FR5 Software

FirstRate5® house energy rating software

FirstRate5® is an easy-to-use interactive tool with a graphic user interface that enables designers and thermal performance assessors to generate energy ratings for a home by tracing over floor plans. The software integrates the AccuRate calculation engine to estimate the annual heating and cooling energy and can be used to rate an existing design or as an interactive tool to optimise the design beyond compliance.

Important Changes to Java Licensing

by FR5 | Apr 10, 2019
FirstRate5 (FR5) requires Java to be installed on a computer to work. To date, most users have been downloading freely available versions of Java from the Oracle website (https://www.java.com/en/).
 
Oracle has introduced some licensing changes for Java Standard Edition (SE) 8 and also for versions of Java SE beyond version 8. Further information about the changes Oracle has introduced can be found here.
 
Sustainability Victoria’s interpretation of the changes is as follows.
  • It is not possible to use Oracle Java SE beyond version 8 for commercial purposes without a paid Oracle Java SE subscription.
  • Public bug fix and security updates for Oracle Java SE 8 released after January 2019 will not be available for commercial use without a paid Oracle Java SE subscription. 
These licensing changes will impact FR5 users because under Oracle's updated Java SE license FR5 users will be considered commercial users. It is essential that all FR5 users ensure they are using a properly licensed and supported Java installation on their computers.

Oracle plans to release a security update for Java SE 8 in mid-April 2019 and this update will not be available for business or commercial use. It is important that FR5 users review their situation and ensure they are prepared for this change.

Options available to FR5 users


Based on Sustainability Victoria’s understanding of the changes that Oracle has introduced, FR5 users have two options available.
  1. Purchase a paid Oracle Java SE Desktop Subscription. A subscription will need to be purchased for each individual named user and will need to be renewed yearly. Further information about purchasing subscriptions can be found here. Customers who purchase a subscription will have ongoing access to updates for supported versions of Oracle Java SE.
  2. Install a no-cost Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK) supported by a third party other than Oracle. There are a number of OpenJDKs to choose from, but Sustainability Victoria recommends users install Amazon Corretto because this works best with FR5's software launcher. Amazon Corretto is backed and supported by Amazon. ​

Information about installing Amazon Corretto


If you choose to install Amazon Corretto please note the following.

  • It is recommended that FR5 users install a 64-bit (i.e. x64) version of Amazon Corretto 8.
  • Users should download a Windows .msi file from the Downloads page and then double-click this file to start the installation wizard.​
  • If you are planning on uninstalling versions of Oracle Java SE on your computer, this should be done before you install Amazon Corretto. If you do not do this first, FR5's software launcher may not be able to detect that you have Java installed on your computer and fail to open FR5.
  • It appears that Amazon Corretto does not auto-update or notify user when security updates and patches are released. This means users will need to periodically visit the website to check if updates are available. Amazon plans to release updates quarterly and urgent security fixes may be released outside of the regular quarterly update cycle.​

If you are experiencing any difficulties installing Amazon Corretto, please contact the FR5 help desk by either logging into FR5 web portal and filling out the Technical Support form, or by emailing support@fr5.com.au.