Akka License Change

Hi all,

Akka is a popular framework used in some of our components (mainly the Collector). On September 7, 2022, Lightbend, the maintainers of Akka, announced that future versions will be licensed under BSL (Business Source License) 1.1, rather than Apache 2 and will require a commercial license for production use.

What are the implications of this license change?

  • Akka 2.6 is the latest version, and it’s what we use. It will remain available under Apache 2, but will only receive critical security fixes, and only until September 2023.
  • Starting with Akka 2.7, companies with more than 25 million USD in annual revenue will need to purchase a commercial license from Lightbend to use Akka in production.

At Snowplow, we are committed to making our open source software available for free.

With this in mind:

  • Similar to Apache Flink and other projects, we will continue to use Akka 2.6 and will not be upgrading to version 2.7. Again, version 2.6 will receive security patches and we expect it to be stable.
  • In the meantime, we will consider migrating, either to another framework or to a fork of Akka licensed under Apache 2, should one appear. Note that Akka is not an integral part of our codebase — we use a small subset of its functionality in the Collector and in sqs2kinesis.

In summary, we will not be using the versions of Akka licensed under BSL 1.1 and therefore our users (both Open Source and BDP) will not be affected by the Akka licensing changes.

We will update this post with any future developments.