Developers > Licensing

ExSite Licencing


ExSite is available under either a commercial software license, or a free software license.

Commercial Software License

ExSite is maintained and supported by Exware Solutions, Inc. Exware provides support guarantees to its clients, including but not necessarily limited to upgrades, bug fixes and patches, customizations, new module development, software porting, hosting services, and the like.  Click here for more information on how a commercial license can benefit your organization.

Free Software License

ExSite may be used (run, copied, redistributed) under the terms of the GPL.  You have many freedoms in how you use the software with this license, but there is no guarantee of support, nor any warranty of any kind.  This license may nevertheless be suitable for DIY web developers.  (Note that particular web application plug-ins may carry their own licensing terms.  Do not assume that a given plug-in also carries GPL licensing without consulting its documentation.)

Licencing Notes

ExSite functions as an Operating System for your website. Like a conventional operating system, it has a user interface, a kernel that provides basic system services, utility programs for administering the system, and an API that allows 3rd-party applications to run on it. It is important to understand the different roles these components play to understand the licensing terms of ExSite.

ExSite files and programs are released in two or more distributions:

  1. The ExSite Base Distribution, containing kernel, utility, and associated programs and files. This is analogous to the Operating System that you install on your desktop computer. The ExSite Base Distribution is covered by the General Public License (GPL).
  2. One or more Web Application distributions, which contain the files needed to install and run different web applications on your website(s). These are analogous to the applications that you install into your desktop operating system. Web applications are separate software packages from the ExSite Base Distribution, and may have their own licensing terms, different from the GPL. If a web application does not define its own licensing terms, then it will also fall under the Exware software license (ie. the GPL). If it defines its own licensing terms, you must consult that license to determine what your rights are with respect to that particular web application.

In addition to the Free Software licencing terms outlined above, ExSite is also available under commercial licenses with full support and other benefits. Contact Exware Solutions, Inc. for more information on these alternate licensing arrangements.

Licensing of Web Application "Plug-ins"

The GPL is not specific about whether a "plug-in" module is part of a combined work (which would fall under the same license) or an independent work that is separately licensed. It is the wish of the ExSite copyright holders that plug-in web applications can optionally carry their own separate licencing terms.

For further clarity, therefore, the following addendum to the GPL is applied to the ExSite base distribution:

Linking ExSite statically or dynamically with other modules is making a combined work based on ExSite. Thus, the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License cover the whole combination.

As a special exception, the copyright holders of ExSite give you permission to link ExSite with independent modules that communicate with ExSite solely through the ExSite Dynamic Content Driver interface, regardless of the license terms of these independent modules, and to copy and distribute them separately or as a combined work under terms of your choice, provided that every copy of a combined work is accompanied by a complete copy of the source code of the ExSite base distribution (the version of ExSite used to produce the combined work), being distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License plus this exception. An independent module is a module which is not derived from or based on ExSite.

Note that people who make modified versions of ExSite are not obligated to grant this special exception for their modified versions; it is their choice whether to do so. The GNU General Public License gives permission to release a modified version without this exception; this exception also makes it possible to release a modified version which carries forward this exception.

Note that if a web application does not specify its own licencing terms as outlined here, then it defaults to the GPL.

Notes on Copyright

The Perl and C code, HTML, graphics, and SQL schemas in the ExSite Base Distribution are copyright 2000-2007 by Exware Solutions, Inc.

Dynamic pop-up menus written in Javascript are taken from the excellent tools at, copyrighted by Mike Foster.

The Javascript HTML editor is derived from code originally from Annat Communications. The version included with the ExSite Base Distribution has been extensively modified by Exware Solutions Inc. for ExSite compatibility and cross-browser support.

The Javascript tools used by ExSite were originally distributed under the LGPL, but the versions bundled with ExSite are distributed under the GPL, as per clause 3 of the LGPL. For original copies carrying LGPL licensing, please contact the original authors.

Some tools and web applications make use of the Creative Commons-licensed Silk Icons, from

Copyrights for specific web applications are noted in their respective distributions.