how oracle java license change affect users

Oracle java


oracle java has 3 platforms, Java SE for standard usage, Java EE for enterprise usage, and Java ME for micro usage.
They are all specifications and are not implementations.

Some specification examples:

relationship between jdk, jre and Java SE

  • Refer to, Java SE defines the specification. JDK and JRE are implementations of the Java SE.
  • JDK is a superset of JRE. Meaning when you download JDK, the JRE is always included.
  • JDK is for developing programs, JRE is for running programs.

oracle jdk user types

According to, there are at least three kinds of users.

  • personal users
    • Personal use is using Java on a desktop or laptop computer to do things such as to play games or run other personal applications. If you are using Java on a desktop or laptop computer as part of any business operations, that is not personal use.
  • commercial users
  • Oracle Product users

oracle jdk license changes at April 16, 2019

Oracle JAVA SE product releases(include Oracle JDK/JRE) before April 16 2019 are BCL license, and are OTN license after April 16, 2019.
Oracle OpenJDK releases are still GPL license.

(According to the release note,, Oracle JDK8 until jdk1.8-201 belong to BCL license, Oracle JDK8 later than it belong to OTN license.)
(Commercial users can use BCL license at no cost for most of the features, but commercial users cannot use OTN license at no cost.)

do you need to pay to use Oracle JAVA?

  • no cost
    • All types of users can use Oracle OpenJDK at no cost.
    • Personal user and Oracle Product users can use Oracle Java SE product(Oracle JDK version before April 16, 2019) at no cost.
  • need to pay
    • Commercial users who use Oracle Java SE product(Oracle JDK version after April 16, 2019) will require a Java SE Subscription, meaning need to pay money to Oracle.

It means that if you use Oracle JDK8 in the commercial environments at no cost, the latest Oracle JDK8 version you can use is jdk1.8-201.
If you want to use newer versions(you would need to do it, for security patches), you need to either use Oracle OpenJDK or pay for the Oracle JDK.
If you want to pay for Oracle JDK, oracle says the price is as low as $2.50/desktop user/month, but I think this price is not low…

suggestion for commercial users to choose which JDK to use

Use Oracle OpenJDK for most of the cases.
Use and pay for Oracle JDK if you really need strong support from Oracle(like financial companies?), which I think is not the case for most of the companies.
There are also free JDKs that are not provided by Oracle, such as Zulu, AdoptOpenJDK, Corretto(from Amazon) and so on. They can also be alternative choices.