Insights and updates on Java SE and OpenJDK from the Java Platform Group Product Management Team

  • December 21, 2016

Java SE Offerings

Donald Smith
Sr. Director of Product Management

The Java
ecosystem is incredibly diverse.  It
powers billions of devices and servers. It is key to cloud infrastructure worldwide. Even just the Java Platform, Standard Edition, “Java SE”,
which is the core Java platform for general computing, is itself diverse.

We on the
Java Platform Group at Oracle think of our work on “Java SE” in four main
areas, described below.

1) OpenJDK
OpenJDK is
the place we collaborate on an open-source implementation of the Java Platform,
Standard Edition, and related projects.  Our commitment to OpenJDK remains
as strong as ever and we even recently kicked off the JDK 10 project there.
OpenJDK enjoys broad participation across the ecosystem. It has consistently
grown in activity
since Oracle acquired Sun. 
For example, most major Linux distributors and other parties such as Red Hat,
Canonical and SUSE produce and ship binaries based on this opensource
code.  The source code is available under the popular GNU General Public
License v2, i.e. it's completely gratis. Commercial source licenses are
also available for companies that would like to license the source code for a
multitude of purposes, and dozens have, such as HP, SAP, IBM and others who
produce their own commercial Hardware/OS products for which they'd like to have
a commercial grade Java SE port available.

2) Oracle's Java SE implementation, aka
"Oracle JDK" and "Oracle JRE".
  The Oracle JRE/JDK
is Oracle's implementation of Java SE.  Just as many other companies (like
SAP, Red Hat, IBM, HP, etc) provide their implementations of Java SE to their
customers, so does Oracle.  We have two main channels for our binary
distributions -- java.com is for consumers who may want to run the Java Runtime
Environment (JRE) on their home computers for applications like Minecraft or other Java based consumer software, and the Java Development Kit
(JDK) on OTN
 which is targeted to developers and enterprises.  These binaries are
gratis for the vast majority of use cases as noted in java.com/license.

 3) Oracle Java SE Advanced, Java
SE Advanced Desktop, Java SE Suite.
  In addition to Oracle's core Java SE
implementation, Oracle also provides additional advanced tools and features that target
enterprise users

These features include the tools to help monitor, manage and deploy Java within
an enterprise, advanced runtime diagnostics and monitoring, as well as access
to support and updates to legacy versions of Java SE such as Java SE 6, and
Java SE 7. These commercial features are
provided as separate downloads available via “My Oracle Support” or OTN, and to
the degree they need to interact with the Oracle JRE, they are turned off by
default in that product, and can be enabled using the "-XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures"
flag at runtime in your JVM, for example. More information on specific commercial features can be found in Table
1-1 here

 4) Java SE embedded.  As
noted in (2), the Oracle JRE/JDK is gratis for most use cases, where it is
running on a General Purpose desktop or server.  If a customer would like
to embed the Oracle JDK/JRE in a device of some kind (eg, a cash register) then
the gratis BCL license does not apply. In such cases a commercial Java SE
embedded license needs to be negotiated. Java SE embedded also provides additional binary options for resource
constrained devices and more embedded oriented chip sets.

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