User’s Guide License Model

In PrimeFaces documentation page, we’ve added following paragraph;

“Price of User’s Guide is minimum 9.90 Euros. For companies, we appreciate if this fee is considered per developer. User’s Guide is an important resource for the financial backbone of PrimeFaces, by paying over the minimum price you’ll support us greatly while we maintain codebase, add new features, provide community support and keep PrimeFaces open. In the end you’ll also be investing your own project built with PrimeFaces.”

So we “kindly” asked companies who use PrimeFaces to consider this fee per developer not single. I’m kinda disappointed to see that most of the companies (some are quite huge) with dev teams are ignoring this and getting only one copy. It is interesting to see that people are paying much much more than this as license fees of vendors.

So for 3.0, we’re planning to introduce different prices for different types of users like companies (probably based on dev team size), single developer(regular), students(cheaper) to enforce this.

Note that this will only apply to user’s guide, not PrimeFaces itself, PrimeFaces will always be free and licensed under apache.

Thank you for your understanding, I think this change seems to be necessary as everyone has a family to look after and unfortunately PrimeFaces has no big brother like its competitors.


33 Responses to User’s Guide License Model

  1. etahan says:

    i understand your worries
    but as u guess this way is not appropriate for supporting financially your company and your family.After a while u will probably encounter web sites giving away your book freely,
    like your competittors focusing on supporting for financial returns, i think u should consider this way.
    i dont think there is a reasoble way to force people to buy ebook(even if it s cheap,they wont,at least most of them )

  2. George de la Torre says:

    Totally agree!

    Wonder why so many companies pay $5000.00 per CPU for Oracle’s JSF (ADF) components, even hundreds of thousands for licenses of products that have open source quality alternatives.

    Nothing to do about value, simply a marketing mind set.

    Every time someone asks for my copy of Primefaces users Guide, I send them the link to purchase their copy!

  3. Goutham says:


    I agree with ethan. I had bought a book by Chris Maki called JPA 101 which required me to create a password which would be sent to my email account and the book could be opened using only that password.

    Although it wouldn’t stop people from sharing the passsword atleast imprinting the userid in the book would prevent people from sharing it with others.

    This is the link to chris maki’s blog .

    you can try contacting him in case you decide to follow the same route.


  4. Buyer’s name is also printed on the PrimeFaces user’s guide with transaction id.

  5. TC says:


    on the other hand, Primefaces is so fast evolving that it makes no sense to invest 1000$ to buy one book per developer when the book is outdated 1 month later. I understand that companies are hesitating and buying one copy per version. Maybe a (alternative) buy-once-get-updates-model would be of interest (yet it would create more work on your side to manage this).

    I think you should consider another business model, in general.

    Best regards and good luck for finding the best solution!

  6. A Project Lead says:

    I do not know on what planet you guys live, but on mine, software licensed with an open license come with an appropriately free reference manual. You see,reference manuals are not considered an optional part of a piece of software. What you seem to expect is to be seen as a defender of the open source business model while charging a per seat license! That makes no sense at all.

    I think it is time you rethink your business model and start thinking about new value-added services. A reference manual is not a value-added service.

  7. Aytek says:

    Are you taking pre orders?:) if not le me know when to purchase it

  8. maxtorzito says:

    Im still waiting the primefaces online course for a while, i dont care to pay the cost (700) with that course maybe many people get interesred, but wea are still waiting, i think the primefaces team can have money with it

  9. Oleg says:

    General 9,90 EUR sounds good to me. It’s cheap and okey. I never saw a “closed” open source project not inviting developers to join the project and I never saw an open source project selling its documentation. But I can understand Cagatay and support him fully. If I would spend all my time with developing of an open source project, I would look for financial resources as well. PrimeFaces needs that, of course.

    And companies paying $5000.00 per CPU for Oracle’s JSF don’t have interest to open source projects at all. They are convinced, expensive software is much better than open one. Nothing to do.

  10. Pitutos says:

    I would like to see all the complainers, develop a large project as PrimeFaces. At some point they will require financial assistance or they will want to get some profit, which is fine, but I would like to see if they would charge so little. I hope that one day comes the book version.

    The way I see it, the business in the open source project is to get economic benefit of the user support, which is perfect for me.

  11. Alex says:

    The thing really kills me about the license-the-documentation model that premefaces has started to take, is that EVEN AFTER PAYING FOR THE GUIDE, the documentation is not as accessible as other java projects. It’s in a PDF, which is not crawlable,searchable,accessible from anywhere. Sure you can download another copy, but a PDF is inherently not as interactive as web-based documentation.

