Java Upgrade April 2014
Oracle, the company responsible for Java, is no longer supporting versions older than Java 7. In an effort to keep SLU-managed PCs on a supported and secure version, ITS will be sending an updated Java client to all Windows-based desktop computers on Thursday, April 24. Customers are invited to install the Oracle Java 7u51 package for themselves via Run Advertised Programs by following the steps on the ITS website. The automatic installation of the client will then take place in the evening of Tuesday, April 29.
Currently, some applications at SLU require an older version of Java. These application users must contact ITS to identify the need for the older, less secure version and rule out any ability to reconfigure Java 7 for their purposes before downgrading to Java 6.
For applications requiring Java 6
Java 6 is a known security risk and is no longer supported by Oracle, but some applications still require Java 6 because vendors have not made available Java 7 compliant configurations or versions, or SLU has not yet updated to them. In these instances, for members of the University community who have a defined need and ruled out reconfiguration of Java 7, Java 6 may be installed and configured. The configurations below are the order of preference, and should be applied and tested in this order:
- Install Java 6 concurrently with Java 7 and configure specific web applications to use Java 6. Following the ITS push of Java 7 to University PCs, Java 6 would need to be manually installed via the Oracle Java 6u31 package in Advertised Programs. Java 7 has a feature that will allow you to designate specific web applications to run with older versions of Java. Application owners that need this configuration should contact the ITS Service Desk and provide the full URL of the application. Java 6 may need to be reinstalled with future versions of Java 7.
- Retain Java 6 through an Exception List: ITS will maintain an exception list of applications to be excluded from the Java 7 install. The list will include specific computer names, usernames, and applications that requires the older version of Java. The applications on this list will be validated on every Java update to ensure that applications on the list still require Java 6. Machines not on the list will be upgraded with future versions of Java 7.
- Uninstall Java 7, Reinstall Java 6: Computers and programs that require Java 6 but are not on the exception list will have to uninstall Java 7 and reinstall Java 6. This should be done by using the ITS package for Java 6, which will be made available via Run Advertised Programs. Machines needing Java 6 should be added to the Exception list to ensure future versions are not deployed in a manner that removes Java 6 again.
Application owners should update configurations at the earliest opportunity to configurations compatible with Java 7. The list of exceptions will be reviewed regularly to see if these applications have been updated. Application owners should be aware that remaining on Java 6 introduces multiple attack vectors for their applications and the client PCs that are running Java 6, and versions of Java 6 are no longer available for some computing platforms.
Keeping applications up-to-date is an important step in protecting computers from vulnerabilities and guarding against viruses.
Please contact the ITS Service Desk with any questions at 314-977-4000.