JDeveloper is "free"; hoooey!

There have been some posts about this recently, and there’s an official FAQ on OTN. Most Oracle employees are quite excited about the fact that JDeveloper is now “free” and tons of developers will jump on board to really put a lot of momentum behind the tool. The slight of hand that occurred (in the same breath I might add) is that Oracle has completely decimated the biggest selling point of JDeveloper: free runtime license for ADF and choice of Application Server/Database!

Yesterday you could pay Oracle the modest 1k for JDeveloper seats and you got “productivity with choice.” You were paying for features for productive development and this included ADF since that is how JDeveloper delivers most of it’s “productivity.”

Today you get JDeveloper for free and you get “productivity with hooks.” The “productivity” of JDeveloper (heavily based on ADF) is now runtime licensed. In essence, the FREE JDeveloper license is worth far less than the 1k developer seat since ADF now must be licensed in production.

I don’t use JDeveloper for projects; I’ve only fired it up occasionally to measure progress and to check in with my old hat (I used to be a Java developer). So, I suppose I’m not really qualified to rant but I find this a disturbing change that Oracle feels free to change it’s licensing at will after organizations have chosen it with it’s licensing in mind. I understand you can actually “choose” to deploy ADF to other J2EE/DB but now that there’s a runtime license for ADF you might as well run Oracle AS/DB. I see the business wisdom in this new “loss-lead” but it’s crap, I say. What happend to paying for what you want and getting fully functional products?

Perhaps this will be more salient to bayon blog readers: What if Oracle were to license the OWB runtime engine, out of the blue? You can have the OWB seat but now you have to pay per CPU to “run” the code. If someone had chosen OWB over Informatica because of licensing issues what a blow for their investment!

Perhaps those at Oracle can change my mind, and help me understand why JDeveloper customers are not actually getting the shaft in the guise of “a free lunch.” I don’t get it either, no one else has pointed this out yet. Am I way off base here? Send an email through to me to tell me if I’m bonkers.