NOTE: As of early 2022, Oracle is extending formal audit notices to customers for Java.
NOTE: As of late 2021, we are seeing Oracle GLAS consultants promote a specialty in auditing for Java on their LinkedIn profiles.
NOTE: Oracle has returned to a no-fee license model for its commercial release of Java 17. Our FAQ addresses this.
According to Specifics About Java Usage Metrics, Oracle is collecting installation data via Java’s auto-updater that is running throughout your organization. Think spyware. Oracle sales people take this data, do a bit of research on your company, and reach out in an escalating approach that feels like an audit.
There is no difference between this sales-centric racket and a formal audit if the result is being duped into over-purchasing. Oracle’s standard path to enforcing intellectual property is its audit organization and the subsequent nomination to Oracle Legal where necessary to dislodge a stubborn customer. For Java, subscriptions are secured through attrition.
This is not to say you shouldn’t subscribe for Java given the licensing rules were announced mid-2018. How much, though, is difficult to answer. Remend’s approach is to derive good faith estimates based on the Java requirements of broadly-deployed applications. If only to maximize revenue, Oracle’s pursuit is corporate-wide multi-year subscriptions that enforce volume-inducing policies such as its view of VMware. And with the Employee metric, Oracle only need Google your company to send a quote.