Previously, we wrote about the questions around the end of commercial support for JRE 8 and what that means for FileMaker Server:

As of February 2019, Oracle changed their licensing model to now require paid licenses in order to use Java in business and production capacities. The Java update started prompting people concerning this in April 2019. In the long term, FileMaker is getting rid of Java, but for now, FileMaker uses Java…

FileMaker just released FileMaker Server version 18.0.2 which no longer installs a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for you.

Due to Java licensing changes, FileMaker Server no longer installs a Java Runtime Environment (JRE), needed for using Custom Web Publishing and FileMaker WebDirect. To use web-related services, you must install either OpenJDK or Oracle JRE.

Pay or OpenJDK?

OpenJDK was offered by FileMaker as an option for those not wanting to pay a commercial licensing fee to Oracle, but many businesses are reluctant to install software with no official support in production systems (many still do and just don’t realize they do, but that’s another blog post).

AWS (Amazon Web Services) to the rescue…

They run a lot of Java applications at AWS — both for internal use and customers. They had the same issue: a licensing bill from Oracle or OpenJDK. They chose a third route: fork OpenJDK and maintain it themselves, which became AWS Corretto.

Amazon Corretto is a no-cost, multiplatform, production-ready distribution of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK). Corretto comes with long-term support that will include performance enhancements and security fixes. Amazon runs Corretto internally on thousands of production services and Corretto is certified as compatible with the Java SE standard. With Corretto, you can develop and run Java applications on popular operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.

What this means for businesses that use FileMaker Server…

  • Your FileMaker server can run the same JVM (Java Virtual Machine) AWS uses on thousands of production systems, after they test it and work out the bugs, at no cost to your business.
    • Corretto is a build of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK) with long-term support from Amazon. Corretto is certified using the Java Technical Compatibility Kit (TCK) to ensure it meets the Java SE standard and is available on Linux, Windows, and macOS. It includes patches from Amazon that have proven useful in running our own services.
  • AWS handles patching bugs — security and otherwise, and releases a new version at least quarterly (more often as needed for zero day or urgent security issues).
    • Updates are planned to be released quarterly. Amazon also plans to apply urgent fixes (including security) outside of the regular quarterly cycle when they are available and ready to use.
  • You can rest assured that there are no compliance or licensing issues, and that AWS is committed to long term support (LTS), likely for longer than FileMaker Server would ever need (provided you stay relatively up to date, which is always recommended).
    • Long-term support (LTS) for Corretto includes performance enhancements and security updates for Corretto 8 until at least June 2023 at no cost.

Need help upgrading to FileMaker 18.0.2 or switching to AWS Corretto?

If you’re a LuminFire hosting customer, we’ll be updating your server to AWS Corretto as part of our regular upgrade cycle. You can go back to work knowing you’re in good hands.

If you’re self hosting FileMaker Server or use Java plugins in FileMaker Pro/Advanced, contact us for an estimate to migrate you to AWS Corretto.

Nick Ciske

Nick Ciske – CTO / CISO

Nick has a degree in Multimedia Design and over 20 years of experience working in web development and digital media. In his career he’s built or rebuilt just about every kind of website, including many content management systems (before WordPress), several custom e-commerce systems, and hundreds of websites.