Check for Updates Privacy Information

An Oracle JDeveloper How To Document
January, 2006

Introduction

Oracle JDeveloper 10g Release 3 (10.1.3) contains a new feature called Check for Updates that allows you to easily discover, download, and install new JDeveloper functionality and up-to-date patches. Oracle and third parties regularly add extensions for users to download via Check for Updates, so it's useful to keep checking periodically. In fact, you can even allow JDeveloper to automatically Check for Updates when you start the product, and notify you if updates or new extensions are available. 

When you use the Check for Updates feature, JDeveloper issues an HTTP style request to the Oracle server where the update center is located, in a very similar way to browsing a URL from your web browser. The automatic Check for Updates feature is enabled by default, so JDeveloper will issue an HTTP request on initial startup. In the interest of full disclosure, this document describes what information is sent to the server as part of that request, and how you can opt out of sending the requests if you are uncomfortable with it.

What Information is Sent

In order to provide the best possible service to our users, JDeveloper sends a few pieces of data as part of any Check for Updates command in addition to what is sent in a typical HTTP request. The following is an example of the HTTP_USER_AGENT information dispatched over the network from JDeveloper:

JDeveloper/10.1.3.0.4 (Windows XP 5.1; x86; Java 1.5.0_05; NM; ea6bb3e3-0108-1000-8001-8223676a65f7; Studio Edition) 10.1.3.36.64
                                      
\-------------------/ \--------------/ \--/ \------------/ \-/ \-----------------------------------/ \-------------/ \----------/
| | | | | | | |
Product/Version OS Arch JavaVer Flags GUID Edition Build

  • Product/Version = This is the name of the product and the marketing version.
  • OS = This is a typical part of the HTTP_USER_AGENT field for most HTTP requests. It represents the name of the operating system used by the client.
  • Arch = This is the operating system architecture of the machine used to make the request.
  • JavaVer = This is the version of Java being used to run the IDE.
  • Flags = These flags are used to signify whether this is the first time Check for Updates is being used, and whether it was initiated as part of the automatic check at startup or manually. Possible values are:
    • Y | N: Whether this is the first time Check for Updates is being used for this version.
    • M | A: Whether this Check for Updates request was performed manually ( Help > Check for Updates), or as part of the automatic Check for Updates at startup.
  • GUID = This is a randomly generated value created the first time Check for Updates is used and resent in subsequent requests. The GUID contains no identifying information and cannot be re-associated to a particular user or machine. It is used by the Check for Updates feature to distinguish between users.
  • Edition = This is the edition of the product being used. Possible values are Java Edition, J2EE Edition, Studio Edition. 
  • Build = This is the internal build number of the version of the product being used. 

Note that this document describes only the content JDeveloper adds to the HTTP header as part of the HTTP_USER_AGENT field. Additional, non-identifying information is also sent in accordance with the HTTP specification.  

How to Disable the Feature

If you wish that this information not be sent, you should not use the Check for Updates feature as part of the automatic startup or manually ( Help > Check for Updates). To disable the automatic Check for Updates, go to Tools > Preferences and select the Extensions node in the tree. From there, you can deselect the Automatically Check for Updates option. Note, this only prevents subsequent automatic checks. To prevent JDeveloper from checking for updates from the initial startup, start JDeveloper using the commandline:

jdev -J-Dide.cfu.autoskip=true 

Then, proceed to Tools > Preferences and disable automatic checking for updates as described above.

After disabling the automatic Check for Updates, and to look for updates without using the manual approach ( Help > Check for Updates), you can point a browser to:

In using this approach, you will not get the benefit of JDeveloper only displaying extensions that are valid for your environment.


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