The long-awaited moment has come, and now we are happy to announce that the CUBA Platform has finally joined the free software community! From now on, the runtime part of the platform is open source and distributed under the Apache 2.0 license. This means that you will be able to create and distribute your applications for free! So, go ahead and start your CUBA application right now!
In this post, I would like to highlight why and how we have changed the licensing track.
The Way to Open Source
It’s been half a year since we introduced the CUBA Platform to the international enterprise developers community. In the process of attending conferences and presenting on CUBA to a myriad of audiences, we started to realize the significance of the open source approach for the Java community and how many developers were being excluded from our technology.
I have to say that it has not been an easy decision to take. Looking back, we acknowledge that we even went through the 5 classical stages of acceptance:
- Denial — The licensing policy is great, the community just hasn't fully understood it yet.
- Anger — Why don’t they still understand it? The explanation is so clear on our website!
- Bargaining — Maybe we just need to complement our licensing with something attractive, without changing it?
- Depression — Open source is not a case for us, because we have to earn money to improve the product, and the current policy is not working. We’re stuck.
- Acceptance — Our focus on community requires this change, and it works for the most successful players on the market.
Finally, after our research, the moment of truth had come and we became convinced that open source is the only right choice!
Нonestly, now we don’t even understand how we could deny an open source approach, because it perfectly corresponds to the main principles in our philosophy of being practical and open!
Where is the Hook?
Most probably you have already raised the natural question about the means of subsistence: How the product can live and be improved upon if it is completely free? Let me explain.
The CUBA Platform itself is a self-sustained full stack framework, which can be used for a variety of projects. It provides a wide range of enterprise features (security and user management, data-aware UI, generic data filter, scheduled tasks, audit and so on) and ready architecture, including everything a developer would need from DB to UI. All this is now being distributed under the Apache 2.0 license.
But, as you may know, the CUBA Platform is not the only thing we offer to make enterprise application development easier and faster. In order to minimize the barriers to entry for the CUBA Platform and to achieve maximum efficiency, we offer a specialized framework-aware development tool for rapid business application development: CUBA Studio. The CUBA Studio provides a convenient and intuitive graphical interface to the platform features, so it is possible to create your “Hello world” CUBA application in minutes. The Studio manages many common aspects of enterprise application development: data model creation, visual layout design, source code scaffolding and so on.
The CUBA Studio remains free in order to readily move onto the CUBA Platform and boost project start-up. You will be able to use the fully functional CUBA Studio for projects with 10 or less entities in its data model. One day, when your project grows out of the free version of the Studio you can easily continue development in a Java IDE or purchase the commercial version of the Studio, which doesn’t have limitations over the number of entities and includes the premium add-ons (Reporting, Charts and Maps, BPM and Full Text Search), which help to extend the capabilities of your application in just a few clicks.
Finally, as a complementary service, we offer training and various support level agreements, so that you can start your projects with full confidence and be sure that you will never get stuck facing a technical problem.
As you can see, there are no underwater stones in our new licensing. The framework itself is absolutely free with its source code on GitHub, while the tools and a few extra features are paid. We believe that it is a good way to contribute to the community and ensure product development at the same time.
We are thrilled with this change and hope it will give a powerful impetus to the expansion of our community. We emphasize that we are developer-driven and your feedback is greatly appreciated. So, you are welcome to try the CUBA Platform out and share your experience and ideas with us on our support forum.