Note: the following is an edited transcript of the video narration.

Basically, everybody wants to know, is Oracle auditing Java?

The answer is, Oracle doesn’t have to audit Java, because they’re suggesting to customers that they have big Java problems and those customers are signing unlimited agreements for Java subscriptions for a term. So, we haven’t seen any official Oracle audits for Java, where you get the letter from the LMS team, and they’re auditing and getting money that way.

What we’ve seen a lot of is Oracle salespeople having conversations with customers about their use of Java.

We’ve also seen or we’ve had Oracle customers tell us that Oracle has approached them and said, “We see you’ve downloaded A, B, C product from our Java portfolio, and therefore you need a license.” So, Oracle is looking at the downloads that customers have around Java and then they’re applying pressure to those customers to buy Java products, and buy Java subscriptions. It’s typically this sort of “all you can eat” Java model for a few years and that’ll help customers, I guess, resolve the issues that Oracle thinks they have.

The Java licensing question is a little complex, because you can get Java in multiple ways.

Obviously, you can buy a subscription for Oracle Java, that’s the first way – directly. Oracle Java is also included in many of Oracle’s middleware products. If you have some of those middleware products, you already have a license for Java. Some of those licenses are restricted, and some of them aren’t; they’re more full-use licenses. Then, if you’re buying third-party applications, some Java is embedded with that. So, you have multiple points of entry for Oracle Java.

What about rightsizing your Java subscriptions and what is the best approach?

Obviously, we always start at the beginning. So, we want to know, “Where did your license come from?” In the traditional Oracle world, that means “show me your Oracle contracts”. In the Java world, that could mean, “Show me your Oracle contracts. Let me see your licenses. Are you using other third-party products that might include Java?” – and going from there.

But the way Oracle has licensed Java (or is requiring that you have a paid subscription for Java to use the right terminology) it’s basically: if you’re using commercial features or if you want updates that are more than six months old, you’re probably going to end up buying a license – a subscription for Oracle Java.

So that’s what we look for when we’re auditing a customer for their use of Java:

  • What features and functions have been in use and turned on?
  • How are you using the software?
  • What applications are you supporting?
  • How often are you updating it?

So, that’s on the “contracting and licensing” side. As far as the “where is it?” side, there are commercial tools you can use to point you in the direction of Java. At Palisade Compliance, we’ve got tools that search to find out where your Java is located.

Once you’ve found Java …

The next considerations are:

  • Is it something that I need to buy?
  • Or is it something I need to do pay for?
  • Or is it included in something else?

You have a business analysis at the beginning of your Java journey, then you have a technical analysis in terms of finding out where you have Java running and installed, and then you have to wrap that up, with: “Okay. I found this Java, but is this a licensable event, or is it not a licensable event?”

To wrap up, no official Oracle audits for Java

We have seen Oracle put a lot of pressure on customers and generate a lot of money from Java based on that pressure.

As far as rightsizing your Java subscriptions, look at those multiple points of entry of where Java could be to find out what your license is to begin with.

Then you’ll need a scanning tool to go find Java both on your servers and your desktop. So again, this is a little different for Oracle where traditionally we just look at server side. And then wrapping that analysis, “What do I own versus what I’m using?” And then, “Am I plus or minus?” And then, “What should I do from there?”