[owncloud-devel] Using ownCloud APIs in iOS app

Charles Parnot charles.parnot at gmail.com
Mon Nov 2 11:10:40 GMT 2015

Hi all,

Sorry for the newbie question. I posted it on the forum, but someone recommended I posted it on this mailing list instead:

My apologies if this is not the right place.

I'd like to add support for various sync services in our iOS app, including Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. and maybe ownCloud (one user was interested). ownCloud looks like a very nice implementation of file syncing that should be useful in many situations where the user want to know where their data is. However, I am trying to understand the licensing issues, and the FAQs are a bit confusing in that regard, so my apologies for the dumb questions.

The FAQs say:

> Can I write closed source or proprietary apps for ownCloud?
> Yes, but following the requirements of the under the AGPLv3, these can be distributed or made available to users outside of your household or organization only under the ownCloud Enterprise Edition, which supports integration with proprietary technologies. Contact ownCloud, Inc. for details.

Since the iOS app would only be using the APIs, and not any code from ownCloud, I don't understand how the AGPL would apply (and the grammar is a bit weird in the above sentence, adding to my confusion). I assume AGPL does not apply for an iOS app using the APIs and you are talking about other types of apps, but I am a bit confused (yes, I use this word a lot!) and I want to make sure I don't get myself in trouble if I start doing anything ownCloud-related.

Also, I noticed the iOS library is MIT, but the iOS app is GPL. It's too bad about the latter, because it probably contains a lot of code that would be useful for people like me that want to add support for ownCloud in an iOS app. Maybe there is code with another example app that could be useful to have support added quickly for maintaining one folder in sync with the local filesystem on iOS? To be fair, even Dropbox does not have any code like this, but I was hoping for that one user that ownCloud support could be added quickly... Sorry I am all whining and very demanding 

All in all, ownCloud seems like a very appealing solution, but it has some scary wording/licensing for client developers. I also fully understand if maybe 3rd-party apps are not part of the overall strategy, in which case I'd like to know before (not) getting started.



Charles Parnot
Your Lab Notebook, Reinvented.

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