Hazelcast Community License FAQ

What is the Hazelcast Community License?

The Hazelcast Community License is a source-available license. We are moving the licensing of some modules which were previously licensed under Apache 2.0 to this new license.

The key change is that the license contains an Excluded Purpose designed to prevent service wrapping. “Excluded Purpose” is making available any software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service or other similar online services that compete with Hazelcast products or services that provide the Software.

As an open core software company, Hazelcast makes certain code available under the Apache 2.0 open-source license and commercial features available under a Hazelcast proprietary license. We are adding the Hazelcast Community License and moving most modules to it.

Yes. The license is identical to the Confluent Community License 1.0, except for the name of the licensing entity and the agreed upon location for dispute resolution.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is the governing body that is entrusted to approve new standard open source licenses. Hazelcast, along with others in the industry, sought to have OSI extend the standard open source licenses to include a restriction on service wrapping. OSI has to date been opposed to that change.

In the absence of an OSI-approved service wrapping restrictive license, there has been a proliferation of one-off licenses. All include the availability of source code, thus the name source available. But, each license is different and this places a burden on users of the code to analyze the license. To remove this burden, we have opted to follow a simple and well-written license model—the Confluent Public License.

In November, a cloud provider informed us that they were service wrapping Hazelcast IMDG. We had been preparing to move to a three-license model for some time (open source, source available, and commercial), and this acted as the trigger. We believe that service wrapping by cloud providers kills the open-core business model, a model that has become the dominant model for developing enterprise software. With much of enterprise computing moving to the Cloud, if vendors cannot earn a return in the Cloud, they cannot fund the development of software.

Defenders of cloud provider service-wrapping sometimes argue that a managed service version of popular open source projects needs to be available and that, if the project maintainers do not do it, then the cloud provider should. We would counter by saying that if the project maintainer makes a managed service available then this satisfies the need. And we believe that maintainer can inherently do a better job than the cloud provider. We have been hard at work on our cloud versions of Hazelcast IMDG for the last few years. We released Hazelcast Cloud Starter Edition on AWS in March 2019, and we released Hazelcast Cloud Enterprise under an early access program on AWS in December 2019. Hazelcast expects to deploy a generally available (GA) version of the Hazelcast Cloud Enterprise edition over the next few months on AWS, Azure and GCP. All versions are based on Hazelcast Enterprise HD, our highest-end version of our on-premises deployed software. Hazelcast Jet will also be deployed to Hazelcast Cloud Enterprise in 2020. Together, and working with third-party-certified components, they form the core of Hazelcast Enterprise Cloud Platform.

Yes. The source code is there on GitHub. The only change is to the license for some modules.

Yes, provided the SaaS offering does not fall within the “Excluded Purpose” discussed above.

These license changes apply starting with Hazelcast Platform 4.0, which consists of Hazelcast IMDG 4.0 and Hazelcast Jet 4.0.

You are not affected. Your existing license conveys your license terms. The license changes are designed to avoid any practical restrictions on end-user customers. This license change is only intended to impact how Hazelcast software is provided as a service by public cloud providers.

GitHub has a license detector which will automatically detect and display common open source licenses, as explained here. The license detector works off of the Master branch. As we are applying the new license to modules from 4.0 (when released), the GitHub license checker will continue to report Apache 2.0.  This “incorrect” reporting will automatically resolve as we release the updated 4.0 modules, all expected by mid-February 2020. For example, see the 4.0-compatibility branch for Tomcat Web Sessions. The license has been updated to the Hazelcast Community License; however, GitHub is still reporting back at the master branch that the project is under the Apache 2.0 license.

Hazelcast is used in many open source projects. It is embedded and/or used client server. The Hazelcast core repository is all Apache 2.0. The clients are Apache 2.0. As of the date of this change, the Hazelcast-Spring module is used by 73 open source projects and it will remain a part of the core repository licensed under Apache 2.0. Hazelcast does not anticipate that this license change will have any impact on these projects.