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Using 3rd Party Software in Sakai

The Sakai software distribution(s) use 3rd party code and libraries developed by other individuals and organizations and licensed under specific terms deemed compatible with the ECL and the SF's policies.

If you are planning to use any 3rd party code in developing for Sakai, please follow the process outlined below to ensure that the 3rd party code is license-compatible with Sakai and its use in Sakai is properly documented.

Process Overview

The following workflow describes the process of evaluating 3rd party code and/or libraries for inclusion in the Sakai project. The basic idea is that as developers identify code that would be useful in meeting development objectives, they must follow this process to ensure that the conditions of the new code's license are compatible with the Sakai license and distribution practices.

Process Detail

P1. Identify 3rd party code

A developer identifies code that would be useful to use in the project. It is important at this point to determine how the code will be used, how it is licensed, and whether or not the terms of use are compatible with Sakai's distribution practices.

P2. Initiate assessment

Before beginning to use any 3rd party code, the developer must initiate a conversation with the Licensing WG. Members of the Licensing WG will work with the developer to determine compatibility and any requirements that go along with using the new software. The steps for this stage are:

  1. Developer completes an initial checklist .
  2. Developer then creates a Jira Task against the Licensing component, and attaches the checklist document to it.
  3. Developer sends an email to citing the Jira.

If the code's license has already been identified as one that is compatible with Sakai, then you still need to work with the Licensing WG to document your use of it and ensure that you meet the license requirements for documentation and acknowledgment in your code. Skip to step |#P5.

D1. Ok to distribute?

Licensing WG
The licensing WG will work with the developer to determine whether the terms of use for the 3rd party code is compatible, and the best approach to including the new code in the project. If the Licensing WG determines that the code is acceptable to distribute then the process moves on to P5. If it is not acceptable, the process leads us to P3. If the developer disagrees with the Licensing WG, the escalation process will be to the PM, and then, if necessary, to the Board.

P3. Initiate conversation with author

If the initial assessment determined that the terms are not acceptable, the developer may wish to contact the author and request that the author grant Sakai the right to distribute the code under more acceptable terms. The best way to do this is by using a standard request email template asking the author to execute a contribution of the code to the Sakai Foundation. Other acceptable outcomes would be permission to use the work under the terms of the ECL, Apache 2.0 license, or another compatible license.

D2. Re-license?

If negotiation with the author is successful, proceed to P5. If unsuccessful, proceed to P4.

P4. Find alternative, or alternative way to distribute

If the terms of use for the work in question are deemed unacceptable, the developer has two options:

  1. Find an alternative.
  2. Find an alternative method of distribution. It may be acceptable to have the end user download the work in question themselves, removing the Sakai Foundation from the chain of responsibility.


P5. Document use and initiate any requirements

Licensing WG
If the work in question is deemed acceptable to use. It's use must be documented on the Library and Licensing Information page in the Licensing Space. Any requirements for licensing and/or attribution must also be put in place. Often this involves:

  1. Adding the 3rd party license(s) to the licenses folder at the top of the distribution.
  2. Adding proper attribution to the Acknowledgments Screen .

In all cases, be sure to obey the licensing constraints of the original author. See Applying the ECL for more information.

3rd Party Licenses
3rd Party Licenses

Status of 3rd Party Licenses

The following table indicates 3rd party licenses which have been evaluated and determined to be either compatible with the Sakai Foundation's licensing practices, or incompatible. Each license is linked to a page that describes the requirements for use.

(tick) Code/libraries using this license are approved for use. Follow usage instructions.
(error) Code/libraries using this license may not be used.
(question) License currently under evaluation.
(warning) License may be used under some conditions. Check with Licensing WG.