Is it a good idea to update Java on production PCs and laptops?

Ragu P September 17, 2014
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Is it a good idea to update Java on production PCs and laptops?

How long should I wait before eventually updating Java if at all? I currently have the ones on the machines I am looking over at Version 7 Update 51. The current version stands at Update 67.

I say this because I have found updating Java has broken certain web functionalities. I had an application that I managed via Java and updating to ’67’ broke my ability to view and manage this application. Adding exclusions and exceptions to the Exception Site List did not fix that issue. This was only been resolved by rolling back the Java update.

With that history, you see my reluctance. Your help is appreciated.

Thanks.

  1. Bruce E
    September 19, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Update 65 and 67 were both released due to fixes for security issues. Because of this, you should be doing everything you can to get these in place. The risk can be minimized if it is only used for local apps and you can disable it in the browser across all of your systems if upgrading to the latest version would break existing required functionality. If, for whatever reason, you cannot disable Java in the browser, you really need to find a workable solution to get Java updated or to migrate to a system that does not depend on Java.

  2. Hovsep A
    September 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    if you do not update java then perhaps some sites will not work correctly, updates are important to fight vulnerability in java

  3. Ben S
    September 17, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I understand your reluctance, but I always advocate updating Java. It's awful and insecure, and I wish nobody had to use it. I assume uninstalling isn't an option?

    http://www.howtogeek.com/122934/java-is-insecure-and-awful-its-time-to-disable-it-and-heres-how/

  4. Jan F
    September 17, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I would say that the general rules for client management apply.

    You don't (blind) update production environments without testing it first. Keep one system aside and use it to test new updates. If something appears to be broken contact the developer about a possible update or fix.
    If you don't have a spare system at hand perform an adequate backup which will allow you to roll back (in your case, being able to re-install the older version was "backup" enough).

    If no fix is available over extended time evaluate your options ~ alternative products, security risks using outdated software (which is an important factor with Java), incompatibility with other software.

    One thing you have to keep in mind is that different software have different update and upgrade cycles. For now there should be no rush updating to the latest release of Java 7. However, soon Java 8 will be released and over time developers will migrate their software.

    While you can have multiple version of Java installed simultaneously it is often the cause for other/more issues. So if you don't keep on eye on this you might end up having one software requiring the old version, another one requiring the new one and worst case scenario neither working properly having both versions installed.