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Governance Model
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OpenDS has a simple governance model. Decisions are based on consensus and are made in public on discussion lists. Everyone is encouraged to voice their opinion on all decisions. To reduce the amount of email traffic, the announcement of upcoming decisions and will be made on a separate email alias from discussions of this decision.

The official roles of OpenDS follow.

Anonymous User

Even without an account you can download, install, and use OpenDS. You can browse the content of the OpenDS website, participate in the various mailing lists, and even check out the code using an anonymous account (username is "guest" and the password is empty).


If you are a frequent user of OpenDS, then you might want to open a account and request the User role. This allows you to subscribe to OpenDS email aliases; file issues, defects, enhancement requests, or ideas for new features; and post to the online forums.


We actively encourage users to contribute to the OpenDS project. Contributions can take many forms, including documentation, bug fixes, or brand new features such as plugins. A contributor does not have direct commit access to the Subversion repository. Instead to make a contribution, send an email to A committer will be assigned as a shepherd to the contribution. The shepherd works with the contributor to evaluate the appropriateness of the change, review and make suggestions on the code, and eventually check the contribution into the repository. We will make every effort to accept each contribution, but if the shepherd determines that a contribution cannot be accepted, the basis for this decision will be clearly stated. You are free to request a shepherd merely to evaluate if a proposed, unimplemented change would likely be accepted. We will evaluate these on a best effort basis, giving priority to contributions that have been implemented.

To become a Contributor, you must first fill out and submit the Oracle Contributor Agreement (OCA). Once you have received notification that your OCA has been accepted, you can forward the confirmation to and then request the Contributor role.


Committers have direct commit access to some portion of the subversion repository. Most Contributors are not Committers. Committer access will only granted to Contributors who have proven their abilities and commitment by making several high-quality contributions over a period of time. Committer access can only be granted to people with the Contributor role already, and is done by requesting the Committer role via

Each request for a Committer role will be reviewed by all Project Owners and Contributors, who will discuss this request internally and then issue a response. If Committer access is denied, we will make a best effort to describe why the request was denied including a list of prerequisites that were not met.

Commit access will initially be scoped to the areas of code or documentation where the committer is expected to contribute. If commit access is abused by not following the appropriate process for all committed changes, a project owner will promptly revoke this role.

Project Lead

The OpenDS project has single, overall Project Lead. This Project Lead, who is appointed by Sun Microsystems, is responsible for managing the entire project, and is the final arbiter of all decisions. The Project Lead is available via

Project Owner

OpenDS has a few project owners. Project Owners are responsible for defining the process to be followed for OpenDS, approving role requests, maintaining the website, and changing the governance policy. Project Owners will always attempt to reach consensus before making decisions. The Project Owners are available via

Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles Anonymous User Contributor Committer Project Lead Project Owner
Read documentation Y Y Y Y Y Y
Read forums Y Y Y Y Y Y
Read bug reports Y Y Y Y Y Y
Download binaries Y Y Y Y Y Y
Browse code Y Y Y Y Y Y
Check out code Y Y Y Y Y Y
Post to forums - Y Y Y Y Y
File bug reports and other issues - Y Y Y Y Y
Submit patch for code review - - Y Y Y Y
Commit code - - - Y Y Y
Shepherding of contributed patches - - - Y Y Y
Defining the OpenDS engineering process - - - - Y Y
Subversion tagging and branching - - - - Y Y
Update to governance policy (by consensus) - - - - - Y
Ultimate authority over a project - - - - - Y

Oracle Contributor Agreement Policy

The first step to contributing code or submitting a patch is to sign and return the Oracle Contributor Agreement (OCA).

Please print this form, fill in all the necessary detail, and return it in one of the following ways.

Via email (with a scanned version of the signed document attached):

oracle-ca_us [at] oracle [dot] com
Please Confirm