Question: name a sport that will soon be a one billion dollar business with a global audience of over 300 million – but doesn’t involve a ball, pitches or even stadiums? The answer is esports (short for Electronic Sports).

Pay as you play

But what does esports have in common with corporate IT? Well, there is one word that connects the two, and that word is subscription. In the past, a lot of video games were free-to-play, but those players looking for a better gaming experience had to resort to purchasing in-game add-ons for more competitive play. As a result, leading providers slowly changed their free business models to recurring subscriptions.

In the world of IT, Oracle is doing exactly the same, as they created a brand new subscription model for Java SE:

  • Called Java SE Subscription, the new program covers commercial licensing, and offers features such as the Advanced Java Management Console
  • It also includes Premier Support for current and previous Java SE releases and is required for new deployments of Java SE 8

The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good news is that any subscription includes updates, upgrades, and support for a monthly price. The bad news is that with Oracle’s new definition of ‘general purpose use of Java’, almost nobody will be able to access the language for free – and instead they’ll have to start paying for it.

Plus, as the one-time perpetual license model comes to an end, companies are faced with the potential of losing access to Oracle Premier Support. Worse still is that effective January 2019 Java SE8 public updates will no longer be available for ‘business, commercial, or production use’ without a commercial license.

‘Prepare for audit after inevitable change’, was a recent headline following the news.

Time to get counting

Obviously, with support becoming a cost through the new subscription model (and a sizeable cost at that for larger Java users), the pressure is now on to work out exactly what you need to pay for. This is where expertise is needed, to ensure you can accurately:

  • Count and identify all Java SE instances in your data centers
  • Calculate the quantities of either physical desktop computers or the physical servers where the software resides

Navigating complexity

Not that the counting and calculating process is an easy hurdle to overcome.

An obvious solution is to use Java Usage Tracker to report on Java versions, app name, type, and location. But this comes with a caveat: the tool also requires a commercial license to use (even though it’s included in the installer for free components).

Go it ‘alone’ and the complexity can quickly build:

  • First, you need to gain an accurate picture of Java usage across the business
  • Then you’ll need to identify where an Oracle Java SE product is already included in other Oracle products (Weblogic Suite, Web Center Content etc., which include a ‘full use’ or ‘restricted use’ license for Java’s commercial features).
  • Then there’s the challenge of measuring usage across virtual machines, and counting all the cores in the virtual environment together.
  • Finally, there’s the simple fact that some of the Java-based apps being used could already be licensed by a company other than Oracle (think OEMs etc.).

Call for back-up

So where can you go for help? Well, with COMPAREX you can take advantage of our Oracle Java Compliance Health Check. This is a process that first sees us gather all the necessary information (through questionnaires, interviews etc.), before summarizing our findings, conclusions, and recommendations – in a compliance report that enables you to:

  • Validate whether you’re facing any risks and if so to what extent
  • Build upon the engagement (if necessary) to remediate any compliance issues
  • Or to state with confidence that no further action is required

Become your own star player

The Oracle Java Compliance Health Check from COMPAREX has been carefully designed to help ensure you stay ahead of the game in 2019. Working together we’ll generate insights needed to address any possible risks and identify your next move toward becoming the next electronic superstar.

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David De Bremaecker

Solution Advisor

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