A shift in Alfresco Community license to LGPL

January 28, 2010

Alfresco has annouced that they will change (with the Alfresco 3.3 Community release in March) the licence for the free version of Alfresco.

As John Newton said:
“What the LGPL license provides over GPL is the ability to link in the Alfresco repository without affecting proprietary software that links it.”
(…)
“We do this in the spirit of making Alfresco available as a CMIS platform and a general ECM platform to build content applications without inhibiting your business opportunities. What we hope is that your applications will build demand for Alfresco services from Alfresco Software, particularly in larger enterprise environments.”

So basically the target is to allow other software vendor (and OEM ?) to use Alfresco as a core repository, used to manage persistency of content/documents, and to expose it through CMIS.

To give you a concrete example, look at the IBM partnership announced recently at Lotusphere in Janaury:
Alfresco Content Services for IBM Lotus

With CMIS as the “SQL for unstructured content”, Alfresco probably target to becomes the universal “database for documents”.

From my point of view, this strategy clearly make sense !

For more info (John Newton’s blog):