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An application my company is considering buying requires Java 6. I am concerned that this is quite out of date and am recommending against the application as a result. But it seems that Oracle do still release updates for v6.

They state that they offer updates "only for customers who have purchased Java support or have Oracle products that require Java 6". See http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/java_6.xml. But what support option are they referring to?

I have had a look through the website and the most relevant support option I can find is "Oracle Java SE Advanced" (https://shop.oracle.com/pls/ostore/f?p=dstore:product:0::NO:RP,6:P6_LPI:123775498017471532635010) but the minimum order for this costs £6,700.

Am I just getting lost? Is there some more obvious/less expensive way of getting access to the latest updates for version 6, such as this one?: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/2col/6u71-bugfixes-2100823.html

Thanks

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I get all my Java SDK's and JRE's for free at oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/… I don't understand why you guys like getting ripped off and pay money for something that is free. –  SSpoke Feb 4 at 22:56
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@SSpoke - Are you sure you're getting the latest updates - from the web page you linked: WARNING: These older versions of the JRE and JDK are provided to help developers debug issues in older systems. They are not updated with the latest security patches and are not recommended for use in production. –  ETL Feb 6 at 15:18
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2 Answers 2

An application my company is considering buying requires Java 6.

You should push back against this decision. There is really no excuse for purchasing a new application that is tied to a depreciated product that no longer receives security updates. You're brand new application already comes with substantial technical debt instead of eliminating existing debt. Please do yourself and your organization a favor and lobby hard for another application or push the company for an update of the application that works with Java 7.

If you must use this application you can find Java 6 SE in the Java Archive. Be FOREWARNED, Oracle will not provide any updates for Java 6 unless you pay for extended support. If your organization goes forward with this purchase, make sure you include the cost of Oracle's extended support in the capital item for the application as it is a dependency that needs security patching and support along with the application it supports.

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"If your organization goes forward with this purchase, make sure you include the cost of Oracle's extended support in the capital item for the application" - it's the cost of this that I'm trying to establish. Are you agreeing that it will be ~£6k? If it really is that expensive, then there is no chance we will proceed. If, for instance, we can get the updates for ~£1000 a year, it might be worth it in our particular situation (even given the technical debt factor). Thanks for your advice in any case. –  Pryo Feb 10 at 9:43
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@Pryo - I have no idea how much it will cost. You'll really have to talk to someone at Oracle. You might be able to foist some of the cost off on the application vendor or better yet if they're responsible they include the price of Oracle's extended support for Java 6 in their application's cost. –  kce Feb 10 at 17:27
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Oracle's pretty hostile, and wants more money from the Sun tech they spent so much on - security for end users (who can't afford $10k for basic updates) be damned. You're almost certainly looking at a large bill if you go the paid support route to get the JRE 6 updates - I'm not seeing anything you're missing that would be any cheaper.

Ideas:

  • What OS is this running on? Maybe use OpenJDK instead of the Sun JRE? I've never tried to use OpenJDK on Windows, but it looks like some options are out there.
  • I've seen several products that claim to require JRE 6 that run fine in 7 - maybe just try it with 7 and see what breaks?
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+1 for trying with Java 7. Java is extremely backward compatible, and old applications are very likely to work on newer releases, unless they depend on some obscure implementation details like sun.misc.* classes. –  ntoskrnl Feb 4 at 18:19
    
@ntoskrnl - This is often true but you have to be careful about putting an application into an "unsupported" configuration. It might work perfectly but you'll never get support until you downgrade to Java 6. –  kce Feb 4 at 19:27
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Ditto with @ntoskrnl. There aren't many breaking changes between Java versions -- deprecated methods producing compiler warnings are all over the place, but actual breaking changes are uncommon. Personally, if I were considering an application that depended on something that broke in a Java version update, I'd consider the application suspect on its supported configuration. –  Brian S Feb 4 at 22:31
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@BrianS Chalk it up to whatever you want (like obscene code-writing practices), but I've found that Enterprise apps relying on Java are very particular about Java version, and breaking changes are the norm. Maybe if the developers didn't cut corners and use security exploits in their applications it wouldn't be this way... but every java-based Enterprise app I've had to administer throws and absolute fit if the java version is even slightly different. Ask me when and why we finally got rid of Java 6_u19, for example. :/ –  HopelessN00b Feb 5 at 7:40
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@HopelessN00b or they didn't cut corners but check the java version explicitly –  ratchet freak Feb 5 at 8:33
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