License For SaaS/Premise

Hi Metabase Team / Community,

I’m consulting for a small startup who is building a SAAS/on-premise solution which has its own set of tables and considering to use metabase for reporting needs along with their solution. We will charge for the service we do (building dashboard / hosting). Being a startup, we want to use the free version of metabase with attribution and consider for upgrade in the future. We have cloud SAAS or in-house client deployment of our application.

Scenarios:

  1. Own Hosted Cloud: Customer uses metabase directly as a seperate application(different port) for reporting which is hosted in our SaaS cloud apart from our application.
    (metabase application deployed per customer / group of customers).

  2. Deployed on Client Premise: Customer uses metabase directly as a seperate application(different port) which is hosted in their environment apart from our application.

  3. Embed dashboards / charts in our SAAS application (both client premise / cloud hosted) with attribution.

  4. Embed Query Builder / whole metabase UI with attribution.

  5. Extensions:
    i) Fork metabase code/ add extension and fix something. We can release the fixed/new feature code the source code of metabase as AGPL. Does our application code license changes when we change the source code in metabase and distribute as per AGPL ?
    ii) Does the above change for embedding fixes/new charts ? (with respect to AGPL / Embed License)

The thread Licensing and AGPL implicaitons in different usage scenarios, helped to answer some of the questions above and clarifications on the remaining.

Answer for above Scenarios (metabase license / cost / impact of application license):

  1. AGPL / free (can use free version of metabase with attribution) / no impact on application license
  2. AGPL / free (can use free version of metabase with attribution) / no impact on application license
  3. Metabase Embed License / free (with attribution for metabase) / no impact on application license
  4. ??? / ??? / ???
  5. Extensions
    i) ??? / ??? / ???
    ii) ??? / ??? / ???

I assume application license stay in tact (not have to be changed to AGPL) for the above cases, if other wise please point that as well. Kindly confirm the above and help with the answers on 4) and
5).

Thanks,
Alex

Hi @laan
Way too much legal stuff, but let me see if I can answer some of it:

  1. That’s an Enterprise Edition feature called Full App Embedding, so that would go under the Metabase commercial license
  2. Not sure if I understand what you’re asking. If you make changes to the source code (if the license permit that), then the license is still the same.

Hi flamber,

Thanks for your answer.

Does my assumptions for first 3 answers for scenarios are correct (in terms of license / free / application license). ?

For point 5), I am trying to understand if I change metabase code for additing new features / fixes by forking it. I understand the forked metabase code is still AGPL. Does this affect my application license and free version usage of metabase or any other complications ?

Hi @sameer - Any answers from you or metabase team would be great as well ?. Thanks.

Thanks,
Alex

@laan

  1. Regular license: https://www.metabase.com/license/
  2. Regular license: https://www.metabase.com/license/
  3. Embedding license: https://www.metabase.com/license/embedding/
  4. Commercial license: https://www.metabase.com/license/commercial/
  5. Same license as the source you’re changing.

As for 5), since it’s still same license, why would it change anything in terms of your application license?

Sameer has been working much more with licenses, so maybe he can come with corrections, but I’m fairly sure this is correct.

Hi @flamber,

Thanks a lot for the reply. It is helpful.

For 5), you are right. I wanted to confirm that if it changes. So based on understanding so far,

  1. “Application” are allowed to use AGPL software as there intended (like an external application without embeds like in-case of library or iframe). In-that case, it is free and application can retain its private license.
  2. “For Partial/Full Embed of AGPL” in a application - Application code is also considered as AGPL and the whole application source code has to be open-sourced. Hence it is replaced by alternative license (in this case - embed / commercial) to avoid open-sourcing the application code.
  3. “Code changes to AGPL code” remains as AGPL and works as per the first 2 points.

Kindly let me know if the above is correct.

Thanks for the help. Cheers
Alex

@laan It’s getting way too legal. I would recommend that you contact a lawyer, so you’re sure that you’re not breaking any licenses in your specific case.

Hi @flamber. Sure Thank you.

Check your email =)

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Thanks a lot Sameer.

Hi there, I pretty much have the same question that was posed here by @laan. Could you also send me the same explanation. Thanks

@ChristineChetty (and anyone reading this), please reach out to us at https://www.metabase.com/contact/
We've since formalized how these licenses work , and can help work through the options with you on a case-by-case basis.

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