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Apache Project Corporate Recognition Best Practices

Apache® Project Corporate Recognition Best Practices defines suggested practices for how Apache projects may choose to link to third party corporations and organizations, or provide other kinds of information or links on their project website about the larger ecosystem around their projects.


Corporate Recognition Best Practices Overview

To ensure the ability of Apache PMCs to independently manage the technical direction of their projects, it is important to show that Apache projects are managed by community-minded individuals volunteering their efforts on the PMC, and that projects are not dominated by or led by third parties or other outside corporations.

PMCs may wish to show appreciation for third parties that freely provide software or other services for the project. Similarly, PMCs are encouraged to provide a listing of committers in the project and their backgrounds, which may often include corporate affiliations. Some PMCs may wish to provide factual and unbiased information about the larger ecosystem of companies, consultants, trainers, and other organizations that use or contribute to their projects.

These best practices are meant to be used in conjunction with the Apache Project Branding Policy, as well as in recognition of Apache's formal Sponsorship and Donation policies.

Project Thanks Pages / Listings

PMCs may wish to provide recognition for third parties that provide software or services to the project's committers to further the goals of the project. These are typically called Per-Project Thanks pages, are controlled by the PMC, and have wide latitude to define their own content as long as it's within appropriate Apache Fundraising, Branding and Legal guidelines.

Project Thanks Pages / Listings Best Practices:

Note that Project Thanks pages must not compete with or otherwise be to the detriment of the overall ASF Sponsorship program; this particular point is a mandatory Fundraising policy.

Product Support Pages

PMCs may choose to provide relevant listings of other useful websites within their larger ecosystem, as a service to the project's users. Such listings may include factual links to outside organizations offering support, training, hosting, or other similar services related to that Apache project.

Not Showing an Exclusive or Controlling Relationship

An important factor for PMCs when choosing what links to include or how to portray them is ensuring that the links don't imply that a third party has an exclusive or controlling relationship with the project, the PMC, or the ASF. All Apache projects must be run independently of commercial influence for the benefit of the project and it's users.

Not Promoting Similarly Named Software Products

Any links on project pages to third party products or companies should not give the appearance of infringing on our own marks or products. The third party must not be infringing; if they are infringing and will not comply, the links should be removed.

In particular, PMCs should not provide links to any third party that is causing confusion with the public as to the source of any Apache software products, either from your project or any other Apache project.

"Who We Are" Pages

One way that projects may choose showcase your community is to provide a Who We Are page as a listing of the individuals who make up the core community. This is typically a list of PMC members and committers within the project. Projects that use Apache Maven or Apache Forrest to generate their websites will be familiar with these pages which can be generated automatically.

A best practice for having "Who We Are" pages is:


The primary mission of the Apache Software Foundation is to provide software products for the public good. Equally important is The Apache Way, or the community-led, consensus-driven, and public mailing list methods that our many projects use to produce the software products that we provide to the public. Projects must conduct their business for the benefit of the project itself and it's active community, and not for the benefit of specific outside commercial influences. Similarly, projects must have an appearance of being independent of outside commercial influences.

The fundamental driver for Apache projects are the communities and PMCs that contribute to and run those projects. As an all-volunteer organization, maintaining the health of the community of committers within a project is critical to Apache and to the project. Thus it is important for our communities to showcase themselves, and to do so in a manner that clearly shows we are communities of individuals, working together towards a common goal of producing Apache software products.

Apache projects are run solely by their PMCs, as projects independent of outside corporations or organizations. It is important to maintain both the actual independence of our PMCs from third parties, as well as to ensure that PMCs are clearly seen to be run as independent projects, free of any controlling, exclusive, or otherwise exclusionary relationships with third parties or outside corporations.

A critical point to understand - both for users of our software as well as the committers and PMC members who create our software - is that Apache Projects Are Independent.

These best practices for linking to outside pages on project websites are meant as suggestions for projects. PMCs are free to adopt (or not) any of these suggestions for their sites.

Other Trademark Guidelines

For more information about Apache marks, please see our formal Trademark Policy.

Important Note

Nothing in this ASF policy statement shall be interpreted to allow any third party to claim any association with the Apache Software Foundation or any of its projects or to imply any approval or support by ASF for any third party products, services, or events.

Policy Version

This is version 1.3 of this Apache best practices document, published in September 2014. Significant changes will be marked with a new version number.

v1.3: Remove DRAFT; improve explanations.

v1.2: "Best Practices" instead of policy; improve several sections.