Sphinx-Needs Enterprise is released under the
BSL 1.1, the Business Source License.
This means the usage is free for private projects, but commercial projects need to purchase a license.
A license key must be set via the config option
needs_enterprise_license in the
of a Sphinx project.
The value of
needs_enterprise_license must be a string in the format
If no license key is set for
needs_enterprise_license, the private mode is activated and Sphinx-Needs
Enterprise can be used for private, non commercial projects.
With no license key set, you will get some hints during startup and end of the build. Mainly telling you that private mode is active and that it would be nice to support Sphinx-Needs, if used for commercial projects.
This hints / log entries can be deactivated by setting
needs_enterprise_license = "PRIVATE".
In this case, only a one-liner will be printed that Sphinx-Needs Enterprise is licensed for private projects.
True SNE will write warnings, if something went wrong with the license, e.g. no floating-license is
available right now.
License check workflow¶
As all licenses are Floating licenses, they can be used by multiple users, but not in parallel. The amount of parallel usage is defined by purchased keys per license.
The license key status gets checked during the initialisation of the Sphinx-Needs Enterprise extension.
needs_enterprise_license is not set or set to
PRIVATE, the private mode gets directly activated
and no request to the external license server in the cloud is made.
If a license is set, then the license server of Cryptolens is asked to validate the license key.
During license validation, the current license gets blocked by the current machine for 5 minutes. If the build takes longer than 5 minutes, we renew the license block.
After the build has finished (and was not interrupted by the user or has crashed) the blocked license gets freed and is immediately available for the next machine.
If all available license keys are used, Sphinx-Needs Enterprise waits 5 seconds until the license server is asked again. After 3 unsuccessful attempts, the license is set into private mode for the current build and the build goes on. If this happens more than 2-3 times a day, please consider requesting additional license keys.
For sensitive company networks with no internet connection or other security concerns, a local license server can be provided with no extra costs.
Why is it not free for all?
Sphinx-Needs and related extensions are mostly used by process-driven companies.
And so most of our users and contributors must follow company internal rules if they want to contribute to an
They also use Sphinx-Needs mostly during their daily work, so motivation to spend additional time
on it after work is low.
This makes it hard for the
Sphinx-Needs community to gain enough contributors, even if the amount of users is
quite high and most of them are developers.
So we have created
Sphinx-Needs Enterprise, which shall help to retrieve some kind of money back from companies,
which earn or save money thanks to
Sphinx-Needs and which have a special interest in the solutions provided by
The money gets completely spent on development power for
Sphinx-Needs and related extensions.
And we hope that one day a full-time engineer can work on it thanks to the license fees.
Any chance of a discount?
Sure, we support startups, small companies, research and academic use cases.
Just get in touch with us at useblocks.
Business Source License 1.1 Parameters Licensor: useblocks GmbH Licensed Work: sphinx-needs-extensions The Licensed Work is (c) 2021 useblocks GmbH. Additional Use Grant: You may make use of the Licensed Work, provided that you do not use the Licensed Work for and inside commercial projects, products or documentations. Change Date: 2025-10-06 Change License: MIT License For information about alternative licensing arrangements for the Licensed Work, please visit https://sphinx-needs.com or get in contact with useblocks GmbH (https://useblocks.com). Notice The Business Source License (this document, or the "License") is not an Open Source license. However, the Licensed Work will eventually be made available under an Open Source License, as stated in this License. License text copyright (c) 2017 MariaDB Corporation Ab, All Rights Reserved. "Business Source License" is a trademark of MariaDB Corporation Ab. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Business Source License 1.1 Terms The Licensor hereby grants you the right to copy, modify, create derivative works, redistribute, and make non-production use of the Licensed Work. The Licensor may make an Additional Use Grant, above, permitting limited production use. Effective on the Change Date, or the fourth anniversary of the first publicly available distribution of a specific version of the Licensed Work under this License, whichever comes first, the Licensor hereby grants you rights under the terms of the Change License, and the rights granted in the paragraph above terminate. If your use of the Licensed Work does not comply with the requirements currently in effect as described in this License, you must purchase a commercial license from the Licensor, its affiliated entities, or authorized resellers, or you must refrain from using the Licensed Work. All copies of the original and modified Licensed Work, and derivative works of the Licensed Work, are subject to this License. This License applies separately for each version of the Licensed Work and the Change Date may vary for each version of the Licensed Work released by Licensor. You must conspicuously display this License on each original or modified copy of the Licensed Work. If you receive the Licensed Work in original or modified form from a third party, the terms and conditions set forth in this License apply to your use of that work. Any use of the Licensed Work in violation of this License will automatically terminate your rights under this License for the current and all other versions of the Licensed Work. This License does not grant you any right in any trademark or logo of Licensor or its affiliates (provided that you may use a trademark or logo of Licensor as expressly required by this License). TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE LICENSED WORK IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS. LICENSOR HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING (WITHOUT LIMITATION) WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, AND TITLE. MariaDB hereby grants you permission to use this License’s text to license your works, and to refer to it using the trademark "Business Source License", as long as you comply with the Covenants of Licensor below. Covenants of Licensor In consideration of the right to use this License’s text and the "Business Source License" name and trademark, Licensor covenants to MariaDB, and to all other recipients of the licensed work to be provided by Licensor: 1. To specify as the Change License the GPL Version 2.0 or any later version, or a license that is compatible with GPL Version 2.0 or a later version, where "compatible" means that software provided under the Change License can be included in a program with software provided under GPL Version 2.0 or a later version. Licensor may specify additional Change Licenses without limitation. 2. To either: (a) specify an additional grant of rights to use that does not impose any additional restriction on the right granted in this License, as the Additional Use Grant; or (b) insert the text "None". 3. To specify a Change Date. 4. Not to modify this License in any other way.