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Java SE 5 Reaches End Of Service Life

by Charles Humble on Nov 11, 2009 |

Sun's implementation of J2SE 5.0 reached its End of Service Life (EOSL) on November the 3rd 2009, which is the date of the final publicly available update of version 5.0 (J2SE 5.0 Update 22). Customers looking for support from Sun can either update to Java 6 or subscribe to Sun's Java for business program. 

Sun offers a number of paid support options for Java. Java classic support covers the latest release of Java for a period of three years from product release and comes in two variations: Standard support which provides business-hour (12x5) coverage with a four hour response time SLA, and premium support which offers 24x7 support with an immediate response time. The cost of Java classic support starts at $15,000 per year. Pricing increases by the size of the organisation and for very large enterprises could be up to around $250,000 per year.

Extended support is offered for Java versions which have reached EOSL through Sun's Java for business program, which covers Java versions 1.4.2, 5 and 6. A Java for business contract extends Java support for up to 15 years, meaning that Java 1.4.2 would remain supported until September 2017. During the extended support period Sun continues to offer security patches and updates to support new versions of the OS. The Java for business program is offered in four different packages:

  1. Access only allows paying customers to download quarterly security patches, bug fixes and new OS support versions. These are made available in a binary distribution from a secure part of Sun's website. The package does not include any helpdesk support. An enterprise subscription license starts at $5,000/year for an organisation of up to 999 employees rising to $250,000 for organisations of 50,000+ and supports Java versions for up to 10 years from release.
  2. Standard Support adds helpdesk support to the access only package. It follows a similar annual pricing model to the access only product which varies depending on the size and needs of the organisation and starts at $25,000/year. The support service is based on a four hour turnaround with 5 day, 12 hour/day coverage.
  3. Premium Support adds the ability to have a fix provided to you by Sun and incorporated into Sun's next available bi-weekly standard revisions. These are fully tested mini-releases which offer customers faster access to fixes. Support is offered 24x7 with an immediate response time SLA and pricing starts at $50,000/year.
  4. Premium Plus Support offers all of Premium Support and allows a named account manager to request custom builds based on customer requirements. In addition, Sun will continue to support Premium Plus customers for 15 years from the release of the Java version.

The approach is one way for Sun to drive revenue from customers' use of older versions of Java. Earlier this year Sun signed a deal with SAP to provide support for all SAP customers running Java 1.4.2 with NetWeaver 2004 and 7.0. Other clients include Salesforce.com and SAS.

Of course Sun will continue to offer the platform for developers in Sun's archive section, and users of other implementations, such as those from Apple and IBM, are not affected.

In this context, I would like to try and gauge what versions of Java the InfoQ community are using at work, so please vote in the poll below.

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