February 2019 ABLE Announcement

Dear HF Group ABLE Customer,

Some changes to Java SE 8 are coming and, as ABLE users, we believe you should be aware of them.

Java SE 8 is the program that you use to connect to ABLE Library. We utilize a tool from Java SE called Webstart that allows you to access ABLE Library without the use of a web browser. This is important for security reasons.

Ongoing Availability

The good news is that Java Webstart will be available for use with Java SE 8 until at least 2025.

Subscription Requirement

After December of 2020, you will be required to acquire a license to utilize Java SE and Webstart in order to access ABLE Library with any updated versions of Java. These licenses cost $30 per year per computer that is connecting to ABLE. The library will be responsible for purchasing the necessary licenses directly from Oracle.


ABLE Technical Support Staff


Can’t I just update to Java SE 9?

No. Java SE 9 and later versions of Java do not have Webstart functionality and, in fact, they will be switching to corporate accounts for support options.

What if I don’t want to update Java?

If you don’t want to update Java (not recommended) you can use the last publicly available version of Java SE 8, which will probably be released in December, 2020, and DO NOT upgrade it.

What if I do want to continue to get updates for Java SE 8 so that I can securely access ABLE using Webstart?

You will need to signup for an account with Oracle and get a Desktop Subscription to Java SE.


  1. Click the button on this page labeled “Buy Java SE Subscriptions”.
  2. Click “Buy Now” next to Oracle Java SE Desktop Subscription.

The subscription’s cost is $30.00 per seat per year in quantities of 1-999 seats.

We recommend that you discuss this with your IT staff before making this purchase as your institution or organization may already have a subscription to Java SE, or they may want to manage this for you.

Do I have to do this right now?

No, you do NOT have to sign up for a subscription right now. We are providing this information now simply to notify you of the impending changes to the way that Oracle licenses Java SE.

Will you send additional information about this prior to December 2020?

Yes, HF Group will send additional information and updated purchase information prior to December 2020.

Will this change anything about the way that I access ABLE?


Can I still use the browser-based version of Java to access ABLE?

You can do so until March 31, 2019, at which time all users will be required to use the Webstart version.

Why will users be required to switch to Webstart?

Most browsers are eliminating support for Java so we want to make sure every makes the switch in advance. Webstart is easier to use, requires less setup, and does not have the security implications that browser-based Java has. Java Webstart for ABLE Library has been available for more than a year and most of our users are already using it. If you do NOT already use Webstart, go to your ABLE URL for HF Group Able NEBRASKA use https://www.houchenbindery.com/support/#able and read about how to update immediately.