State of Java 8 in 2024
11 Apr

State of Java 8 in 2024

Mahipal Nehra

Java 8 has been around since 2014, but it is still one of the most popular Java versions. So the number of developers looking to download Java Development Kit 8 doesn’t decline.

However, using JDK 8 for production is getting more complicated, and here’s why:

The application performance can’t keep up with user demands,

  • Less and less vendors offers JDK 8 builds,

  • Oracle ceased providing free Java 8 updates for commercial use.

So should you consider migrating to a newer JDK version or the risks are higher than potential benefits? And if the migration is off the table right now, what are your options if you want to receive updates for JDK 8 and keep your development environment secure?

Java 8 performance and features

If you have a performance-critical application, you may notice the deterioration of performance of your JDK 8-based applications regardless of how fine-tuned your garbage collection and memory management are. There are several reasons for that:

Java 8 is a legacy version in deep maintenance meaning that only few improvements introduced to JVM in newer versions make it to JDK 8, if any at all.

  • The modularity was introduced to the Java platform in Java 9, so you can’t use jlink to cut out a custom Java runtime for your application to significantly reduce the container image size.

  • Newer Java versions enjoy novel features aimed at increased performance such as additional garbage collectors for specific workloads.

  • Most new versions of frameworks and tools don’t work with JDK 8, so you can’t use enhanced functionality of modern technologies.

However, the migration to a newer JDK version may be extremely complicated because the developers have to rewrite the code (quite significantly in some cases), update the libraries and frameworks, and solve all incompatibility issues.

It takes time, all the while the performance of your application may be seriously degraded. So the costs of migration may surpass the potential benefits. If increasing the performance of your application is not that critical (for instance, you don’t use the cloud and/or the load is stable), you may postpone the migration.

Where to find JDK 8 builds for your business requirements?

Suppose you don’t need to or have no opportunity to upgrade your Java version immediately. Where can you find the JDK 8 builds with the longest support lifecycle, all the necessary features, and optional commercial services?

Oracle Java

Oracle provides quarterly updates for Java 8 for personal use only, so if you have an enterprise project, you have to pay for a subscription. Considering the recent changes to Oracle’s payment model where the number of licenses is based on the number of all employees, it may be very expensive. In addition, Oracle provides a limited range of builds. For instance, there are no ready container images or builds with JRE only (JRE is perfect for deployment as it helps to reduce the container image size).


Luckily, Oracle is not the only company providing JDK. There are many good OpenJDK distributions: Eclipse Temurin, Liberica JDK, Azul Zulu, etc. Note, however, that some OpenJDK vendors such as SAP and Microsoft don’t provide JDK 8 builds. Others do offer free quarterly updates for Java 8. So how to select the right one?

Check the roadmap — some vendors will provide Java 8 updates until 2030 or even 2031;​​​​

  • Some vendors offer a variety of builds (JDK, JRE, with JavaFX, etc.) and delivery channels (container registries, package managers, etc.);

  • Some OpenJDK distributions support a limited or, on the contrary, a wide range of system configurations.

  • In addition, most vendors provide optional enterprise support, but the prices vary. So if you need the commercial services, study the support plans and options carefully.


To conclude, upgrading to a newer Java version will bring significant performance improvements, but the process is prolonged and may be complicated. So if you are not planning the migration any time soon, consider selecting a JDK build from Oracle or an OpenJDK vendor perfect for your needs.

Posted by Mahipal Nehra | Posted at 11 Apr, 2024 Web