Open source (also written as open-source) software is available under a license in which the publisher provides users the rights to make changes and copies. It is developed using collaborative resources and maintained by a global community of developers. The source code of an open source software is accessible to everyone and any member of the community can contribute to the code.
When it comes to content management systems (CMS) there are open source and proprietary CMSs. A proprietary CMS is an opposite to open source CMS in a way that it is completely built and maintained by a single company. The source code of such CMS cannot be changed or distributed without complying to licensing agreements. The license owner can restrict the use, access, and modification of their source code.
Umbraco is open source
Umbraco CMS is an open source CMS and it operates under the MIT license. This license originates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is one of the shortest and most flexible licenses. MIT license is also one of the most widely used free-and-open-source licenses around the world.
The open source nature of Umbraco means that anyone can contribute to Umbraco’s source code; currently, we have an over 200-thousand-large community that makes Umbraco better every day.
Ability to contribute to Umbraco’s source code does not mean that all the contributions will be merged to the core of the software. Those contributions (more commonly known as pull requests or PRs) that make the user-experience with Umbraco better for as many people as possible will be added to the core source code.
And those that are also great suggestions, but perhaps not suitable for most solutions, might instead end up being great add-ons that will be used by many. That is up to the contributor.
Who decides whether pull requests will be merged into the core? That is up to the company behind the software - Umbraco HQ.
But why is Umbraco open source?
Ever since Umbraco saw the light of day, our vision was to empower tech talent by putting the power and control into their hands (or keyboards), so they have the freedom and flexibility to create amazing work without being limited by the software.
Being open source also means transparency, as we provide you with a window to our software and let you in on our roadmap. It is also what makes Umbraco “alive” and provides continual growth and improvement.