Let's say that you are a service provider (like AWS, Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, Heroku for example) and you decide to offer a database that is licensed under the AGPL as a managed service.

  1. Do you need to release only the modifications made to the AGPL software (the database)?

  2. Do you need to release also the code that you use to "manage" that software (launch new instances, backups, updates, etc.)?

  3. Or you need to release the code of your entire platform?

In my opinion the expression "if you modify the Program" only refers to the first point (which is the most intuitive interpretation), but I would also like to hear your opinion.

  • 1
    Please clarify if the database application is the front-end (user facing) or if it is a back-end service supporting another user-facing application. Are you using a standardized interface between the front-end application and the database? Jul 2, 2022 at 7:37
  • @Martin_in_AUT In this question I am talking specifically about "cloud service providers" that offer an open source product as a managed service. So each database instance belongs to a specific customer and is accessed / used directly by him.
    – collimarco
    Jul 2, 2022 at 8:51

1 Answer 1


Cloud Service Providers would have no issue with providing an AGPL-licensed database for their customers. The only thing they would need to do is provide to their customers any changes to the source code (item 1 in your question).

Based on the AGPL license of the database, Cloud Service Providers would not need to provide source code of any of their underlying software (launch new instances, backups, updates, etc.), nor the code of their entire cloud management platform (items 2 and 3 in your question).

The customers of the Cloud Service Providers, however, usually prefer services, which are under a permissive license. That's why Amazon for example forked Elastic Search, to avoid forcing their customers to use software under SSPL.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.