This is an interesting and at the same time big change in the Java world. We have been analyzing the situation and have come to the following conclusions:
- ReportServer, at the moment, supports Java 8. We will clearly go to Java 11, the next Long time Support (LTS) Java Version. But this will not happen immediately. Users have two options:
- Stay on the latest Oracle Java 8 version. In this case, they will not get more security/bug fixes updates from Java starting from January 2019. This is a perfectly valid option for users using ReportServer on a properly secured Intranet
- Buy LTS support. In this case, users will get security/bug fixes updates from Java until at least 2022/2025. Since ReportServer is a server application, you should have to pay per processor, not per user
- As we mentioned, ReportServer will go for Java 11. But this of course means all libraries must be compatible with Java 11, especially GWT / GXT. This is not the case for the moment. So this cannot happen before all libraries are compatible with Java 11.
- ReportServer has always focused on stability. If we have to upgrade ReportServer every 6 months for each new Java version, ReportServer will loose this valuable stability. All libraries must be eventually upgraded, which means large changes on each release, most probably endangering the high grade of stability. As a consequence of this approach, all the users would have to upgrade Java every 6 months in their enterprise environments or loose Java support. This is definitely not feasible. So, here again, we want to leave the decision to stay on the latest Java 8 version or buy LTS to our clients. ReportServer will of course support both.
- With Java 11, OpenJDK will be binary equivalent to Oracle JDK. So, when we upgrade to Java 11, we will also officially support OpenJDK 11. Nevertheless, this does not change the fact that Oracle will only release (OpenJDK) updates only for the newest Java version, so, again, even using OpenJDK we would have to upgrade Java every 6 months, the same for the users, which seems not a valid option at this time.
With other words, for the moment, we will stay on Java 8. It is the decision of the customers if they buy LTS support or not. If they decide not to buy LTS support, they may still stay on the latest Java 8 version, eventually on a properly secured Intranet. With widening support for Java 11 (GWT / GXT) Reportserver will move to Java 11.
Keep in mind that Oracle Java 11 is only free for development and testing, not for production. So if you don’t want to pay LTS Fees for your Production Systems, you have to use OpenJDK after ReportServer moved to Java 11. Again, this OpenJDK version will only have updates for 6 months. When Java 12 is released, both OpenJDK and Oracle Java will stop getting updates. Only JDK LTS clients will continue getting updates.
We are aware that this is a serious change in the Java World and do not think that we fully grasp its consequences by now. We will stay around, see what happens and keep you updated. As you are hopefully aware of, we will try to continue to provide the best possible open source reporting server to you.