I am not sure about what is allowed license-wise in the use of Neo4j Community Edition.

Can i use it in closed-source commercial applications ?

What i'm allowed to do with the community edition in production ?

  • Could you make this question more specific about re-using a package under a certain license in closed source? May 26, 2016 at 6:30

1 Answer 1


Neo4j Community Edition is licensed under GPLv3.

Talking about "commercial" vs. "non-commercial" when it comes to GPL software is very misleading, because the GPLv3 does not make a difference between doing things for money and doing things for free. However, its copyleft conditions might not work well with your particular business model. You are not revealing what that business model is, though, so we can only speculate if the license would work with it or not.

The GPLv3 only covers distribution. That means when the product only runs internally on your company servers, the GPL does not interfere with your business at all. It only gets relevant when your application is distributed to end-users.

This is also explained in the article I linked above:

If you’re building a database application that will run inside your organization (or for your personal use), then you are free to use Community Edition, whether or not your software is closed source. A very close analogy is MySQL®, which is also licensed under the GPL.

  • Another thing to consider is how you interact with Neo4J: you can use REST API calls or you can use clients that linked directly with the Neo4J. And when using REST calls I cannot fathom how the GPL would apply to your calling code: there is a clear separation of the programs and you would be using this interface as designed by Neo4J. Jun 22, 2016 at 20:26

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