What does Open Source Mean for Digital Asset Management?

As you probbaly know, Razuna is an open source digital asset management software. This basically means that you can download the software and use it for free as long as you adhere to the AGPL license terms.

So – the question is: Why do we do that? Why would we give our software away for free? How does Razuna make money?

To start with the latter first; We make money in three ways:

1) By offering a stable cloud version, so you don’t have to worry about downloading, installing, patching and upgrading – not to mention storage, backup and bandwidth.

2) By offering support plans, so you don’t have to worry about downloading, installing, patching and upgrading. This also is your ticket to buy add-on modules.

3) By offering a commercial license, whereby software companies can embed Razuna into their software and redistribute – or hosting companies or web agencies can rebrand and resell Razuna.

That’s how we make money – our revenue more than doubles annually, so it works.

Now – why do we give it away?

We do this, because we hope that people who download Razuna will go ahead and buy support plans – or that they will contribute to making Razuna a better software. We have received a lot of different contributions from integration components to really intelligent suggestions for improvements. (And some not so intelligent, but we don’t mind….)

An email arrived in my mailbox…

Why am I writing this blog post? Well, a short while ago, I received the email below (I have deleted one word, so the sender and the project can remain anonymous). I was quite surprised, and I decided to write this post, so maybe others out there can understand, what open source means.

The email read:


for 2 state institutions, we are working on public awareness
websites which use Razuna for building complex media libraries that are
then connected to Typo3. Razuna is hosted on our own servers, and we
have developed our own extension to connect it to Typo3.
We would be interested in using the Workflow plugin, and would like to
know what the cost of a license would be. As a proposal, in return for a
free license, we could publish our extension to integrate Razuna with
Typo3 in the Typo3 repositories. At this point there is no such
extension available, so this should open a lot of doors for you, and
boost future sales. Would this be something you could be interested in?

Thanks, and kind regards,

So – what they propose is that on top of allowing them to use Razuna for free, we also throw in the commercial modules for free.

My answer was this:

Hi xxxxx,
Thank you for contacting us. I’m really excited to hear that you are using Razuna the way you are. And I would be happy to discuss the workflow plugin with you.

First, I should probably tell you, that you are in fact obligated to release the source code for your Typo3 plugin and make it available on your website, Github, Razuna or similar, since Razuna is distributed under the AGPL license terms. This requirement is stated clearly in section 6 and especially 13 in the AGPL license terms, which you can find here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl.html

This is how open source works. By providing Razuna for free, we encourage our users to contribute, e.g. by developing plugins. Only users, who have a commercial license agreement (or AGPL exempt) with us, may develop against Razuna without releasing the source code. This is typically enterprises, who wish to distribute Razuna along with closed source systems.

So – in your case, I can offer you a Razuna Business support agreement with the workflow plugin. And since I do appreciate the fact that you have developed a Typo3 plugin, I will offer you a 30% discount on this. You will have to release the source code and make it publicly available via e.g. Github or similar, so users can download it.

We love it, when developers or companies develop components that work with Razuna. I also think that if this person had contacted me with something else than a quid-pro-quo email to start with, I might have been more lenient. But the fact of the matter is that the company was using Razuna for two major state instituions without paying us a dime. And that is not a problem at all. We have many state institutions using Razuna for free. The Icelandic Parliament springs to mind. But this company had developed a cool plugin to make Razuna work with their customer’s Typo3 install. They should have released this to the community for free. In fact, they were under obligation to release the source code for free.

That’s how open source works. We give you our software for free, but if you do something to improve it, you’re supposed to give that back. This company took Razuna for free, and tried to sell us an improvement. Where’s the fairness in that?

They had not even considered the fact that they were breaching the license terms. If they wanted to keep the plugin to themselves, then by all means. But when that is the case, then it’s time to contact us for a commercial agreement.

So – what do you think? Was my response fair? Should I have given them the workflow plugin (and thereby the Razuna enterprise package) for free?


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Razuna approved as qualified DAM software vendor

DAMFoundation-ten-core-badgeEven though it may come as surprise to few, Razuna is actually a digital asset management (DAM) software. And now, it’s kind of official.

The 10 Core Characteristics of a DAM system

In May 2014, the DAM foundation finished laying the groundwork for a list of 10 core characteristics that define DAM software. The reason for agreeing on the characteristics has been that many software vendors of varying quality used the term DAM (Digital Asset Management) for their software. The work was based on an article published in April 2014 by Elisabeth Keanley.

Following the decision on the 10 characteristics that defines a DAM system, the DAM Foundation developed an evaluation process, whereby vendors, claiming to be DAM systems, could be evaluated and either approved – or rejected as such. This evaluation process has been conducted over the past few months.

