Oracle has introduced a novel licensing model for its Java Development Kit (JDK), known as the No-Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC) licensing. This model marks a significant shift from traditional Java licensing methods, aiming to foster greater adoption and exploration of new Java releases.

A New Era of Java Licensing

Oracle’s No-Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC) licensing represents a significant departure from its traditional Java licensing models. Under the NFTC model, Oracle provides temporary free access to Java 17 and future versions, encouraging organizations to utilize Java without immediate licensing costs and promoting the adoption of new Java releases.

Limited Free Access Period

NFTC offers free access to Java for a specified period. However, it’s crucial to understand the implications once this period ends. Oracle has outlined the transition plan clearly: for Long-Term Support (LTS) releases like JDK 17 and JDK 21, updates under the NFTC license are available for one year after the release of the subsequent LTS version. After this period, the software will transition to the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) License Agreement, which requires subscriptions. Non-LTS releases, such as JDK 18, will remain available under NFTC for their entire planned support life, typically six months after their public release.

Ensuring Licensing Compliance

Organizations must evaluate their licensing needs and acquire necessary licenses to ensure compliance, given the complexities of Oracle’s NFTC agreement lifecycle. Proactive license management and compliance monitoring are essential to mitigate the risk of non-compliance penalties and ensure uninterrupted operation of Java applications.

Understanding the Transition to Paid Licensing

Oracle Java 17 and later are distributed under the NFTC license, providing free access for a limited time before transitioning to a paid model. According to Oracle, Java 17 will receive updates under the NFTC for one year after the release of the subsequent LTS. After this period, the software will be distributed under the OTN license, incurring a cost.

Implications for Businesses and Developers

Strategic Planning and Cost Management

Organizations must strategically plan how to use the NFTC license, considering long-term licensing options for their production environments. Proactive planning can help avoid unexpected costs and ensure compliance with Oracle’s licensing terms.

Monitoring and Compliance

Regular monitoring and compliance with Oracle’s terms and conditions are crucial. Establishing processes to ensure compliance, such as regular scans and audits of Java deployments, can prevent costly penalties and ensure smooth operation.

Potential for Future Costs

While the NFTC license offers immediate cost savings, organizations should be aware of potential future costs if they transition to a paid license for production use. Evaluating the total cost of ownership and planning for future licensing needs is essential for sustainable Java usage.


Oracle’s No-Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC) licensing model represents a significant shift in the Java ecosystem. By providing free access to its powerful Java technology, Oracle is enabling a wider range of users to innovate and develop without the financial barriers of traditional licensing models. However, understanding the specific terms and conditions is crucial to maximizing the benefits and avoiding potential pitfalls. For businesses, developers, and educational institutions looking to leverage Oracle Java, the NFTC license offers an excellent opportunity to explore the capabilities of Java. By strategically planning and ensuring compliance, organizations can make the most of this innovative licensing model and drive their projects forward. If you found this article helpful, consider exploring more about Oracle’s licensing options and how they can benefit your organization in our previous blogs. Stay tuned for more insights and updates on the latest in Java development and licensing. As always, feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation. Contact Us.