LearningCenter Post108

Oracle Java Licensing Changes

Java Licensing Update

Did you know Oracle changed the rules on Java licensing earlier this year and that, as a result of this change, many companies may be exposed to an audit by Oracle?   That’s the what all the experts are out there claiming, that you may have 100’s of thousands if not millions of dollars in exposure to unlicensed Java use based on these changes.

Before I get into the 5 Simple tricks to perform a Java Audit, let me tell you… based on experience from the Java Audits that MetrixData 360 have conducted to-date, this doomsday financial ticking time bomb is neither accurate nor true.  Yes, you could potentially owe a million dollars, but our average findings indicate that the amount of unlicensed Java our clients had exposure on was typically less than $50,000.   You can breathe a little easier now!

So why are these Oracle License and Audit experts saying you could owe millions?  The reason is simple. These “experts” are lacking important information to make these claims.  I might go even as far to say, many of them don’t have the expertise to even advise you on what level of licensing you require.  They are making these claims because traditional Oracle licensing is complicated and confusing.  The environments that Oracle run in are large, diverse and expansive.  And I agree with those statements.  A traditional Oracle audit is expensive and complicated.

Oracle Java however, is deployed primarily in your desktop environment.  Most Oracle Licensing and Audit experts don’t have experience with desktop environments….  And yes, I do know that Java can be installed in server environments.  But quite honestly?  An Oracle Java Audit is more like a Microsoft Office audit (on both desktops and servers) than it is like an Oracle Server Audit.

5 Tips for Navigating An Oracle Audit

So let me now tell you the 5 incredibly simple things you need capture to conduct a successful (for you) Java Licensing Audit and determine just how much (or should I say how little?) you may owe Oracle today.

#1 – Understand Your Oracle Deployments

Visualizing and validating your deployment data is one of the most important components to understanding your license position.  Unfortunately, capturing this data accurately is arguably one of the most frustrating things you can go through.  With multiple data sources, rows and rows of data that needs to be stitched together and IT departments that are unaware of all the data that is required – this process is an exercise in frustration for every client we’ve ever worked with.

That’s why MetrixData 360 developed a tool to do it for you!  A great way to understand your deployment data is to utilize a simple data visualization and inventory normalization tool.  Let me introduce you to our custom-developed tool – SAM Compass.  This tool works with your inventory tools (SCCM, Altris, LanDesk etc.) to easily (and accurately!) bring together the data you need in a simple, workable, format; so, you can easily apply software licenses to your deployment in the most optimal manner.

#2 – Determine What is Licensable Today and What is Not!

The key to keeping your costs down is understanding not all of Java is licensable today (or maybe ever).  When it comes to your deployment data, you need a normalized list of Software that is Auditable today.  While this may be easier said than done, our SAM Compass tool has been developed to make this easier.

#3 – Understand Where Java is Bundled (Typically in Server product)

Java is included for free as a restricted use product with many applications.  Weblogic, PeopleSoft, SAP and IBM all have Java bundled into their products that may not require a license.

#4 – Review Your Use of Oracle Java on your Desktops

Many times, Java was included on the desktop for browser applications.  You need to review your use of these products and determine if you need to continue.  You will also want to look at other options (that are still free) such as OpenJDK, as a replacement.

#5 – Hire Java Licensing Experts

If you’ve spent any time trying to understand all the nuances of Java licensing, you know how complicated it is.  Just do a pull of Oracle Java Titles and try and figure out which ones require a license today vs. which ones don’t.  It’s very confusing.  There are experts out there that can help you (cost effectively) determine your compliance position (and provide you with valid recommendations for the future).  MetrixData 360’s SAM Compass tool and our team of experts can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.

If you’d like more information on Java Licensing – download our FAQ document or send us an email at: info@metrixdat360.com to book a demo of our SAM Compass tool for Oracle Java Assessments.

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