We carry Mongodb version 3.4.10 in our installer and installer will install mongodb. We are not modifying the source code we are using it "AS-IS". We do not link the mongo db. We have Architectural separation from our commercial product. we use the libraries/drivers provided by mongodb to connect to the database. their drivers are Apache license v 2.0. We are providing our product via SaaS, do we have to give out the source code if we provide via SaaS(Software as a Service)?

  • 2
    If you provide your customers with an installer and they install it on their own system, then I do not understand how this is "Software as a Service." It sounds like you are distributing the software plain and simple.
    – Brandin
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 7:49
  • 1
    Also MongoDB as of October 2018 is using the "Server Side Public License" which appears not to be open source. Version 3.4.10 is possibly before that, which means it might be AGPL instead, but you should probably verify that your version is AGPL (e.g. you cannot install any security patches published by MongoDB after October 2018 on top of an older version without making it SSPL and therefore not open source).
    – Brandin
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 7:56
  • Also note the contradiction between "we do not link the mongo db" and "we use the libraries ... provided by mongodb".
    – MadHatter
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 8:20
  • @Brandin you want to write your comments up as an answer?
    – MadHatter
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 14:56
  • It could be clarified a bit first. But rereading this I think what OP is saying is that they develop their own application and link in a driver from docs.mongodb.com/ecosystem/drivers (which are all Apache licensed) into their product. Then, they distribute their own product (closed source) along with MongoDB Community server (3.4.10, AGPL licensed?) as an installer. Then their customer installs that onto a machine in order to use it to provide a SaaS to other customers. So I guess the question is whether they can own keep their code closed source. But this is just my reading.
    – Brandin
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


The latest versions of MongoDB is licensed under the Server Side Public License. The drivers continue to be licensed under the Apache license. Mongo maintains an FAQ page that I believe answers your question (https://www.mongodb.com/licensing/server-side-public-license/faq). Their position is "The copyleft condition of Section 13 of the SSPL applies only when you are offering the functionality of MongoDB, or modified versions of MongoDB, to third parties as a service. There is no copyleft condition for other SaaS applications that use MongoDB as a database."

They have a similar position for code under the AGPL versions (see blog post here: https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/the-agpl). "To say this another way: if you modify the core database source code, the goal is that you have to contribute those modifications back to the community. Note however that it is NOT required that applications using mongo be published.... This is why Mongo DB drivers are all licensed under an Apache license."

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.