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Support Extensions for WAS 7.0 and 8.0; Support discontinuance of Java 6 with WAS 8.5

Technical Blog Post


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Support Extensions for WAS 7.0 & 8.0; Support discontinuance of Java 6 with WAS 8.5

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End of Support Announcements:

On September 30, 2016, IBM announced that WAS 7.0 and 8.0 will reach end of support on April 30, 2018. Additionally, the use of Java 6 with WAS 8.5.x will no longer be supported after April 30.  Note that Java 7 will be supported until July 2022 which is a change from the Sept. 30, 2019 announcement.  See IBM Blog at this link

Extended Support for WAS 7.0 and 8.0

IBM will offer extended support for WAS 7.0 and 8.0.  Active S&S and a signed Support Extension contract is required to receive extended support, which is available May 01, 2018 through April 30, 2021.  WebSphere Application Server versions 7.0 and 8.0 have an embedded Java 6 as the default runtime.  The support provided for Java 6 is limited in scope and duration.  The support extension for WAS 7.0 & 8.0 along with the embedded Java 6 is outlined in the following table.  The client's Support Extension contact will contain the exact details.

Timeframe

Extended Support Statements
After April 30, 2018

At this time, to receive IBM product support for WAS v7.0 and WAS v8.0 require active Subscription and Support (S&S) and a signed WAS Support Extension (SE). More details on the provisions of a WAS SE, based on timeframe, can be found below.

For Clients without a WAS SE, please note:

  • Clients will still be able to download existing WAS fix packs, iFixes containing the quarterly Java CPUs (Critical Patch Updates) that apply to Java 6, and utilize the current self help support technical information available on the IBM web pages.
  • If WAS was supplied "bundled" under the license of an IBM stack product license then its support terms are covered by that IBM stack product.  Reference that IBM stack product's license or product support team for additional information.

May 1, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018

Support Extension

Clients with a WAS v7.0 or v8.0 SE will continue to receive IBM product support.

Clients may be requested to apply the last fixpack for troubleshooting purposes.  WAS Fixes are provided on the last WAS Fixpack. The last WAS fixpack for v7.0 is 7.0.0.45 and for v8.0 is 8.0.0.15.

IBM support for the embedded Java 6 is limited to usage and known defects.  Quarterly Java CPUs that apply to Java 6 will be provided through 2018.  IBM urges all clients to move to a supported version of WAS and the latest Java version available.

Jan 1, 2019 - April 30, 2021
Support Extension

Clients with a WAS v7.0 or v8.0 SE will continue to receive IBM product support.

Clients may be requested to apply the last fixpack for troubleshooting purposes.  WAS Fixes are provided on the last WAS Fixpack. The last WAS fixpack for v7.0 is 7.0.0.45 and for v8.0 is 8.0.0.15.

IBM support for the embedded Java 6 is limited to usage and known defects.  There will be no new Java fixes including Java CPUs for Java 6 after 2018.  IBM urges all clients to move to a supported version of WAS and the latest Java version available to protect their environment from future found security vulnerabilities.

Usage & Known Defect support: The scope of "usage" is limited to helping clients troubleshoot Java issues that require analyzing GC, javacores, heapdumps and cores.  If a defect is detected in Java 6 then support would determine if the defect has been fixed in the Java 6 maintenance stream or is a new defect.  If an existing Java fix is the solution, then support will point the client to the appropriate maintenance level to apply.  If the Java 6 defect is new then support would investigate options to help resolve the issue including a workaround.  An APAR may be taken to fix the defect in a currently supported Java maintenance stream.  The option to fix and deliver a future build on the Java 6 release family is not offered.

Purchasing a Support Extension for a WebSphere Product

If your IBM WebSphere product has passed its End of Support date please follow the link to continue receiving Product and Customer Technical Support for your product.

Begin the process of purchasing a Support Extension for a WebSphere Product

When considering the purchase of a Support Extension, be aware of some future ramifications to the terms in the extension.

