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Baserow is Open Source: What’s in it for You?

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In the past years, the image of open source software has evolved drastically. Whereas open source used to be embraced predominantly by the developer community and perceived as little enterprise-ready, these days open source is considered an imperative by most IT leaders in the enterprise and public sector.

A recent survey amongst IT leaders globally revealed that 82% of IT leaders are more likely to select a vendor who contributes to the open source community, citing the help to sustain healthy open source communities, the influence on the development of new features and security as some of the key advantages of open source companies (source: Red Hat, 2022). In recent years, a lot of the giant tech companies — such as Microsoft for instance — have embraced the open source ecosystem to complement their offerings and offer more choices to their customers.

As a result, we have seen a rapid increase in the value of the companies that have gone public with their code. MuleSoft was acquired after going public for $6.5 billion; MongoDB is now worth north of $4 billion, Rancher Labs was acquired for $700M by Suse and the list goes on.

Whereas most open source projects were alternatives for Enterprise software, we started to see more open source projects as an alternative for the well-known SaaS platforms in the past years too, with examples like Penpot for Figma, and Plausible for Google Analytics, Baserow for Airtable to name a few. This is a great evolution from the vendor lock-in of most SaaS companies today.

And people are noticing.

To sum up everything, we believe that using an open development model is the way to create stable and secure technologies. All that, while wasting less time on doing so: tapping into the collaborative effort of multiple developers and communities helps to find a solution a lot faster. We back up our belief by actively using open source software like GitLab, Sentry, Visual Studio Code, Git, Discourse, Weblate, Proton mail, etc. We are also sponsors of Django and plan on supporting other open source projects as well.

Being open-source helps us at Baserow to receive feature feedback from many free users, discover bugs and security vulnerabilities much faster through our users’ community, and collaborate with other open source companies where interoperability and openness are fundamental values for collaboration.

This is all great, but what’s in it for you and your business?

For Developers

Flexibility

As a developer, you can download Baserow’s code, modify and fork it to meet your own requirements. No need to wait for us to implement any feature, instead, you can develop it yourself, and share it with the world if you want to.

Developers can make use of each other’s creativity, or/and create their own plugins for the software.

Free

Open source is free, allowing developers to test the software, deploy it in non-production environments first, and validate its value add before deciding to buy it.

Transparency

Any open-source software is always under the scrutiny of experts — since it is available publicly. We deliberately have chosen the path that includes high loads of feedback, issues pin-pointing, and suggestions. Our goal is to create awesome software, that is the best version it can be. We achieve it with your help, looking through your eyes. You, on the other hand, are getting the transparency, trust, and certainty in the future of the project out of it.

For Businesses

Security

Open source allows everyone to discover breaches, security vulnerabilities, and bugs and communicate them instantly to the company. This makes open source software at least even secure as Enterprise software.

Business Continuity

Having the code out in the open means we can never just disappear from the market. Businesses that, over the years, have integrated Baserow in many of their business processes will never face the risk of us suddenly discontinuing to offer the software. The code is in the hands of the users, forever.

Openness and Interoperability

Being API first, our open source software can be modified, extended, and integrated with pretty much every other software you are using in your company. As a no-code open source software, your developer team can focus on the integrations and leverage the parts of our software already programmed for users.

For Community Members

Innovation, Contribution & Peer learning

We have briefly touched upon how open-source software helps with building a thriving community before. We focus a lot on our community to prioritize feature development and encourage co-creation. The speed of innovation and the QA from an open-source community goes well beyond just our own developer’s team.

This said we are also trying to create a common space for developers where they can share their ideas, get feedback and grow their skills. All in the company of like-minded enthusiasts.

Our Open source License

MIT License

On this note, we would also like to mention that Baserow has an MIT license. It is one of the most permissive licenses out there, which means that you can distribute, use, and modify Baserow’s code to any extent. Look at the benefits for you:

  • The source code doesn’t need to be public when a distribution of the software is made.
  • Modifications to the software can be released under any license.
  • Changes made to the source code may not be documented.
  • It offers no explicit position on patent usage.

Overall, it means that you can do practically anything you want with our code, and yes, we’re that generous. We believe that it all boils down to contributing to the industry. Our goal is not only to create an awesome project that will help people and businesses alike; we want to help others develop their skills and creativity for the collective good.

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Do you want to contribute to the project? We will be glad to see your feedback and solutions proposals at any time! And, welcome to Baserow’s community.

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