Java: Like Being Free but Oracle Instead

Matt Ryan
Apr. 30,2020 | Software Oracle Java

Really, you must give credit where credit is due when it comes to creating new revenue streams.  Oracle is seemingly the master at ‘making everything old, new again’ and conjuring revenue out of thin air where once there was none.  With its acquisition of Sun (and by extension Java) in 2010, we should have known that it would only be a matter of time before a free platform was turned into a revenue stream.  Over time, Oracle methodically added and modified the Java roadmap to lead us where we are now – the once noble and free Java SE is now lumped together with all the other Named User Plus and Processor licenses.

With Java’s changes, also come the typical Oracle baggage that all customers must now be aware of and ready to manage lest they become a victim of compliance, audits, and substantial price increases.  We are now seeing this first-hand in the marketplace as Oracle has brought Java full circle, threatening audit.

To help you avoid falling into traps and compliance issues, we’ve framed some high- level items to avoid and watch out for as you navigate the Java waters.

Watch what you say to Oracle:

Yes – it often can be that simple.  In social gatherings, oversharing can be awkward and risky but sometimes humorous if you aren’t the one talking too much.  But oversharing with Oracle will only be awkward for you later, after it becomes destructive to your bottom line.  There are specific methodologies and techniques that Oracle field teams are trained on to extract knowledge they later use to leverage in selling more licensing.  Call them trap questions if you will, but there is a cadence and process by which you can inadvertently share what’s behind the curtain, and it will cost you when the Java team knocks soon after. 

Audit Police:

Did you ever think you’d hear the words ‘audit’ and ‘Java’ in the same sentence?  The idea would have seemed ludicrous not too long ago, but here we are.  There are so many applications, commercial uses, versions, features and components of Java, that companies are hard pressed to keep up with it all.  Ensuring that your company has every usage of Java licensed and compliant may be near impossible.  Our advice, as with any kind of Oracle audit offensive, contact us for an immediate assessment.  Do not speak with or respond to Oracle until you have sought help in navigating the complexities ahead.   It is very likely you own Java rights in your current entitlements and will be able to ignore Oracle’s threats and we can help you sort through that.

Free is not Free:

One definition of addiction is as follows: Compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences.  Companies, like people, can get addicted to software – especially when its marketed as ‘free’.  With no license key requirements and wide availability for most downloads, it is no wonder companies get out of compliance quickly.  When there are seemingly no barriers to downloading software, most users think they will only have to pay for what they use, without understanding the full context of how that usage is going to cost them exponentially in the coming months and years.  Oracle understands that most companies can’t possibly keep up with this activity across hundreds or thousands of users.  As companies get addicted to this ‘free’ software, they find out later that the adverse consequences come in the form of dollars….millions of them. 

Remember this; Oracle probably has more salespeople than your entire company along with entire groups dedicated to working out how to drive more revenue with existing products.  As you ponder that, overlay the fact that Oracle’s net income for 2019 was north of $11B USD per their latest annual report. 

Do not fall into a trap with Oracle’s threats related to their new Java SE licensing models.  NET(net) is fully prepared to offer a complete assessment of your Java risk.  Understanding your deployment, license rights, and alternatives is key when weighing options.  As with all Oracle licensing issues, we have extensive experience working through Java compliance questions and can help you navigate these new, murky waters. 

About NET(net)

Founded in 2002, NET(net) is the world’s leading IT Investment Optimization firm, helping clients find, get and keep more economic and strategic value. With over 2,500 clients around the world in nearly all industries and geographies, and with the experience of over 25,000 field engagements with over 250 technology suppliers in XaaS, Cloud, Hardware, Software, Services, Healthcare, Outsourcing, Infrastructure, Telecommunications, and other areas of IT spend, resulting in incremental client captured value in excess of $250 billion since 2002. NET(net) has the expertise you need, the experience you want, and the performance you demand. Contact us today at, visit us online at, or call us at +1-866-2-NET-net to see if we can help you capture more value in your IT investments, agreements, and relationships.

NET(net)’s Website/Blogs/Articles and other content is subject to NET(net)’s legal terms offered for general information purposes only, and while NET(net) may offer views and opinions regarding the subject matter, such views and opinions are not intended to malign or disparage any other company or other individual or group.

Read similar posts below