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License Terms

The source code for the executable OntoPortal Virtual Appliance is provided as open source content under a 2-clause BSD license on a GitHub repository (see Location of Software below).

Software from other organizations, such as the AllegroGraph graph database, is released using the license that applies to that software (see the AllegroGraph web site for Allegrograph licensing terms).

The packaging we use to create the Virtual Appliance is not open source, and to use this packaged appliance you must obtain a license. (Members of the OntoPortal Alliance have access to and maintain the packaging software.)

Licenses to use the software are provided free to the following users:

  • individual users for their own research,
  • non-profit organizations, and
  • educational institutions.

Companies who wish to deploy the Virtual Appliance, and individuals working on commercial products, are asked to contact us to discuss the licensing terms. You can do so either by emailing our (public) email support list, or by registering your appliance (after you install it) at our OntoPortal License Server. Your registration request will be visible only to OntoPortal Virtual Appliance license managers, who should take action within a working day.

If there is a fee involved, a clarification is needed, or you have provided a note with your license request, you will be contacted; otherwise we will simply issue the requested license.

License Implementation

(See above for a list of the groups who get free licenses.)

The OntoPortal Virtual Appliance requires a current license certificate for licensed operation. Without a current certificate, reminders appear at the top of most pages in the repository. While repository functions operate normally, the Appliance is not approved for operation in this state. The initial distribution of the Appliance comes with a 30-day license, and the user must download and start the Appliance before finalizing their license application.

License certificates are obtained at the OntoPortal License Server. To obtain the license certificate, the requestor fills out a form on the license server which indicates the planned application type. In order to obtain and deploy the final license, the user must provide the Appliance ID identifier from their deployed system. Once the certificate is issued, its (encrypted) contents are copied from the License Server and pasted into a field in the Licensing tab of the Admin page of OntoPortal software.

While OntoPortal operates, it checks for the existence of a current certificate. The certificate is validated by decrypting it and confirming the correct Appliance ID and license end date, among other things. If the certificate is not present, or has reached its expiration date, an error message is displayed on each page. If the certificate will expire within 30 days, a warning message is displayed.

Location of Open Source Software

At this time, the source code provided as part of the OntoPortal Virtual Appliance distribution is maintained in GitHub repositories under the BioPortal GitHub project. You are welcome to examine and reuse these repositories, and can submit pull requests against them.

Later (possibly still in 2020), we plan for the OntoPortal Alliance, of which BMIR is a principal and founding member, to begin maintaining OntoPortal software in the dedicated OntoPortal GitHub project. We will make announcements on the OntoPortal Alliance web site as this content becomes available. We expect the licensing approach for OntoPortal will not be affected by the OntoPortal Alliance support for the software.