Information about Java, How-to please?

Hello everyone guys, I was trying to get working a JAVA app yesterday. Whilst trying it, I went to the JAVA website to verify my java install. The website could not run its applet, and advised me that I had build 23 and needed build 24. I went to YAST but build 23 was the only one available. Back to JAVA and download build 24, in the form of a script. I run this, all seems well, but if I issue >~ java -version it still reports build 23 (the verify page on the website does too). I try using the alternate from the java website, a different RPM script, with the same results. I return to YAST trying force updates, no joy. I then install the JAVA repo, but find that build 23 is the latest available there.
I have tried the tip from these forums WRT using >~ sudo /usr/sbin/update-alternatives --config java but it reports only one install, the build 23. I then tried force uninstall from via YAST, but this seems not to have helped. I guess the scripts install the java packages in different places to those expected by openSuse so openSuse does not see them. In fact they seem to install in my download directory, ie /home/stephen/bin. Is there a foolproof way to clean up all of this java mess and install the latest from the website script in a way and in a place the openSuse can use it?

Try these links for info: