This document contains official content from the BMC Software Knowledge Base. It is automatically updated when the knowledge article is modified.
BMC Digital Workplace Advanced
BMC Digital Workplace Basic
BMC Digital Workplace 18.x 3.x
Oracle have announced changes to the licensing policy and release cadence of Java software - how are BMC products that use Java affected?
Oracle recently announced a major change to their licensing policy and release cadence for Java SE (Standard Edition including both JDK and JRE).
Traditionally Oracle Java SE technologies (commonly referred as Java 6, Java 7, Java 8 etc) were available for production deployments without need for any licensing or support arrangements with Oracle (BCL licensing). Also, public updates to Java ensured that periodically Customers would be able to upgrade Java to a secured and updated version.
Oracle has moved Java SE to a Long-Term-Support (LTS) release model beginning with Java 11 ("18.9 LTS"). This Oracle JDK 11 (and higher versions in future) will be available to Oracle Customers under commercial support contracts (Long-Term-Support) for production deployments. Enterprises that prefer stability, so that they can run multiple large applications on a single shared Java release, can use the current long-term support release. Commercial support (Long-Term-Support) will be available for 5 years (+ 3 years extended support) after an LTS release and include periodic updates which may include security and performance fixes. Also Enterprises can plan ahead to migrate from one long-term support release to the next, every three years.
To minimize impact of this Oracle licensing change to BMC Digital Workplace Customers, the BMC Digital Workplace application now includes support for open-source builds of the Java Development Kit, an implementation of the Java SE Platform under the GNU General Public License – commonly referred as Open JDK builds.
This support for Open JDK in BMC Digital Workplace application is effective with BMC Digital Workplace 19.02 release.
Open JDK is open source and production ready alternative (11.0.1 onwards) for Oracle JDK. Similar to getting Oracle Java SE binaries for free in the past, Customers can simply continue doing so with OpenJDK builds available at http://jdk.java.net/
This open source distribution OpenJDK has releases scheduled every 6 months. Customers must upgrade Open JDK to the latest release every 6 months since Open JDK will no longer provide public updates for prior Open JDK releases (including security vulnerability updates).
What are BMC Digital Workplace application changes that I need to be aware before using either Oracle JDK or Open JDK with BMC Digital Workplace 19.02?
Java software is a runtime prerequisite for BMC Digital Workplace software. For a number of years now, BMC has relied on customers providing the Java software for their BMC Digital Workplace environment. During installation of the BMC Digital Workplace software, administrators point to the compatible Java software environment to be used. This gives customers control over which Java software in their IT environment and how they install it. This approach does not change with the recently announced changes around Oracle’s licensing policy and release cadence of Java software
In order to give customers the choice to use either a Long-Term Support (LTS) Java version like Java 8 (as needed, with commercial support from Oracle) or an Open JDK Java version, BMC plans to declare compatibility for multiple Java versions with each BMC Digital Workplace version in the future. For the upcoming BMC Digital Workplace 19.02 release, BMC plans to list both Java 8 as well as the latest Java version (Java 11 - Oracle JDK and Open JDK both) as compatible.
Assuming Oracle doesn’t break backwards compatibility of new Java versions, BMC plans to certify new Open JDK release (e.g. Java 12) with existing BMC Digital Workplace releases (e.g. BMC Digital Workplace 19.02) shortly after availability, so that customers can regularly update their Java environment and not require commercial support from Oracle. Please note that this certification of new Java versions with older BMC Digital Workplace versions will be limited.
BMC plans to follow a similar model for future releases of BMC Digital Workplace and declare compatibility to multiple Java versions, including the latest available Java versions. BMC will eventually drop support for Java versions when the End of Public Updates date is reached for Open JDK builds, or when End of Premier Support date is reached for LTS versions..
BMC Helix Digital Workplace customers don’t need to worry about Oracle’s changes in the licensing policy and release cadence of Java software, because BMC provides BMC Digital Workplace as a service and thus is responsible for managing the entire software deployment.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQuestion: Traditionally Open JDK lacked some features present in Oracle JDK. Will lack of these features/capability impact my BMC Digital Workplace application?
Answer: Along with change in licensing and releases, Oracle also committed to make Open JDK and Oracle JDK ‘Functionally identical and interchangeable’ starting Java 11 (Reference - https://blogs.oracle.com/java-platform-group/oracle-jdk-releases-for-java-11-and-later). Same reference page also list small number of differences in these JDK builds that are continued even with Java 11.
Based on this assurance from Oracle and our lab test results, we have not seen any functional or performance impact when using Open JDK 11 for BMC Digital Workplace software deployment.
Question: There is no reference to support for Java 9 or Java 10 here? Can you clarify if these are supported for BMC Digital Workplace software deployments?
Answer: Java 9 or Java 10 are not supported for any version of BMC Digital Workplace. These versions followed 6 month release cadence and are now superseded by Java 11.
Question: Can I continue to use Java 8 when using BMC Digital Workplace 19.02? Why should I upgrade to a new Java version?
Answer: BMC Digital Workplace 19.02 will allow backward compatibility for applications running on Java 8. However also note that Oracle has announced end of public updates for Java SE 8 beginning January 2019 for Commercial Users. Only customers with Premier Support from Oracle will get updates to Java SE 8 from Oracle. For others, continued use of Java 8 beyond January 2019 may leave your system open for security vulnerabilities or performance issues among other things. More details here - https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/java-se-support-roadmap.html