Razuna passed the DAM test

The test was conducted as a blind test, whereby we were sent (only a few minutes prior to the demo) a list of assets, which we needed to import (ingest), tag, convert, index etc. in our system. The idea behind this was that with the limited time for preparation (read: no time for preparation), we couldn’t stage a demo but actually had to have a DAM application that worked.

We are not clear how many were tested, but the end result being that 16 DAM vendors passed the certification.

You can read more about the DAM Foundation and the 10 characteristics for a DAM system on their website.

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Razuna hosted update to protect you

As many of you might know the SHA-1 algorithm has become dangerously weak. In order to protect our customers, we have re-issued our SSL Certificate with the stronger SHA-2 algorithm.

Though SHA-1 is still considered to be secure to use for now, the Internet community and some major web companies such as Microsoft and Google already think the world should move to the better security provided by the SHA-2 algorithm in SSL certificates, to avoid any content spoofs or man-in-the-middle attacks. To ensure the transition will be as smooth as possible, we’ve decided to move to the SHA-2 algorithm right away.

Additionally, we also disabled SSL 3 on our servers in order to protect you from the POODLE attack. However, we encourage all customers to update to the latest browser versions which automatically disables SSL 3. If you cannot upgrade you can manually disable SSL 3 in your browser settings.

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Razuna 1.7 Improves the Digital Asset Management On-Boarding Process

Razuna Launches Razuna 1.7: Open Source and Cloud Digital Asset Management Provider, Razuna, Expands DAM Software to Accelerate the Asset On-Boarding Process with Minimal Resources Resulting in Cutting Implementation Time to a Few Days.

Razuna, the leading provider of open source and cloud based digital asset management software, announced today the release of version 1.7. The release is highly focused on improving user interaction and optimizing the on-boarding process for its many users.

“A critical part of digital asset management is the on-boarding process,” explains Nitai Aventaggiato, CTO and founder of Razuna. “We see many customers missing this important process, when implementing a DAM system. So we decided to add features to make it easier while ensuring high quality.”

As part of the development process, Razuna identified a number of global, key customers to act as advisors. This gave the Razuna team deeper insights into enterprise client implementations, and helped to customize the software to a broader range of use.

“We serve everyone from medium sized businesses to global enterprises, and no matter the size of the customer, the key factors for success are always: Rapid Implementation, Easy On-Boarding, High Data Quality and Ease-of-Use,” says Nitai Aventaggiato. “Those key elements are always in the back of our mind, when adding new features.”

And with Razuna 1.7, the team definitely proved this point. Each new feature was designed to help the customers achieve success.

“One of our customers, a global travel agency, actually held an internal seminar for all of their Country IT Managers to showcase Razuna as the fastest IT implementation thus far in their company,” says Nitai Aventaggiato. “That’s one of those things that makes us proud to do, what we do.”

All Razuna’s existing customers will be upgraded to Razuna 1.7 as part their service agreement. Open source users may download the new version from http://www.razuna.org.

New customers can sign up directly on: http://www.razuna.com

The most exciting new features in Razuna 1.7 are:

  • Aliases: You can create aliases within folders now. Select a file, create an alias for that file in another folder and you got a link between these files. Aliases behave just like their original file.
  • Import of custom XMP metadata: Import custom metadata from any other system with ease in Razuna 1.7. Create a custom field in Razuna and define the XMP-Path of the metadata. Razuna will automatically parse the XMP metadata and enter the value into the custom field.
  • Customise Search: You can lock down the search to folders only.
  • Search and Label View: We are happy to announce that a long standing request by the Razuna community has been satisfied with 1.7. In short, the label and the search view have now (almost) all the functionality you can find in the standard folder view.
  • White-Labelling: White-Labelling is now available per host!
  • Customisation: Razuna 1.7 has now even more customisation options.
    • Each icon, button, tab, etc. can now be made accessible to certain groups only (instead of show/hide for everyone).
    • Option to redirect users to folders can now be assigned per group.
    • Metadata can now be shown on top of the file and at the bottom (previously only at the bottom).
    • Labels for each metadata field can now be turned off.
  • Administration: The administration can now be made accessible to certain members of a group. Previously, you had to be an Administrator of the host to be able to access the Administration.
  • Renditions: It is now possible to swap the original file with a rendition.
  • Thumbnails: You can now upload a thumbnail for all file types (thus replacing the default Word, ZIP, etc. icon) and additionally choose from a thumbnail already uploaded to the system.
  • Folder Tree: Finally long folder names do not simply extend but wrap properly (Yeah!)


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