"The Apache Software Foundation is a cornerstone of the modern open source software ecosystem – supporting some of the most widely used and important software solutions powering today's Internet economy."— Mark Driver, Research Vice President, Gartner
- Lowered costs
- Higher quality software
- Freedom from vendor lock-in and proprietary solutions
- Reduced investment in re-architecting applications
- Active community support
- Access to common federation on the leading edge of technology
In 1995, eight individuals produced the first public release of a new server software named "Apache", and called themselves the "Apache Group". 22 years after its inception, the Apache HTTP Web Server remains the most popular Web server on the planet.
Incorporation of the ASF.
In 1999, the Apache Group formed The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) with the mission of providing software for the public good.
- Membership-based, US 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation
- Ensures Apache projects continue to exist beyond the participation of individual volunteers
- Establishes role as an Open Source incubator to foster new technologies
"The Apache Software Foundation has set the standard for modern application and infrastructure software as well as the open source collaborative processes through which it is developed."
— Matt Aslett, Research Director, 451 Research
- "Flat" organization: Apache projects and their communities drive development
- Project development and leadership driven entirely by individual volunteers
- Provides organizational, legal, and financial support
- Can be used by anyone for any purpose
- Free of restrictions on installation or deployment
- Distributed under the flexible, business-friendly Apache License 2.0
- Contributions include code, patches, and documentation
- Select contributors earn "Committer" status, enabling them to commit/write directly to the code repository, vote on community-related decisions, and propose active users for Committership
- Committers who demonstrate merit in the Foundation's growth, evolution, and progress may be nominated for ASF Membership by existing members
- "Community Over Code" is the cornerstone of the Foundation's core tenets
- The ASF has served as a Google Summer of Code mentoring organization each year the since the program's creation in 2005
- More than 6,300 Apache Committers help grow and maintain the health of the Apache community
- Apache Project Management Committees (PMCs) guide day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases
- The ASF Board appoints a Vice President to serve as Chair of the PMC
- Vice President/PMC Chair role is administrative, and carries no additional weight or influence on a project (one vote on project matters just like other PMC members)
- 187 Project Management Committees oversee 312 Apache projects
- 54 new podlings undergoing development in the Apache Incubator
- Recognized leadership across numerous categories, such as Big Data, libraries, servers and more
- "If it didn't happen on-list, it didn't happen."
- Built upon the transparency-oriented culture of the Apache Group, whose collaboration took place on email lists
- Since the ASF's founding, 340,000+ authors wrote 17.5M+ emails on 7.5M topics, which are archived on 1,247 Apache publicly-accessible mailing lists
"... unlike other open source organizations, the strength of the ASF is its independence from corporate interests … this independence has created a safe haven for a burgeoning open source developer population."— Matt Asay, InfoWorld
- The ASF does not discourage the development of "competing" products
- Third parties are free to pursue almost any for-profit or not-for-profit business model based on Apache projects
- The commercially-friendly and permissive Apache License v2 has become an industry standard within the Open Source world
- The ASF has grown from an inaugural membership of 21 individuals to 680 individual Members and 6,300 Committers
- The ASF oversees 150M+ lines of code (valued at US$7B+), developed over 65,000 person-years, with an average of 18,000 Apache code commits each month
- Nearly 300 new code contributors and 300-400 new people file issues each month
Apache Committers have the responsibility to the collective community to help create a product that will outlive the interest of any particular volunteer, and that the code committed should be clear enough that others not involved in its current development will be able to maintain and extend it.
How You Can Help.
The ASF is funded through tax-deductible contributions from corporations, foundations, and private individuals. You can help the greater Apache community by contributions in the form of:
- Code and documentation for Apache Projects
- Funds —become a Sponsor or Individual donor
- Corporate matching gift program —increase your donation with your employer’s support