Your Support Options for JDK 7

Are you facing new risks or costs because Oracle had ended support for Java 7?

This article was written in conjunction with Azul and originally posted on their website.

Many folks we talk with are concerned. So we reached out to Craig Guarente, President and Founder of Palisade Compliance, for recommendations to reduce your exposure. Palisade Compliance is the largest independent, Oracle-focused advisory firm. We sat down with Craig to break down your alternatives.

Azul: Craig, your business is a great partner to Azul. Tell us about Palisade Compliance.
CG: Palisade Compliance is a technology-powered management consulting firm that specializes in Oracle licensing, contracting, compliance, cloud, and corporate strategy. We help our clients avoid and solve Oracle business challenges. We are also 100% independent of Oracle, so we can give our clients the best advice without any Oracle conflict of interest.

Azul: You have a very mature practice around helping companies navigate around Oracle Java licensing and risk reduction – and you are getting a lot of interest in Oracle’s end of support for Java 7 – and that July 19 is such a big deal. Why is that?
CG: It’s a big deal because in August 2022 Oracle Java 7 will enter “Oracle Sustaining Support”. This support level costs more and does not include:

  • New program updates, fixes, security alerts, and critical patch updates.
  • New tax, legal, and regulatory updates.
  • New upgrade scripts.
  • Certification with new third-party products/versions.
  • 24-hour commitment and response guidelines for Severity 1 service requests as defined in the Severity Level section.
  • Previously released fixes or updates that Oracle no longer supports.

This reduction in Oracle support is concerning for companies that rely on Java 7. They must now make some very important choices on how to move forward. Making the wrong decision here could be costly. We’ve seen this move by Oracle (i.e. lowering support levels) time and again in the database world and Oracle customers are never happy about it.

Azul: Let’s look at the history, why is Java 7 so important?
CG: It’s important because many companies have in-house built applications and/or 3rd party applications that are currently run Oracle Java SE 7. Moving custom apps to Java is a considerable, labor-intensive endeavor. Upgrading 3rd party applications beyond version 7 would be quite costly. Going unsupported and risking security is often a non-option.

Azul: It turns out that there is still a significant number of people who are using JDK 7. In almost all cases, this is not because users don’t want to move to a newer version; they’re just not able to – do you agree with that?
CG: It’s often both a business decision and a technical limitation that keeps companies on Java 7.

As I mentioned earlier, it is both costly and labor intensive to upgrade. Companies don’t make money by running the latest version of Java. They make money by producing amazing products and services. These companies have decided to put their resources into those areas that produce revenue.

They are kicking the can down the road until they are forced to make a move. Well, we’re now at the end of the road for Oracle support so there is no more can kicking.

Azul: So, if you are still using JDK 7 – what are your best options?
CG: You have three options. First, do an expensive upgrade. Second, go unsupported and accept the security risks. Finally, have someone else support your Java 7. I believe that is where Azul comes in. Once a company understands the licensing and support costs on the Oracle side, added with the lack of real support, they then look for a different solution.

I know many Palisade Compliance clients have gone to Azul and I’ve had great feedback from them on the services they received.