    If I am going to pay money for documentation (Which still seems to me to not be in the spirit of open source), then I want at LEAST as good of an experience as having online searchable, hyperlinkable documentation that is available everywhere.

    I also wanted to second what “A Project Lead” said regarding software manuals/documentation not being optional. Just think of the scenario where someone is trying to accomplish feature X with primefaces, but doesn’t have access to the documentation and cannot figure out the proper way to implement feature X, even primeface is capable. Without the documentation, they will likely assume that this is a limitation of primefaces or a bug, and may even stop using the library altogether because of perceived limitations that are not there. I was just thinking the other day that the community that had started to build up around primefaces was becoming one it’s biggest assets, but this new documentation mindset may fragment that more than I think the primefaces team thought it would.

  12. I’m disappointed once again after reading these comments, frankly I was expecting more support from PrimeFaces users. I spent hours and hours to come up with 440 pages of user’s guide and sad to see that there are people who think it does not add value.

    I can’t seem to justify why we spend hours and weekends on PrimeFaces anymore. Where did all the fun go? I thought PrimeFaces is saving a lot of resources like money and time of it’s users/companies, I can’t figure out why it is such a big problem to ask for 9.90 euros in return for a reference guide.

  13. George de la Torre says:


    I wouldn’t put much weight on some comments here, perhaps an open survey on the community forum to address this is better.

    Been a consultant many years in the States, the more money you charge the more respect you get – regardless of competence!

    I think Primefaces should get into a vertical market. For example, like an open source Electronic Health Record built with Primefaces with a customization practice.

    It’s a model that is working well in the States a big way. Also, Nuxeo is doing fine with building a business around open source document management.

    Sadly to say, the people who pay $5000.00 per CPU for JSF component are not developers!

    Anyway, every time I do a presentation and network for work, I always showcase Primefaces and get great responses! How can we turn this into $$$…


  14. Alex says:

    It does add value if you compare it to not having any documentation at all. I think the main issue at work here is that you were giving something away for free and then said “OK… now you have to pay for this.” That’s where most of the animosity is coming from. I just think that documentation is so valuable it’s necessary… you can’t have an open source project w/pay documentation. The notion that ‘hey, PrimeFaces is free!’ but the documentation is behind a pay-wall just seems very strange to your a community used to how most open-source projects do things.

    I know it’s easier-said-than-done, but offering something additional that will net you guys some revenue will sound much better to the communicty. Maybe do something like (which is a set of GWT component that has an open source core funtionality) and then various add-on components) You could add ‘enterprise’ type extensions to the PrimeFaces components that can bind data directly to enterprisey type things.

  15. Tonico says:

    Catagay, i see your point and agree, but cosider as constructive the other comments above. I sincerely think that if an open source software company offers an enterprise level support, that all commercial implementers should subscribe to such service. Unfortunately the commercial adopters do not think that way in most cases, and their Program Managers have mediocre minds…. I think that the support model should suffice your revenues, but that might not be happening… Maybe you have been too honestband generous answering all forum questions… Let them understand that support is necessary for critical and fast responses!

    About documentation, i must agree that i too would like to have access to faster API/Docs as there are new RCs and Betas, after all the early adopters are important to improve the product’s quality. Maybe we could get and online (authenticated) area to reach such documentation as features are made.

    Keep up your great service and product ! Some tune up to ideas is part of it. Cudos for the good 2.2 docs by the way! Thanks

  16. Pingback: The spirit of opensource « Forty-three…

  17. kukeltje says:

    I wrote an extensive reply on my own blog. It basically is about why free (high quality) documentation is not something you can demand and what the spirit of opensource is realy about.

    For those interested, See

  18. Awesome blog on this;

    We’ll keep rocking thanks to the support from real PrimeFaces fans!

  19. Pitutos says:

    Nowhere is it written that you must deliver the software and documentation free of charge. I totally agree that the software and documentation have different licenses.

    There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary (and support PrimeFaces), and those who don’t.

  20. maxtorzito says:

    I dont have any problem for pay 9.90 euros and i will buy it in march, i hope we can do something for primeaces and not only stay waiting for all free and perfect.

