FAQ

What you need to know about the OCA

Structure and Governance

What is the Odoo Community Association?

The association, or "OCA" for short, is an independent nonprofit legal entity established to support the needs of the Open Source Odoo community. The association will serve as an organizing body, a public technology commons, a development community manager, and an event sponsor. The association provide a legal and administrative framework to better support the ongoing developments and promotion of the OCA's projects.

What is the legal form of the association?

The association is a membership-based organization incorporated under the laws of association, Switzerland. The association was expressly incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.

Who owns/controls the association?

The association is a nonprofit entity and has no shareholders. Thus, nobody "owns" the association. However, the association does have delegate members who, like the shareholders in a for-profit company, elect the association's board of directors. The board of directors, acting together, manages the affairs of the association.

Who are the members?

The membership is composed of users, supporters, promoters, and developers of the Open Source Odoo software. Becoming a member is as easy as joining the site and contributing to the association's goals. Beyond members, there are various delegate members.

Can I become a delegate member?

Yes. New delegate members are nominated and elected by existing delegate members during the annual delegate member election. You need first to be an association member.

Can a regular member have any influence?

Yes! First, a regular member can do everything a delegate member can do, except vote in the Board elections. They can speak up and contribute in every way. The association aims to be a do-ocracy, and so the way to have influence is to do things! Ultimately, of course, the association will only succeed in its mission if the entire community gets involved -- so please don't hesitate! We need your help!

Who are the Board of directors?

The Board of Directors were voted in an initial round by the initial association membership and then by the elected association delegates members.

What is the difference between Odoo SA and OCA?

Odoo SA is for profit commercial organization headquartered in Brussels with offices in Belgium, The USA, India, China and Luxembourg. Odoo SA develops, maintains and support Odoo and its  code addons.

The OCA is a not-for-profit organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The OCA coordinates the Odoo Community efforts and promotes collaboration.

Is the association controlled by Odoo SA?

No. Odoo SA has provided generous support to help establish the association, and some of their people may be part of the association in the future as anybody else.

What are the detailed rules of governance of OCA?

OCA is governed by a board of directors elected by the delegate members. The board selects a President, Treasurer and Secretary as officers with particular areas of responsibility.

Projects are operated by Project Steering Committees (PSC) which select a Chair or Board liaison who is designated as officer of the OCA after confirmation by the board. The board also designates some special purpose committees responsible for particular areas with a chair who is an officer. Typical committees and projects operate fairly autonomously and largely by consensus. However, as needed, the board can step in to address issues inconsistent with the goals and responsibilities of OCA. By virtue of their selection of the board and new delegate members, the delegate membership are the ultimate authority at OCA.

Projects and Modules Joining the Association

What software projects are currently part of the association?

The most representative work is hosted on Github's OCA repositories. Visit OCA's Projects page for the official list.

What does a project or Module need to join?

Projects (or modules) need the approval of the "contribution PSC" to join the association. The most important point is to have a real community behind your project, involving various companies, like the local community for the odoo localizations. Suggest your work (project or team).

So when can my project join?

Only a limited number of projects (and modules) can be effectively handled be the OCA at a time, so please be patient.

Do the OCA's projects and related developments need to sign over copyright to the association?

Yes. The individual contributions in the OCA's projects are expected to grant the copyright to the association. At the creation of the association, all projects were not in that case and followed a review process.

Do project developers need to sign a legal agreement?

No. Generally speaking this is not required, however, all the committers must have signed one. For more details, please read the CLA page.

Do the OCA's projects need to turn over project control to the association?

No. The association is not interested in controlling the association projects. However, the association projects are expected to follow some association rules, mostly around the need to ensure that project code is not legally encumbered (e.g., not stolen, or improperly contributed), and that appropriate controls are in place to ensure code is properly contributed. Some additional expectations may exist around projects operating in an open and accountable fashion, handling association-provided funding appropriately and not taking actions that will cause legal problems or negative goodwill for the association. The association also encourages, but does not require, projects to support the association goals, such as implementing standard-based interoperability.

Can my project operate as a benevolent dictatorship?

The OCA projects are typically governed by a Project Steering Committee (PSC). The PSC should operate openly and with a consensus-based approach. While the PSC may delegate specific responsibilities to particular project members, it is ultimately intended to be the governing body for the project. A benevolent dictatorship is not considered a suitable open and consensus-based approach to governance.

Do I have to use mandated source control / web system / bug system / mailing list from the association?

No. Projects joining the association can continue to use their traditional source control system, website system, bug tracker and mailing list software. However, the association does recommend to use Gituhb to provide a more consistent way for users and developers to interact with the different association projects.

What does the OCA provides to their projects in term of infrastructure ?

