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BMC Discovery 11.3
Oracle have announced changes to the licensing policy and release cadence of Java software - how are BMC products that use Java affected?
Oracle Java Licensing Changes
Oracle recently announced a major change to their licensing policy and release cadence for Java SE (Standard Edition), including both the Java Development Kit (JDK) and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).
Previously, Oracle made Java SE available under their “Binary Code License” (BCL) that permitted its redistribution in products such as BMC Discovery. The in-support versions, including Java 8, received regular security fixes. The vast majority of the Java SE platform was also available under the GNU General Public License (with Classpath exception), in the form of OpenJDK. From the end of January 2019, Oracle will no longer provide future versions or updates to the BCL builds of Java. Instead, OpenJDK and Oracle Java have been converged and are now essentially identical. Security fixes for nominated old “long-term-support” Java versions will only be available via commercial support agreements with Oracle, but all fixes will always be made to the current OpenJDK version.
In conjunction with this change, Java (both OpenJDK and Oracle Java) is moving to a more rapid release cadence, where new major versions are released every six months. Security fixes will only be made to the current release version.
Use of Java within BMC Discovery
The majority of BMC Discovery is not implemented using Java, but it does contain a number of Java components. At present, the appliance uses Oracle JDK 8. Since the JDK previously received regular important security fixes, the JDK is updated as part of the monthly Operating System Update (OSU). In future, the OSU will instead contain JDK builds based on OpenJDK. The JDK will continue to receive security fixes as they are released. There will be no change to the appliance behavior or its security as a result of this.
BMC Helix Discovery, our recently-launched SaaS version of Discovery, does not use Java at all within the SaaS service, so it is not affected by this change. The on-premise Discovery Outpost can make use of the user’s installed Java Runtime Environment for certain discovery techniques. If Java is in use with the Outpost, we would recommend that it is kept up-to-date, either with the latest OpenJDK version or with a commercially licensed Oracle JRE if you have a suitable license.