Is XWiki free? A comprehensive guide

29 Nov 2023 5 min read

Written by

The XWiki Team

When looking at an open-source product, there are a myriad of questions that can naturally occur:

  • What options do I have?
  • Which one would suit my organization best?
  • What are the available services and hosting options?
  • Which support plan to choose?

In today's article, we're answering all of these burning questions in hopes that the provided information helps you take the best decision for your company when assessing our open-source product and services.

The short answer

In short, yes, XWiki is a free to use open-source software platform and can be downloaded from xwiki.org, the official open-source software website. Thanks to the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), XWiki is free to use, modify, and distribute, in accordance with the terms specified in the license. Then, users and organizations are invited to participate in sustaining the software, in contributing to its development either with code or purchases of professional services. When it comes to services, cloud hosting or business-ready apps, you can check the business offer from XWiki SAS, the top sponsoring company for the XWiki open-source project.

The long answer

There are several no-cost options available on xwiki.org with a few mentions:

  • There are a variety of hosted options that you can choose from. However, note that MyXWiki.org is a community farm dedicated to non-profit organizations and individuals. Then, Playground is a test instance on xwiki.org that you can use in order to discover some of XWiki's features.
  • Download the Long Term Support version (LTS in short) that is production ready, extensively tested, and consistently maintained by the XWiki Product team inside XWiki SAS and the XWiki community. The LTS version currently available is 14.10.19. Annually a new LTS version is released and, if problems are found, bug fix versions are released throughout the year. 
  • Download the Stable version (for example 15.9) if you want to check out the latest developments from this year's current cycle of development of the open-source product. Note that it is not recommended for production servers, because it needs to undergo more QA tests, bug fixes, and improvements.

Open-source is at the core of XWiki. Thus, the goal is to keep the product free and to give you a full choice when it comes to your hosting option, without running any risk of vendor lock-in and data loss. At the same time, no product exists and grows by inertia, but with the help of a variety of contributions. With this in mind, we want to bring to your attention that you can contribute and donate to XWiki if you want to support its development as an individual. The source code is also accessible for those who want to customize the project or contribute with code. Getting involved in sustaining the XWiki software helps in growing it and being more qualitative over time for you and other users.

What does standard product mean?

The standard XWiki product is represented by a full-featured open-source wiki, with its default flavor being called XWiki Standard Flavor (XS in short) and maintained by the XWiki Dev Team for the XWiki distribution. As it is not tied to a specific use case, you can customize it to your needs using structured data and in-page-scripting to create macros and applications. Among the top features, you could explore: 

  • For advanced collaborative editing you have: WYSIWYG and macro editors, full history, attaching and previewing, commenting and annotations.
  • For structured information: page templates, content drag-and-drop, App Within Minutes, livetables, blogs, ideas sharing, tasks and many more.
  • For a brought-together organization: groups & permissions management, LDAP or SSO connection, PDF viewing and export, data import, external tools integrations.
  • For flexibility and extensibility: full customization option of the UI, hundreds of available APIs, and 900 community extensions, out of which 39 are recommended by the XWiki SAS Product Team. Aside from these we also have 18 business-ready Pro Applications.*

*XWiki standard product doesn't include access to the XWiki Pro Applications. The XWiki Pro Applications are packaged under a license and can be purchased individually (at Cloud Bronze level or self-hosted wiki without support contract) or as part of a Support Plan starting with Pro Silver level. The license for a Pro Application offers the right to use the extension but also dedicated support on the respective module through our internal ticketing system. Furthermore, the Pro Silver plan includes the licenses and support for all the Pro Applications. Learn more about our these Pro Applications in the dedicated section below.

What is XWiki Cloud?

It is an offer to focus on your content, collaboration and work, while the XWiki SAS team takes care of the setup, hosting, upgrades, maintenance, security fixes and backups.

Your Cloud wiki is hosted in France with OVH, which has internationally accepted certifications – ISO/IEC 27001, and SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3.

Advantages of the XWiki Cloud services

  1. You don't need to hire or have your own Infrastructure specialists to handle what's related to the setup, upgrades, maintenance, security updates, keeping backup files for easy data recovery if you would ever need it. Thus, create a Cloud wiki and start using it in just a few minutes. Our XWiki SAS Infrastructure team is continuously working on maintaining a great XWiki Cloud service.
  2. All Cloud wikis come with the Antivirus application preinstalled, providing you a ready to use and attentive tool when it comes to keeping your wiki safe.
  3. Cloud wikis also come with support services, organized by levels, which you can select depending on your expected assistance needs.
  4. All XWiki Pro applications are included with no extra cost starting from the Pro Silver plan (except Confluence Migrator Pro that is included starting with Pro Gold).
  5. If you are an open-source software project, the Cloud hosting is free for you (including support services at Bronze level) and you also get a free license for XWiki Pro Applications.
  6. We also offer a special 50% discount to NGOs, when it comes to hosting, support services and XWiki Pro applications.
  7. You have the option to choose from multiple periods of engagement, such as monthly, 3 months, 6 months and yearly, with automatic or manual renewal.
  8. You are in control of your data. If you ever decide to stop using our Cloud services, you can download or migrate all of your data and code.
  9. You are also in control of your Cloud plan, being able to upgrade or downgrade your plan throughout time, depending on your needs.
  10. You will always be able to recover your wiki data as backups are managed automatically.

