AGPLv3 license and BPM Open Source License

ProcessMaker is released under a dual license model. Designed to meet the requirements of different users and their needs for distribution and usage we offer ProcessMaker under two flexible licenses. Whichever license model you choose, we are here to support you in your projects.

ProcessMaker for open source projects

If you develop and distribute Open Source applications under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL), or the GNU General Public License (GPL) then you are free to use ProcessMaker under the GNU AGPL License, version 3. The complete terms of the AGPL can be found on the GNU website. Any software that uses code under an AGPL is itself subject to the same AGPL license terms.

AGPL is very similar like GPL, but more onerous. The GPL obligates you to distribute your own valuable source code if you distribute binaries that use ProcessMaker. The AGPL goes one step more, obligating you to make available to the world your source code if you are using it on a server connected to the network as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or as an Application Service Provider (ASP). Let’s say for example that you are running ProcessMaker on a server on the Internet so that you can offer Workflow or BPM services as a SaaS provider.  In this case you would have to give away all of your source code.

Under the AGPL, you must release the complete source code for the application that is built with ProcessMaker, even if that application is running on a network server for SaaS or Cloud hosted purposes.

For licensing ProcessMaker under alternate terms, so that you can use it without your own product becoming infected with the obligations of the AGPL, you should contact our commercial team to obtain a commercial license. We are also able to provide ProcessMaker under the AGPLv3 license with a FLOSS exception.

If you are unsure what to do, then remember the following: Unless you want to have all of the software you write be freely available to everyone in the whole world, you should consider a commercial license. Further, if our software makes money for you, we would like to be paid too.  It makes sense and it is fair and it is what allows us to continue developing this totally awesome software.  In other words – get a commercial license from us.

The ProcessMaker Commercial, OEM, VAR, ISV license

If you do not license the source code under the GPL, but you still want to include ProcessMaker in your projects then we can provide you with a flexible commercial license.

The Commercial License is an agreement with Colosa, Inc. (the company that owns the copyrights and develops ProcessMaker) for organizations that do not want to release their application source code. Commercially licensed customers get a commercially supported product with assurances from Colosa, Inc. Commercially licensed users are also free from the requirement of making their own application Open Source.

Here are some easy to understand examples of when you would want to use a commercial distribution:

  • Selling software that includes ProcessMaker to customers who install the software on their own machines
  • Selling software that requires customers to install ProcessMaker on their own machines
  • Building a hardware system that includes ProcessMaker and selling that hardware system to customers for installation at their own locations.
  • Hosting ProcessMaker on a server on the Internet and then selling services to customers to automate their Processes.

Specifically:

  • If you include ProcessMaker with an application that is not licensed under the AGPL or GPL-compatible license, you need a commercial license for using ProcessMaker.
  • If you develop and distribute a commercial application and as part of utilizing your application, the end-user must download a copy of ProcessMaker; for each derivative work, you (or, in some cases, your end-user) need a commercial license for ProcessMaker.

AGPL users have no direct legal relationship with Colosa, Inc. The commercial license, on the other hand, is private license by Colosa, Inc. and provides a direct legal relationship with Colosa, Inc.

Recommendations

  • To all commercial and government organizations, we recommend the commercial license. This frees you from the broad and strict requirements of the AGPL license.
  • To all free software enthusiasts we recommend the AGPL license.
  • To anyone who is unsure, we recommend the commercial license.

Frequently asked Questions about the ProcessMaker license

What is the ProcessMaker licensing model all about?

ProcessMaker uses a "dual licensing" business model. Under this model, developers may choose to use ProcessMaker under the free software/Open Source GNU Affero General Public License (commonly known as the "AGPL") or under a commercial license.

With the AGPL license, ProcessMaker is available free of charge, under certain conditions. Developers may download ProcessMaker for free and modify, integrate, and distribute it with their own GPL'ed or AGPL'ed products. However, AGPL users must abide by the rules of the AGPL, which stipulate that if a ProcessMaker-based application is redistributed, the complete source code for this application must also be open and available for redistribution. Further, if you are only running your own software on a server for SaaS purposes or to offer Cloud services based on ProcessMaker, you still need the commercial license unless you publicly distribute all your source code.

Note that only the ProcessMaker Core itself is provided under the AGPL. The plug-in libraries that are offered to companies that have signed up for an Enterprise Subscription plan have their own commercial license (which is compatible with the AGPL license). Even if the source code of those components is distributed to users, both the license terms and the copyright status of those components remains intact under their license.

ProcessMaker offers a commercial license for organizations that do not want to make available to everyone the source code for their application. Commercial license customers get a commercially supported product with a level of assurance from Colosa, Inc. without the requirement that their ProcessMaker-based software must be "Open Sourced". ProcessMaker is able to provide a commercial license because it has full ownership of the ProcessMaker code and/or has engaged in the appropriate relations to have the authority to distribute any 3rd party libraries which may be part of the ProcessMaker code base.

ProcessMaker's dual licensing increases freedom in two ways: first, it encourages the growth of free software by licensing ProcessMaker under the AGPL; second, it makes it possible to use our software in situations where the AGPL just doesn’t make sense for an organization.

What do we mean by Dual Licensing?

"Dual licensing" means that the same code is released under two different licenses. ProcessMaker's dual licensing model is based on the principle of fair exchange. If you are using ProcessMaker commercially - that is, for creating proprietary software for sale or use in a commercial setting - you must purchase a commercial license from ProcessMaker. If our software makes money for you, we think we also deserve to be paid. Alternatively, if you wish to write Open Source software you can use the Open Source version of ProcessMaker, released under the AGPL. If you use the Open Source version you must release your application and complete source code under the AGPL as well. This model has proven successful for a number of leading companies such as MySQL, SugarCRM, and others.

How do I know which license to use?

The overall guiding business principle of ProcessMaker's dual licensing is one of fairness and fair exchange. If our software makes money for you, we think we should be paid too.

So if you use ProcessMaker with AGPL-licensed software (or a license that is GPL-compatible) we encourage you to use the AGPL license. For all other users of ProcessMaker, we recommend that you contact us to buy a ProcessMaker commercial license.  We are nice people and easy to work with so don’t be afraid to call us.