Java’s decision to charge money from commercial users of their programming language had long been expected. Since January 1, this is reality. Companies that have neglected to look out for technical alternatives in time have to dig deep into their pockets because they have no further options to acquire a costly license to ensure that Java applications continue to run safely and efficiently.
This move had long been expected: From now on, commercial users of the Oracle/Java usage tracker have to pay money for further utilizing the software of the provider, including the scheme’s many App’s. Needless to say, that this will up their expenditure depending on the Java applications used. It’s a sword which has hung above the heads of Cargo Management System providers and their customers for years, but many of them did not prepare for day X, developing alternative or complementary IT tools, thus circumventing additional costs without quality loss.
Shedding light from the outside on the settlement process can be viewed as a book with seven seals. Fact is that the billing complexity is common in the software world, consisting basically of an
annual support in combination with an update fee per workstation, desktop, server processor and monthly subscription usage, again per workstation, server processor, and desktop.
At Cargolux for instance, insiders speak of close to 1,500 workstations, without subdividing into servers or processors. The figures vary from airline to airline who use Java language, but all of them are affected by additional expenditures for software services enjoyed for free so far.
A matter of confidentiality, Cargolux
Asked about the consequences of the Java billing for their business, Cargolux’s Head of Corporate Communications Moa Sigurdardottir stated this:
Dear Heiner, I refer to the questions you raised regarding Oracle/Java.
As regards the licensing of its software, this is something that is confidential between the company and its suppliers.
In terms of our IT strategy, we have identified the efficient use of Information Technology, including ongoing developments, as one of the core pillars of the business going forward and are continuously reviewing current and future requirements and the cost/benefit implications thereof.
The objective of this is to ensure that we can offer our customers the service they want, both now and in the future, and to ensure that we become as efficient as possible in regard to our own business processes.
No comment on Oracle/Java Pricing, CHAMP
We also tabled the Java billing issue to Manuela Carvalho, London-based Global Head of Marketing of CHAMP Cargosystems (UK) Ltd, a long-time user of the software. Her answer is not much different from that delivered by CHAMP user CV:
Good morning Heiner, we are coming back to you regarding your questions on the Oracle/Java pricing.
Please note that Software licensing contract terms are a confidential matter between the supplier and the customer and that it is not for CHAMP to comment on Oracle/Java
The vast majority of CHAMP’s customers are on a Software-as-a-Service contract.
Over the 15 years of CHAMP operations, we have always minimised the impact, if any, of any licensing scheme changes of underlying third-party components across our software stack.
Java is one of CHAMP’s mainstream development languages next to others, which we continuously evolve and assess based on their costs and values they can provide to our customers.
It is not for CHAMP to comment on SITA’s or Cargolux’s position.
Some have acted in a forward-looking manner, Riege
An in-depth look, however, shows that not every software vendor has stood idly by on the day on which fees are being charged by Java/Oracle. On the contrary, innovative and smart companies have used the time to develop their own tools. In doing so, they not only offer their users up-to-date IT solutions, but also enable free-of-charge usage of high-quality software technology. One of the providers is Riege Software, which is based near Dusseldorf and whose main product is Scope. Christian Riege, Senior Vice President Software Development at Riege Software explains:
Customers of Riege Software need to operate Scope in a stable environment. We have therefore developed the ‘Scope Runtime Environment’ which includes a bundled OpenJDK-based Java Runtime
that we will keep up-to-date. The Scope Runtime Environment is provided free of charge for the exclusive use of our valued Scope customers.
The upcoming version 11 of Scope requires this new Scope Runtime Environment, freeing our customers from the tedious task of choosing a Java Vendor, a Licensing Scheme and an Update Policy. In the spirit of placing the human at the centre of our minds, we are making the world simpler for every Scope user.
It remains to be seen how freight companies, using Java Software will be financially impacted for doing so. Or if they get on their CMS provider’s neck to fast develop alternative software solutions at no extra costs.