What kind of services are there available for self-hosted wikis?

When using a self-hosted wiki, you might be in the situation when you would require support with either simple or complex configuration matters, or you simply encounter a bug that you'd like to ask about for possible solutions. In such cases, there are multiple options to receive support.

Apart from being a good opportunity to contribute to XWiki, we welcome you to visit the XWiki Community Forum and write about your case there or provide assistance to other open topics. We also appreciate when you report bugs, suggest improvements, and request new feature requests because it helps keeping the XWiki product in good condition and up-to-date with users' needs.

A second option which represents as well a method to contribute to XWiki is to purchase professional services. In this case, depending on your chosen support plan, teams of specialists would help you with:

  • Installation and configuration matters;
  • Training built specifically for your various types of users;
  • Continuous support in terms of usage;
  • Quick bugs troubleshooting and fixes;
  • Best practices concerning your specific use case.

Advantages of the XWiki SAS Pro Support services

  1. You get a guaranteed support response time detailed in the support contract.
  2. You get assistance with your backup plan and basic LDAP configuration assistance no matter the support plan.
  3. A license for XWiki Pro applications is included with no extra cost starting with the Pro Silver plan (except for Confluence Migrator Pro, available starting with Pro Gold plan).
  4. We offer support services starting with Pro Silver level for the 39 community extensions recommended by the XWiki SAS Product Team and the 18 applications as part of the Pro Applications developed by XWiki SAS Pro Apps team.
  5. Starting with Pro Gold we offer the best effort support on the rest of the 900 community extensions, but we do not guarantee a bug fix since some applications might be incompatible with specific environments or have dependencies issues.
  6. The support services are available through various options, so you can pick the one that caters more to your style: through email, customer support platform, phone calls, conference calls.
  7. You can have a dedicated Account Manager which can help with the intermediary discussions about any custom needs, keep you up-to-date with useful product developments, fixes and security updates, all catered to the specificity of your project.
  8. Depending on your project and technical needs and available knowledge, you have the option to select from technical support services and/or developer support services. Thus, you could have the help of XWiki experts upon request. Or you can pick a support plan that includes developer hours or help on a solution requiring custom development.
  9. If you are an open-source software project, the support services come with a 50% discount, and you also get a free license to use the XWiki Pro Applications (with the mention that raising support tickets to the XWiki SAS support team is not included in this offer; instead, you can report issues on the GitHub Pro Application repository).
  10. If you are an NGO, support services and XWiki Pro applications are offered with a 50% discount.

What do support services entail more specifically?

If you pick a support plan, know that you can find on our pricing page what's included in each level. 

Pro Silver level case: Let's say that you have an intranet wiki on which you plan to include several users. You (or your users) can be assisted with:

  • Linux installation guides (if it fits your need) or if you have Windows installation issues, the support team can also help you;
  • Learning about XWiki features and how to perform certain actions on the wiki;
  • Learning and using the administration features (as an Admin).

You can interact with the XWiki support team through mail and the customer portal XWiki Network and a higher support plan guarantees faster response time from the team. Then, the support team can help you with:

  • Your LDAP connectivity issues;
  • Your existing Single Sign-On settings;
  • Troubleshooting and fixing issues related to the core product and recommended extensions;
  • Setting up a backup strategy (if you have an on-premises wiki, because on XWiki Cloud backups are managed automatically).

Pro Gold or Platinum level cases: If your wiki is customized, or installed on a complex infrastructure, these would qualify for Pro Gold or Platinum plans. There are also a few situations where higher levels of support would be more fit for your needs, such as:

  • If you work with a lot of scripting on your wiki, and you would need revisions and help;
  • If you are a developer that likes to customize existing features, or add new ones to your wiki;
  • If you need help in doing custom development on your wiki through XWiki consulting or project development services (20 annual hours included in the Pro Platinum plan);
  • If you need two wiki instances, one for development and one for production (included in the Pro Platinum plan).

We can help you with any question you might have regarding the support plans differences. Write to us directly at contact@xwiki.com or on our website contact form with a small description of your project.

What are the XWiki Pro applications?

The XWiki Pro applications are represented by a set of business-ready applications and connectors maintained by the XWiki SAS Pro Apps team. You are extending the tools available on your wiki when you are installing such applications:

You can check out our extensive article about the differences between Pro, Recommended, and Community extensions for more details and clarifications on this topic.

Advantages of the XWiki Pro applications

  1. They help you make use of the Azure or Active Directory authentication that you may have set on your side to connect to your wiki with the same users;
  2. You can import and edit files from Google Docs, Presentations, Sheets;
  3. You have alternatives to Google editing tools with OnlyOffice Connector application;
  4. They are closely maintained with bug fixes, improvements, and new features;
  5. They are available with no cost when you purchase them starting with Silver plan (either on Cloud or on premise, except Confluence Migrator Pro);
  6. If you have an on-premises server and would purchase the whole XWiki Pro package of applications, you would also have support included for your wiki, not only for the applications included in the XWiki Pro package.

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