  21. BTJ says:

    Not sure why so many are complaining… Under 10 euro is a drop in the ocean and really money spent you will not miss… Stop whining and start buying the good documentation… 🙂

  22. Those of us who are using Primefaces know that is it the best JSF framework on the market, and right now it isn’t close. If you follow #primefaces you will know this man doesn’t sleep, he develops. He has outworked entire teams. I have followed the ascension of Primefaces from afar and it really seems they are about to take over a huge share of the JSF market. Spring seems to be choosing them as there JSF framework of choice. Spring Roo definitely favors Primefaces. Netbeans is going to be coming with Primefaces preinstalled.

    Bottom line, the book is worth it! Is there a better model to make money, maybe. But if you want JSF to thrive Cagatay is the key. Every penny they make is more than well earned. Great job!

  23. Guys, I don’t think the issue is as complicated as your making it out to be. Cagatay is simply requiring, by agreement, that, if you want documentation, you have to pay for it. Moreover, if your peers want documentation than they should have to pay for it. His requirement is not unreasonable. Especially, in light of the fact that no one is forcing you to buy or use it in the first place. Remember, theft in the name of open source is still theft.

    That said, Cagatay, thank you very much for creating such a fine product and making it available to anyone who takes the time to download it. It adds significant value, and I, for one, will support your product in a manner consistent with your wishes.

  24. Thanks for all the latest comments, it really boosts our enthusiasm .

  25. PF says:

    I personally think its time think about “Primes in action” or “Primefaces:Learn to Transform your apps faces in 7 days” or “Primefaces:Raise of the faces”… well I’ll buy it…

  26. Daniel says:

    Keep going with the jsf revolution.
    Buying the guide is the least we can do to support prime faces development.

  27. VS says:

    I think the most important point in this discussion is the following:
    If companies spent money on something they expect it to be professional, without errors but with support/warranty.

    In my opinion Primefaces is a great framework. I like using it because of the amount of components/features/… It’s also amazing that one single guy (congratulations cagataycivici) can build such a huge thing and even document it (440+ pages *wow*). But if you work your way through the documentation you will find errors where some aren’t minor ones. As a company pays for documentation for a *CERTAIN* version (e.g. 2.2.1) it demands on updates (error-corrections) for the documentation of this certain version. Otherwise (as for now) if the company had to pay for each fix in the documentation for the whole set of developers (in case of huge companies –> huge amount of developers –> huge costs) this would not be arguable.

    In case of rethinking your licensing-/payment-/business-model you should also consider this point of view – which I think is really important. Because payments are not approved by developers but by businessman which expect certain things for paying money 😉

    At last but not least: Keep up your great work! I’d like to help on developing primefaces – let me know if there is a possibility and where to “register” for it 😉

  28. Alexandre Verri says:

    Cagatay, please, don’t pay attention to the ‘leeches’. In the community that you created you have many ‘symbiotic’ members – and the real value is in this people.

  29. J Hall says:

    I’ve looked at Richfaces, Openfaces, Icefaces, Oracle ADF, OpenLaszlo, ZK, Tibco General Faces, SmartClient, GWT, Appcelerator. Neither of these frameworks are comparable to Primefaces, richness + simplicity. Oracle ADF is nice but complex. $13 you can buy a few chocolate bars and a pop (I guess you are a child). The cost for the documentation is next to nothing, stop the complaining. If the frameworks I mentioned were getting the reception as Primefaces they too will be charging like icefaces. Primefaces is an excellent framework. Updated.

  30. Alexander Imboden says:

    Reading some of these comments made me buy the documentation a second time.

    Great work!

  31. Jérôme Jadoulle says:

    Primefaces for dummies ^^
    My two cents about this is that the “animosity” is de to the fact that the “license model” of the documentation just changed.

    Wait for a bit and these discussions won’t be a problem to anyone anymore.

  32. Robert Edge says:

    I’m a poor college student at UAlbany working on a school project. I have no job. I bought the book.

  33. xsalefter says:

    Hi Cagatay.. To reduce some “complaint” from fans which doesn’t agree with docs license, how if prime-tech create some project that based on primefaces. It could be project management, bug track, etc which available on the cloud. Once the software get published, you can ask primefaces members to use the service, and if so they get free primefaces docs.

    I think this schema will expands your company business model in general and your company doesn’t stuck on just only one business model.

    Well I know this effort need an human resources, but you could ask your most active community member to join the project with offer some small benefits, like free access to docs, etc.

    Just my opinion :). After all, keep your great work.

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