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Thread: KETTLE - Free or Not ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default KETTLE - Free or Not ?

    My question may sound silly and I apologize, but I would like to know whether Kettle is completely free or if you need to pay a license fee to use it in a production environment in a company.

    Open source does not mean necessarily "free".

    In addition, Pentaho Community Newsletter - January 2008, speaks of "Commercial Open Source" and the Pentaho web site is not clear about that (Except for training)

    Once again sorry if this question seems stupid but the answer is important if we decide to choose Kettle in my Compay.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003


    OpenSource always means: No restrictions on how you use the product. If anyone wants to tell you that you cant use his "OpenSource" product as you wish, then that one is not OpenSource. OpenSource according to the OpenSource-Definition means more than just granting access to the source code.

    From the OpenSource Initiative ( ):
    6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

    The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.
    You can Kettle in any way you want in any environment you want. There are no license fees. However, it is a good idea to "pay" some royalties by providing feedback and (in case of bugs) by providing bug-reports.
    Get the latest news and tips and tricks for Pentaho Reporting at the Pentaho Reporting Blog.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006


    There are different variations of open source ... PDI is LGPL v2 (v3 with exceptions in the future probably). It's free and you can integrate it in whatever you want (in whatever way you want), but if you make any changes to the source they should be made available ... the last is in non-legalize (you can read the LPGL license )

    It's also under dual license, so you can also pay for it and for the moment that will get you IP protection and maybe some better support options, the source code remains the same. In the future there may be some extensions which will not be open source as incentive to buy a commercial license.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    Thumbs up

    Dear Patrick,

    Kettle has been audited independently and was validated to be completely Free software.
    Free in this regard relates to the 4 elementary freedoms that any software should have according to Richard M. Stallmans GNU movement.
    • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
    • Freedom 1: The freedom to study and modify the program.
    • Freedom 2: The freedom to copy the program so you can help your neighbor.
    • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
    Price as such is not referenced in this list because it has nothing to do with it. That being said, Kettle (and most other software elements from Pentaho) is available free of charge and can be used as long as you want free of charge.

    On top of that, for all our software released under LGPL (Kettle, Reporting, Mondrian, ...) or Mozilla Public License (Platform, Metadata, etc) goes that you are also granted the possibility to embed our software in your own solution. Again we allow this free of charge.

    We are however a for-profit, commercial open source BI company. We are not a bunch of long haired hippies and we take pride in our software as well as our support, services, training, license indemnification, certification programs, etc.

    Hence the term Commercial Open Source BI.

    Hope that clears this up for my fellow Belgian ;-)


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