July 23, 2020
Today is a big milestone for Strapi. We’re introducing a public beta version of Strapi Enterprise Edition (EE) along with paid plans including enterprise differentiating features and support services. We’re developing Strapi Enterprise Edition in the open, in collaboration with partners and customers, and remain fully committed to delivering value to the Strapi open-source community and ecosystem.
In this blog post, I try to reflect on what this announcement means for Strapi: the company, the product, and the open-source project.
With Jim and Aurelien (other Strapi cofounders), we’re all big Open Source enthusiasts. That’s why, from day one, we released Strapi on GitHub under a permissive MIT license which is, in our opinion, the only way to build and maintain a truly meaningful piece of software.
To truly compete in a mature and fragmented CMS industry, we invested a lot of time and effort into research and development without making any revenue. Raising capital from famous business angels and venture capital firms was the best way to build a feature-complete Headless Content Management System (CMS) and vibrant Open Source community at the same time.
Today, we’re making a major step towards making Strapi a sustainable, capital-efficient business or in other words, a Commercial Open-Source Software Company. Similar to companies we admire and love such as GitLab or Hashicorp, the Strapi team is building an opinionated product on top of an open-source project built together with the Strapi community.
Over time, our company vision has matured and now goes far beyond becoming the de facto standard for the A in JAMstack. At Strapi, we believe that everyone should have the power to easily build content-driven applications and modern digital experiences regardless of the end devices and channels. In other words, a key enabler of the next revolution of low-code, no-code development taking advantage of APIs.
As explained in this excellent article by Joseph Jacks from OSS Capital, a packaged experience and buyer-specific features is often what differentiates commercial products from their open-source roots.
Over the last 6 months, we have been researching our user-profiles and what are the most important features for them. It turns out that many Strapi users are actually fairly large enterprises that are looking for a modern, open-source, and self-hosted Headless CMS. When we asked them what features they would be willing to pay for, the most common features requested were all related to security and governance: Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Single Sign-On (SSO), Audit logs as documented on the enterpriseready.io website.
Based on the feedback from the Strapi public roadmap, we also knew that the RBAC feature was not only important to enterprise users but pretty much all of our users, as it is a fairly standard CMS capability.
At that point, it became clear that this feature was the one we would develop first and that it would be available in both Strapi Community and Enterprise Editions with a different level of granularity. With the new advanced RBAC feature, enterprises have full command over the privileges a user or group of users should have to do their job. It is highly customizable, providing administrators with a high level of granularity in order to define a set of actions that users should be allowed to perform on their own for various types of content or settings. Please refer to this blog post for more information on the difference between the basic and advanced RBAC features and how to configure it in Strapi.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the pricing and plans for Strapi EE should go to https://strapi.io/pricing. Please note that there is an FAQ section at the bottom of the page which should answer all your questions.
Fees are based on the number of projects. A project is a Strapi instance sharing the same Content Types structure and codebase. If a Strapi project is deployed in several environments or scaled on several instances on localhost or under the same domain, it is considered as only one project.
You can refer to the Strapi public roadmap to see what features will be included in Strapi EE.
The Silver plan provides customers with access to a dedicated Help Desk, as well as online training for developers and content editors. The Gold plan includes a higher level of support with a Service Level Agreement and a dedicated Customer Success Manager to provide guidance on Strapi project architecture, deployment, and hosting, as well as identification of potential workarounds for features that may not yet be available.
Along with the beta release of the Enterprise Edition, we are beginning the rollout of our partner program to help our rapidly growing user base to most effectively get started with Strapi while unlocking new revenue opportunities for Strapi partners and freelancers.
We already have relationships with a handful of partners that come from around the world that help customers deploy and use Strapi in production. Their work with customers involves custom integrations, fully-customized builds, migration services, and general consulting.
If you are interested in working with us or want to know more, please go to our simple online form to contact us.
Last but definitely not least, along with this Strapi EE launch, I want to reiterate our honest commitment to the Strapi open source community. None of this would have been possible without all of your contributions on GitHub, Slack, etc and for that, we’re forever grateful. We have had a lot of discussions about our monetization strategy both internally and with many of you in the community and will always be listening to feedback both good and bad.
We recently created a Strapi Request for Comments (RFCs) repository to create consensus among the core team and include as much feedback as possible from the community, for these upcoming changes. This is a good first step but we know there is a lot of work left to do to improve communication and coordination amongst the Strapi community. As the next steps, we want to invest more time and effort into improving the overall project governance and open source collaboration through a forum, mailing list, and official roles for the most active contributors. Stay tuned for more information on that in the coming weeks.