Frequently asked questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Botpress. If you have any other questions, comments or suggestions, let us know at [email protected].
What is Botpress?
Botpress is a dual-license open source bots development platform for developing bots in the same way that WordPress is a development platform for developing websites. We offer core software and compatible code modules that can be used to quickly create a chatbot in a lego-like way.
Why has Botpress been created?
We created the tool we wished existed. Botpress is an enterprise-grade tool for developing, deploying, managing and scaling your bots. It’s simple and intuitive, but as flexible as a bot made from scratch.
How does Botpress make money?
We are trying to get the balance right between incentivizing contributions and making this a sustainable venture. Our solution is that we will only charge large, enterprise customers for use. In the future we expect to offer premium services and tools such as hosting and will make money off those services as well.
What are the skills I need to build a bot using Botpress?
Where I should start if I never used Botpress before?
You should look at our official documentation to get more details about Botpress.
Will my bot be hosted on Botpress?
No, not by default. We are planing to add hosting as a service in future and would love to know if this would interest you or not.
If I configure my bot using the GUI can I still access the underlying code?
Yes, your code is always available. All configurations and files are always accessible directly on your desktop while you are coding.
If Botpress went out of business would I still be able to access my code?
Yes, the code will always be available on GitHub.
What are the possible developer roles on Botpress?
There are currently three possible roles for developers:
- Module Users: Developers who use the the core software and one or more code modules to develop their own chatbots.
- Module Makers: Developers who develop code modules that are compatible with the core software (like WordPress modules).
- Core Contributors: Developers who contribute to the development of the Botpress core software.
Why would I contribute to the core or the modules?
You might contribute to the core or the modules because you don’t want to wait for us to add a feature, you are a top programmer and can see a way to do something better or you want to become an expert in the software.
Where can I find Botpress' license(s)?
Why is your software available under a dual Botpress and open source license?
The reason for having both licenses is to strike the right balance between incentivizing contributions and making this a sustainable venture. Open source is important for transparency and collaboration, however it would be extremely difficult to build a sustainable venture under a strictly open source license.
Are there any restrictions to use of the Botpress modules?
Yes, under the Botpress license you can only use the modules to build chatbots which is the primary purpose of the platform. You cannot use it to build other commercial applications such as your own chatbot development platform without getting consent from Botpress first. There are no restrictions under the AGPL license other than the copyleft obligations.
Can I use any modules without the core?
No, for the simple reason that they need the core to work properly. The core is the glue that holds the modules together.
Why is there a choice of using the core and module software under an open source AGPL license and a Botpress license?
Licensing the code under AGPL means that you have to comply with the copyleft obligations (which are essentially to make all your source code public under an AGPL license). This encourages transparency and contributions. Licensing the code under the Botpress license means that you can use the software for commercial purposes and do not have to comply with the copyleft obligations. It is still free to use the software under the Botpress license except if you are a very heavy user. This way and through offering premium services, Botpress can earn some income from the platform to sustain its operations.
Can I use the core software and the modules free of charge under the AGPL license and the Botpress license?
The core and the modules are free of charge to use under the AGPL licenses and free under the Botpress license for all but the heaviest users. It’s possible that a module could be added in future that the developer wanted payment for but we are not sure whether that will ever be a requested feature.
Can I mix AGPL and Botpress modules?
No, the AGPL license does not allow you to mix AGPL with Botpress code. The core and all the modules you are using for a particular project must be licensed under the same license, either AGPL or Botpress. In theory there could be edge case exceptions but we haven’t been convinced they have any practical value at this stage.
Is it possible to switch the license after I have downloaded a module?
Yes, it is easy to switch the license for a module or for the core after it has already been downloaded.
Do I need to license modules I create under an AGPL and Botpress license?
Yes, except in the case that it is a private module for your own use and you have licensed the software under the Botpress license (the AGPL open source license has obligations no matter the use case).
Under what terms do I contribute to the core of Botpress?
You must grant Botpress a license to sublicense your contributions under any license so that Botpress can license out the core under an AGPL or Botpress license.