Sensenet ECM Licensing Guide

We license our software in multiple ways, so we let you choose from two options, sensenet ECM Community and sensenet ECM Enterprise licensing. Organizations using sensenet ECM need to choose between either of the two licensing options, as they cannot be combined within an organization.

Sensenet ECM Community

Sensenet ECM Community is licensed under the GNU General Public License, better known as GPL, the most widely used open source license in the world. When you download or otherwise obtain sensenet ECM Community, you accept the terms of the GPL. When you accept the terms of the GPL license, it grants you permission to run the software for any purpose, to study and change the software, to redistribute copies of the software and to release your modified versions of the software to anyone as long as you redistribute and release all derivative works under the same GPL license. This way it guarantees that sensenet ECM Community remains free and no single entity can profit from using it without sharing the source code with the global open source community. This is where the name sensenet ECM Community comes from. Sensenet ECM Community comes with free community support via the sensenet ECM Community Forum, where support is provided by other Community Forum members and sometimes by sensenet ECM professionals, but there is no guaranteed SLA. Core code of sensenet ECM Community and sensenet ECM Enterprise is basically the same, although sensenet ECM Community might contain features that are in an experimental state, and are not present in the stable sensenet ECM Enterprise release. In addition, there are some features that only make part of sensenet ECM Enterprise. For a detailed list of these, please visit our licensing comparison page: Differences between Community and Enterprise editions

Sensenet ECM Enterprise

Sensenet ECM Enterprise is licensed under the terms of the sensenet ECM Enterprise End User Licensing Agreement (hereinafter EULA) signed by both parties. When you accept the terms of the sensenet ECM Enterprise EULA, it grants you permission to run the software, to study and change the source code of the software and to release your modified versions of the software as closed source as long as you purchase the necessary number of appropriate server licenses and keep your development in-house. Should you want to make your custom software available to a third party, signing a Partner Agreement is necessary (details described in the sensenet ECM Partnering Guide). In this licensing model, we ask for an annual license fee in return of the grants. sensenet ECM Enterprise licenses include unlimited professional operational support directly from the sensenet ECM development team and come with two optional SLA levels. Developer support is to be purchased separately.

Sensenet ECM Enterprise licensing also protects you from potential lawsuits originating from the use of open source software. sensenet ECM Enterprise does not use technology to validate proper licensing, so there are no license keys and other cumbersome administration.

For a detailed list of comparision between the Community and Enterprise editions, please visit our licensing comparison page: Differences between Community and Enterprise editions

Production Licenses

To make licensing scalable for small and large enterprises, we decided to base pricing on the number of CPU cores. There is no other limitation (no CAL, no internet connectors, no traps or upgrade policy tricks).
Production servers running sensenet ECM Enterprise require the purchase of sensenet ECM Enterprise CPU Unit licenses.

These licenses

  • allow End-Users to run the software, to install third party applications developed for sensenet ECM Enterprise software and to install all updates and upgrades, even major versions for one year.
  • Our license is perpetual, so you may use the version available on the last day of your subscription and get the right for internal development for the sensenet ECM platform (includes modifications to source code) forever.
  • sensenet ECM licenses include direct and unlimited operational support for all servers running sensenet ECM Enterprise with two SLA levels, standard and premium. In any given production environment, all server licenses must be of the same SLA level.
  • We also provide you with the source code of sensenet ECM.
  • In order to extend your subscription for the support services and updates, sensenet ECM Enterprise Licenses are to be renewed anually.
  • sensenet ECM licenses have a 3-year price guarantee from your first order.

SLA-levels of our Support Services:

  Standard Premium
Support hours 9:00-17:00 (CET) 24/7
Initial Response Time – Severity 1 Next business day 2 business hours
Initial Response Time – Severity 2 2 business days 4 business hours
Initial Response Time – Severity 3 3 business days 6 business hours
Number of Operations Support Incidents per Year Unlimited Unlimited
Customer Portal Access 1 user account 3 user accounts
Inbound Phone Support No Business hours (CET)
Dedicated Support Engineer No Yes
Architecture Review 2 cases/system 4 cases/system
Number of Consulting Hours 1/CPU core 2/CPU core

Severity levels represent the impact of the issue to be solved by support. Severity 1 means a blocking issue, such as system stoppage, Severity 2 is a serious problem, while Severity 3 is something you can live with for a while. For Severity 1 issues, we do not stop working until we provide at least a temporary workaround solution. The number of incidents is not limited, but we kindly ask our customers to remain realistic about the number of support tickets they post. Premium level customers have the option to call our support instead of posting tickets through the customer portal, and we also provide a dedicated support engineer. Architecture review is a service in which our engineers validate the architectural design of a production environment, helping customers plan the optimal solution. Consulting hours are free consulting hours that can be used for any purpose in connection with sensenet ECM Enterprise. Additional consulting hours can be bought upon request. Those without a contractual relationship with sensenet ECM can purchase consulting hours by signing a Consultancy Agreement. Upon signing, companies will purchase their first package of consultancy, containing 5 hours, and afterwards are entitled to buy additional hours on-demand, charged retrospectively at their convenience (monthly or quarterly payment options).

Architecture reviews and consulting hours are limited for a given production system, regardless the number of licenses purchased.

For physical servers, one sensenet ECM Enterprise Production CPU Unit license is required for each physical CPU core in all production servers. Hyper-threading does not count; we only count actual CPU cores. For virtual servers, one sensenet ECM Enterprise Production CPU Unit license is required for each virtual CPU in all production virtual servers. Physical CPU cores and virtual CPUs are interchangeable in terms of licensing. Servers directly running sensenet ECM software components, such as Web and SQL servers all count in terms of licensing. Directory, load balancer, proxy, middleware and other servers directly not running sensenet ECM software do not require sensenet ECM licenses. Passive nodes of failover solutions running sensenet ECM software do not require sensenet ECM licenses either. The minimum number of licenses required in a production environment is two.

Sandbox licenses

In most organizations, there will be a sandbox replica of the live production environment for purposes of testing or staging new developments or major changes, such as updates or upgrades. Since these servers increase the given business value and the amount of support needed, sandbox servers also need to be licensed with sensenet ECM Enterprise Sandbox CPU Unit licenses. Licensing requirements are the same as in the case of production servers, however license fees are significantly lower. In any given environment, all live and sandbox server licenses must be of the same SLA level, however sandbox environments do not require to be of the same number of server nodes and CPU units as the production environment. Still, we always encourage our End-Users with the decent sandbox license prices to have sandbox environments with similar or the same architecture and/or computing power as in the production environment.

Development for sensenet ECM

In a conventional sense, there is no need for Developer licenses in order to develop for sensenet ECM's platform. Development for End-Users with the Community version is allowed for anybody, however all developments deployed in a Community edition system must be licensed under the GPL. 

In case an End-User runs the Enterprise version of sensenet ECM, our EULA allows its employees to carry out in-house development, but not for other parties. This grant also stands for solutions where the End-User provides a system for other parties in a SaaS model.

In case End-Users with sensenet ECM Enterprise are not willing to develop by themselves, our certified Partners can provide such services to them. These Partners must sign the Integrator Partner Agreement and meet the requirements of our Partner Program. Integrator Partners have the right to develop for both editions, of course.

While training is mandatory only for our Partners, we highly encourage developers of our End-Users to take these courses for the sake of efficiency. Both internal and 3rd-party developers can buy hours of consultancy as well.