  • By accepting the WAS service extension terms and conditions, the customer is acknowledging that by staying on WAS v7.0 or WAS v8.0 they are exposing themselves to future risk.  No new Java 6 fixes will be released after December 2018 (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/eol-135779.html), including any future found security fixes. Customer need to be aware that IBM will not be providing any Java 6 preventative service, including patches, bypasses or fixes, to address any security vulnerabilities found in the JDK.
  • IBM highly recommends moving to WebSphere Application Server v8.5 or v9.0 as they support multiple versions of Java which provides customers additional flexibility in managing their Java versions.

Although IBM accepts most requests for a SE, it is still highly recommended that the customer put in motion plans to move off of WAS v7.0 or v8.0 and onto WAS V8.5 or V9.0 during their SE timeframe. Remaining on older WAS releases longer than required will only further potential exposure of risks.
 

WebSphere Application Server v8.5.x Java Support

The WAS 7 & 8 EOS Announcement from September 2016 included the following paragraphs that describe the support that IBM will and will not provide for Java 6. Note that IBM recommends that clients move to the newer Java 8 due to increased security risk on earlier versions but will support Java 7 until July 2022.   

IBM highly recommends that all clients move to WebSphere Application Server for V8.5 or WebSphere Application Server for V9.0 and the latest Java SE version (Java SE 8) due to potential security risks on earlier releases of WebSphere Application Server and Java. 

WebSphere Application Server for V8.5 provides the option to use Java SE 6, Java SE 7, or Java SE 8. WebSphere Application Server includes Java and during the life-cycle of WebSphere Application Server those packaged versions of Java may go out of support by Oracle. Once a Java SE release is no longer supported by Oracle then IBM will not be able to provide any code fixes for that specific Java release. 

Security risks can come in the form of newly identified exposures that impact older versions of Java, and also updates from browser vendors that remove support for security standards that are no longer considered secure, such as SHA1. Current versions of WebSphere Application Server support multiple versions of Java SE. New releases of Java are added as they become available to enable you to stay current and reduce the risk of security exposures. 

See  Oracle support for details of when Oracle will discontinue support for specific Java versions. 

If you are using WebSphere Application Server V8.5 with Java SE 6, then there will no longer be support for the Java SE 6 version after April 2018. 

WebSphere Application Server Liberty has a single support stream for all product versions. Support for Java SE 6 with Liberty will end in September 2017 to allow the Liberty code and included open source packages to move forward. Support for the Java SE 7.x versions will be discontinued after September 2019.

Support Extension for WAS 8.5 with Java 6

There are no support extensions for using Java 6 with WAS 8.5.x.

The last fixpack that will support Java 6 is 8.5.5.13.  It was released on February 5, 2018 (see Recommended Updates for WebSphere Application Server). The first fixpack after April 2018 (8.5.5.14) will have code in it to automatically remove Java 6 and replace it with Java 8. If a client wants to stay on Java 6, then they will have to remain on a back-level version (8.5.5.13) of WAS. Clients who continue using Java 6 with WAS 8.5.5.13 will have the ability to get and install Oracle Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) for Java 6 as IBM issued interim fixes through December 2018. No further fixes will be released for Java 6 after December 2018.  Support for Java 6 in WAS 8.5.x will be limited to usage and known defects only.

Clients will continue to have the option to use either the Java 7 or Java 8 runtime with WAS 8.5.5.x. They will be able to use the -managesdk option to choose whether their WAS profiles use Java 7 or 8.

Support Extension for WAS 8.5 with Java 7.x

The IBM Java 7 SDK will reach its end of life after July 2022. The support scenario for using Java 7.x with WAS 8.5.x will follow a similar path as for Java 6.

The first fixpack after July 2022 will have code in it to automatically remove Java 7.x and replace it with Java 8. If clients want to continue using Java 7 with WAS 8.5.5.x, then they will have to also remain on a back-level version of WAS which will further increase security risk due to the older releases.  For details, please see the post by IBM Offering Manager, Dave Sudlik, WebSphere Application Server V8.5.5 is extending its support of Java SE 7 until July 2022.

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ibm11080909