functional for most businesses as it includes “all of the full-time employees, part-time employees and temporary employees of Your agents, contractors, outsourcers, and consultants that support Your internal business operations”. Hypothetically, by accepting this metric in its current form, you could be required to purchase a subscription for an entire portion of a third party Service Provider (i.e. it’s not just your day-to-day contacts but all their supporting team members).
  • The pricing of the Java SE Universal Subscription compared to the Java SE Desktop NUP subscription is an increase of 420%-600% against list price (varying based on price band). While it is true that the new 2023 subscription also covers server use, the uplift does appear to be rather excessive when also considering the ‘enterprise commitment’.

In effect, for one reason or another, Oracle have turned the entire subject of Java SE licensing into what is effectively a yes/no switch with the only room to determine cost being a commercial negotiation.

Previous Oracle Java SE licensing models

The “Universal Subscription” is the latest development in Oracle’s on-going quest to find the right Java SE licensing model. Read our overview of Oracle’s previous licensing models, including the 2010 “Oracle Binary Code License Agreement” (BCL) and the 2021 “Oracle No-Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC)” license.

If you have questions about the implications of Oracle’s Java SE licensing changes and want to identify any risks and opportunities regarding Oracle Java deployment in your organization we offer a comprehensive Oracle Java Assessment service. Please contact us for more details.

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