UPDATE: After this article was posted, both Lucee and Adobe later clarified their positions. Lucee will be using AdoptOpenJDK for the Installer and possibly other builds, and Adobe worked out a deal with Oracle to continue to use Oracle’s JRE with it’s ColdFusion product line.

The following article will remain online for posterity.



Vivio’s Official Position

If you haven’t heard yet, Oracle announced that all new releases of currently supported JRE versions (Java 8 LTS and above) will be subject to a commercial-use license fee. This means that unless you start paying Oracle money, you won’t be getting security updates for new versions of Java (like the recently announced Java 11 LTS).

This change can be specifically found in their new Terms, which state:

You may not: use the Programs for any data processing or any commercial, production, or internal business purposes other than developing, testing, prototyping, and demonstrating your Application;

Ever since these new terms were discovered, we’ve had clients who use Java extensively (particularly with CFML engines) ask for our official position. They want to know how Vivio is going to handle this, and what the path forward will be for Java-based apps.

Vivio, in turn, has been waiting to hear from our own providers (specifically, Adobe for our Adobe ColdFusion Hosting, and the Lucee Association for our Lucee Server Hosting). As of this writing (Friday, Nov 16, 2018) neither Adobe or Lucee have made official announcements on what their plans for the future might be. So, basically, at this point, Vivio isn’t sure how we’re going to proceed. We’re waiting to see what our providers do.

Other Options

To their credit, Oracle is offering some nice features with their Licensed versions. More, considering they, and Sun before them, have been bearing the development burden of providing a freely available JRE for over a decade, it’s understandable that they’d want to start making money from their efforts. However, if you don’t want to, or can’t add another cost to your businesses bottom line, you do have other options.

Open source software (OSS) and non-proprietary versions of the JRE/JDK have been around for a long time now, including one that Oracle develops and produces themselves. If you’re using a JRE specifically for your CFML server, then you’ll want an OpenJDK alternative that can claim 100% compatibility with what you’ve been using. The following will probably be your top choices:

  • Oracle’s OpenJDK
    This is the OSS JDK that Oracle produces. It has a short release cycle of about 6 months, after which you will need to upgrade again.
  • Adopt OpenJDK
    This is an independently produced JDK that is committed to OSS, and they’ve committed to support their OpenJDK 11 until 2022.
  • Azul Zulu OpenJDK
    Similar to what Oracle used to do, Azul produces both a free and a commercially supported version of their OpenJDK, called Zulu. Their Community Edition of Zulu is free to download and use for commercial purposes.

These three options are available now and all of them will probably run your CFML servers just fine due to their 100% compatibility (we haven’t tested them though).

The Most Likely Direction

At Vivio, we’re predicting that the most likely direction that both Adobe and Lucee will take will be to officially start supporting Oracle’s OpenJDK. Since it’s most closely related to Oracle’s previous JDK, it seems like it would be the simplest transition for a vendor. The short release cycle of the Oracle JDK is mostly an end-user concern. So Vivio, and/or your friendly local IT Administrators, will need to become intimately familiar with how to update your CFML servers Java environment due to the short, 6-month release cycle of Oracle’s OpenJDK.

There is No Spoon

So, what is Vivio’s official stance on the Oracle JRE matter? Well, until either Adobe or Lucee give us something official, Vivio cannot offer an official stance either. To put it another way, we need to first realize the truth. What truth? There is no spoon… er… I mean… there is no official position… not yet anyway.

Need Help Switching?

If you need help switching to a different OpenJDK that’s not subject to licensing and will remain open-source and free to use for the foreseeable future, Vivio can help. Vivio’s SysOps Support can assist you with any server located anywhere as long as it has remote access. More information about Vivio’s Managed IT Services with SysOps Support can be found on Vivio’s Website.

  1. Folks, you may want to update this with respect to Adobe’s announcement in January (3 months after this post, inrealize) where they said CF users could now use Oracle Java 8 updates or 11 in production without paying Oracle:

    https://coldfusion.adobe.com/2019/01/oracle-java-support-adobe-coldfusion/

    I realize you clarified you were offering options in the vacuum (then) of any clarification from Adobe.

    I ask because I had someone point to this post asking about the suggestion to run cf with openJDK. (FWIE, Adobe also clarified in their post that they would not be moving to support it.)

    While this comment will help readers who see it, I just thought you may want to add an update at the top helping people know of the change from Adobe.

    As always, just trying to help.

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