Why Centreon is Going with the Apache License

This post is also available in: French

It’s official.  Centreon software will be developed and distributed based on the Apache License 2.0 from now on. Why the change, you may ask.

As our software solutions are increasingly used and tailored to all kinds of user environment and industries, our community of open source developers is also growing and maturing.

To keep our community of contributors thriving with diverse software expertise, we want every contributor’s work and source code development, including that of Centreon’s, to be truly respected and allowed to make money if desired.

So reducing ambiguity in source code contributions and being able to give proper attribution to them with respect to global standards and practices is important.  This way, users of the Centreon software can benefit from evolving solutions that are robust and mature; and authors and maintainers of the software know what they are supporting and contributing to.

Understanding the Apache License

The Apache License is a free software license written by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).  It is a permissive software license model that is popular and widely used in the development and distribution of open source software.

One of the main advantages of Apache License is in ensuring credit is given where credit is due in open source software contributions.  Google is said to have over 25% of 100,000 projects hosted on Google Code using Apache License (Wikipedia).

Very simply, in the Apache License, what you contribute and develop as open source codes remains intact.  At the same time, other parties can make changes, derive proprietary developments from the original work and re-distribute it for any purpose under a separate license – respecting just one basic condition.  They must include the original licensed Apache software that was used.

This is where distinctions are clearer and prevents confusion over source codes and creations from different contributors.  Read more on the FAQs about Apache License.

What It Means for Centreon’s Community

What this means is a licensing model that is more flexible and respectful of each contributor’s work and the original source code.  Using the Apache License will allow:

  • Centreon’s community to be a truly open one that reserves equal rights for each and every contributor (individual, non-commercial groups or companies) who improves and advances the software for users’ benefit;
  • Anyone and any company to be able to build on Centreon’s software creations and to make changes to them as they wish for commercial or non-commercial purposes;
  • Centreon, as a company, to continue proprietary investments on contributors’ original works in developing and maintaining industry-grade solutions for our customers.

To ensure this flexibility and respect offered by the Apache License for each Centreon-related project, every contributor just needs to sign a standard agreement, either as an individualor company.

Centreon Individual Contributor Assignment Agreement
Centreon Entity Contributor Assignment Agreement

What the Contributor’s Agreement Does

The agreement, whether for individual or entity, serves to credit the rightful author for contributions made, and to protect every party involved: users of the code can use it freely without legal implications, developers can be assured of their ownership rights and companies can offer the software within clear acceptable boundaries at no risk.

With the agreement, you allow the use of your contribution, corresponding copyright and patent license of your work for Centreon or other collaborators to operate, modify, bundle and re-distribute.  The agreement helps defend your work should a legal dispute arise on a given project.

However, the agreement does not assign or transfer in any way, your copyright and patent license, nor does it oblige you to provide support for your contributions.  It also does not grant Centreon or others, the use of your trademark.

Our open source community, technology and philosophy have always been the backbone of Centreon’s software success.  By adopting the permissive Apache License, we hope to encourage maximum use of the software by anyone, and to further quality collaboration and development.

Have questions?
Email communications@centreon.com.
Want to be part of Centreon’s open source community?  Join us here.

Leave a Reply