Update 4: Esri Geoportal Extension Goes Free and Open Source (?)

Esri’s press release on the release dated 11/15 notes the license: Apache 2.0 license. That is indeed an open source license (see list). I’m glad this all worked out!

- press release

—- update 10/26/10——

The source code is available via SourceForge.  On quick look I did not find any information on the license.

via @michael_d_gould, @martenhogeweg who’s at #esriemea

—- update 9/20/10—-

Update: Esri’s Michael Gould shares his slides from his FOSS4G presentation (SlideShare) along with some text commentary on Esri Edu blog. Of note:

“Slide 16: We announced that the ArcGIS Server Geoportal Extension (previously GPT) was undergoing a process to make it available freely and with source code, in addition to under a commercial license if wished. GPT users since 2003 have had access to the sourcecode, but now the code is to be published for everyone to use, extend, etc. Keep an eye out for developing news on this important contribution to Spatial data Infrastructure and related projects and initiatives.”

This commentary does not say it’ll be under an open source license but the slide says “it will be released as open source, on sourceforge or similar.”


Update: I received these clarifications from Esri’s Marten Hogeweg:

Regarding whether the source code was provided in the past:

“Since the start of our work on (then) GIS Portal Toolkit (2003), licensed users have always had the option to get the source code at no additional cost. Before 9.3 this required signing an additional source code license, but did not cost extra. At 9.3 Geoportal was added to the Esri Master License Agreement and one of the clauses covers inclusion of the source code. This was done on a per request basis. Simply ask and we provide.”
On the evolution of the product and its support:

“When launched as GIS Portal Toolkit there was little documentation that would help a user, it was completely new (for us as well), and there was no formal maintenance program (meaning we were providing support at our own expense). So, we used it as a tool to help customers implement geoportals rather than sell it as a product. As the solution matured with version 9.3, we were able to hand over technical support to Esri’s Technical Support division and add Geoportal to the overall maintenance program at Esri.”
On the move to open source (or some other non-open source license like CC) and which license will be used:

“Reason for making Geoportal open source? Like anyone, Esri responds to trends in the IT industry, we listen to requests from our users to take a more collaborative approach to development, and source code was already part of the Geoportal license: It just made sense to do this now. The choice for creative commons has not been finalized, but is a good model for the approach we’re looking for. We are still reviewing the most optimal license model.”
I appreciate that Esri is taking slow measured steps into open source. It’s come quite far in its thinking over the years. I look forward to seeing the details of this rollout when they are complete.

——original post 9/8/10 7:30 am Eastern——-

Word from Esri early this morning that today Esri’s education industry manager Michael Gould will announce the change in licensing of the Geoportal Extension at FOSS4G in Barcelona today.

Marten Hogeweg has written about it in his blog. If I read it correctly, the extension started out as unsupported, but source code was provided, then at 9.3 became supported (complete with maintenance and a fee as I understand it). The code will be released under a variant of the Creative Commons license later this month.

I have questions in to Esri regarding if the source was available before and the nature of the license. Note that CC is not an open source license, and it’s not recommended for software (See CC FAQ). However, there are CC wrappers of OS licenses like GNU GPL, GNU LGPL, BSD. Perhaps that’s what will be used.

- Esri


Published Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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