FoundationDB is Open Source

Published April 19, 2018

The next chapter

Starting today, FoundationDB starts its next chapter as an open source project!

FoundationDB is a distributed datastore, designed from the ground up to be deployed on clusters of commodity hardware. These clusters scale well as you add machines, automatically heal from hardware failures, and have a simple API. The key-value store supports fully global, cross-row ACID transactions. That's the highest level of data consistency possible. What does this mean for you? Strong consistency makes your application code simpler, your data models more efficient, and your failure modes less surprising.

The great thing is that FoundationDB is already well-established — it's actively developed and has years of production use. We intend to drive FoundationDB forward as a community project and we welcome your participation.

A powerful abstraction

We believe FoundationDB can become the foundation of the next generation of distributed databases. Since its beginnings in 2010 as a startup, the world of databases has increasingly aligned with FoundationDB to favor data consistency.

The vision of FoundationDB is to start with a simple, powerful core and extend it through the addition of “layers”. The key-value store, which is open sourced today, is the core, focused on incorporating only features that aren’t possible to write in layers. Layers extend that core by adding features to model specific types of data and handle their access patterns.

The fundamental architecture of FoundationDB, including its use of layers, promotes the best practices of scalable and manageable systems. By running multiple layers on a single cluster (for example a document store layer and a graph layer), you can match your specific applications to the best data model. Running less infrastructure reduces your organization's operational and technical overhead.

By open sourcing the FoundationDB core, we expect the quantity and variety of layers to develop rapidly. When we think about the FoundationDB community, we approach it both in terms of the core itself and the ecosystem of layers that it enables.

Building an Open Community

By open sourcing FoundationDB, our goal is to build an open community. All major development will be done in the open. We’ve outlined a design document process to ensure that this work is done transparently and with community input. We’ve taken early steps to outline project governance to provide a basic structure that will enable members of the community who actively contribute to have a greater voice in the project decision-making.

We also want FoundationDB to be a healthy and responsive community. To that end, we’ve adopted a code of conduct based on the Contributor Covenant to outline the behaviors we encourage and those we disallow.

We’d love your participation. Here are several ways you can get involved:

Get Started

The source for FoundationDB is available at

Please see the Getting Started guide for the basics of how to install, use, and develop against FoundationDB. Binary installers are available for macOS, Windows, and Linux at