The association will provide a page on this website (like here) to allow the PSC to write about their goals and projects they owned. A part from that, the OCA will create a project for you in our odoo instance, letting you having access to a project management tools. This will allow you organize your work with your team, involved people from the outside by sharing a task through the portal, enjoy the mail thread features and so on. Your tasks will be published, letting people know about what's going on.
A Github repository with pre-configured Continuous Integration Server (Travis and OCA Runbot) will also be created under the OCA umbrella.

Licenses & CLA

We are not lawyers, but here is some enlightenment about licenses and OCA point of view.

Which licenses are authorized under OCA projects?

The association only accepts projects that use OSI-certified licenses for their software. The association also discourages a proliferation of new and incompatible licenses.

We recommend you to choose one of those licenses : AGPLv3, LGPLv3 or GPLv3.

What are the differences between GPL, AGPL, LGPL and MIT ?

GPL

AGPL

LGPL

MIT

A person connecting to the application through a network is considered a user (and therefore can ask for the application’s code)

No

Yes

No

No

A program of any license (open or closed) can link to your program (e.g. release a closed module base on your work)

No

No

Yes

Yes

Your module can extend Odoo Enterprise Private module

No

No

Yes

Yes

Is a copyleft license that ensure your work will remain released under the license you choose

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Why does the OCA prefer *GPL over MIT?

The OCA preferred the *GPL based licenses over MIT because *GPL are a copyleft licenses where MIT is not and allows anyone to change the license to any license, even a closed one.

Why most of the OCA code base is AGPL ?

Because the AGPL license is the only license considering someone connecting to Odoo as a user. It protects companies from being locked in by their Odoo hosting provider. Finally, Odoo was fully AGPL for years and lots of devs has been released under the license by then.

If Odoo core is LGPLv3, can I run AGPLv3 modules on it?

Yes. The LGPLv3 and the AGPLv3 license are compatible, so both can coexist.

What are the consequences of using AGPL module on an LGPL core?

Your instance becomes subject to the AGPLv3 clauses for all modules your AGPLv3 modules depends on, and people accessing it will have the right to ask you for the source code of all concerned addons (including the LGPLv3 ones).

Can I run OCA AGPL modules and closed source modules on the same instance?

Yes, as long as closed source modules do not depend on AGPL ones and respect the license of its dependencies defined in the “depends” key of its manifest file (and vice versa).

Can I change the license when I port a module to a new version?

No. You can only change the license of a module if you have the copyright or if all authors of the module agree to change the license.

Can the OCA change the license of a module ?

Through the signed CLA, the OCA has the right to relicense a module under any OSI certified license. But the CLA is here to protects the contributors, not to relicense their work. If that would happen, it’ll be subject to the vote of the Delegate assembly (the board alone cannot decide).

What are the differences between the Odoo CLA and the OCA CLA?

Two organizations and two different “contracts”, the main differences are : Odoo may relicense under a close source license where OCA CLA guarantees that the license will not be changed to a non OSI compatible license.

Do I have to I sign the Odoo CLA if I sign the OCA one and vice-versa?

No, you don’t have to. But you need to sign the CLA related to the parts of the code you contribute to.

There are two completely unrelated CLAs, as both organisations are separate and independent.

Do I need the Odoo CLA signed to submit a patch to OCB branches ?

No. But as you need to submit your patch upstream, Odoo SA will probably ask you to sign it. The OCA encourages you to carefully read this document, as it allows Odoo s.a. to relicense your contribution. Some important contributors from the OCA have signed that document because this eases the the work of the core maintainers and the OCB maintainers.

What is the license of OCB branches ?

The OCB branches are released under the same license as the corresponding Odoo branches.

Participation

What can I do to get involved?

Visit the OCA website. Join the main OCA contributors mailing list. You don't need to be a programmer. Read the contribute page here. You can also request your membership by purchasing your membership fees here.

How can I contribute code?

The governance model currently being formulated will define the legal and related issues on how the code will be accepted into the association software projects. Currently, you can submit your pull request on any of the related OCA's project. It will be reviewed by the team's owner and the community. Find more details on the contributors agreement here.

How can I be part of the reviewer team?

To be accepted in one of the team, start by suggesting merge proposals and reviewing others' work. When significant work has been achieved, you can apply for the team by requesting your membership by writing to us here. Note that reviewers, in their committers role, would have to sign the CLA.

Does the Association need money?

The association is now soliciting organizational sponsorships. To make a donation write us here. However, contributions of time for committee work, development, documentation, testing, user support, and advocacy are the preferred forms of contribution from individuals.

May I used the OCA logo and name freely?

Yes, but the association considers the OCA name and logo to be trademarks.

How can I contribute to improve the OCA's website?

Currently, only a few members have access to the website administration, but you can ask for or report a problem / typo here.