Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities that people can assume in the project are based on merit. Everybody can help no matter what their role. Those who have been long term or valuable contributors to the project obtain the right to vote and commit directly to the source repository.


Users are the people who use the products of the Project. People in this role aren’t contributing code, but they are using the products, reporting bugs, making feature requests, and such. This is by far the most important category of people as, without users, there is no reason for the Project.

When a user starts to contribute code or documentation patches, they become a Contributor.


Contributors are the people who write code or documentation patches or contribute positively to the project in other ways. A volunteer’s contribution is always recognized. In source code, all volunteers who contribute to a source file may add their name to the list of authors for that file.


Contributors who give frequent and valuable contributions to a subproject of the Project can have their status promoted to that of a Committer for that subproject. A Committer has write access to the source code repository and gains voting rights allowing them to affect the future of the subproject.

In order for a Contributor to become a Committer, another Committer can nominate that Contributor or the Contributor can ask for it.

Once a Contributor is nominated, all of the Committers for a subproject will vote. If there are at least 3 positive votes and no negative votes, the Contributor is converted into a Committer and given write access to the source code repository for that subproject. This is an example offer letter that should be sent to the volunteer after 3 positive votes have been received:

        Dear Contributor,

        The DB project would like to offer you commit privileges.
        We have been impressed with your contributions up till now, and
        believe that your involvement will improve the quality of the
        libraries we produce.

        It is important that you realize that these commit privileges give
        you access to the specific DB project repository for which you
        are involved with. They do not provide commit access to any other
        Apache based project. Those projects will have to grant you commit
        privileges themselves.

        If you are interested in having commit privileges, please just let us
        know, and we will setup an account on It would expedite
        the process if you could provide your preferred account name and
        possibly a public SSH key. This process could take a few days once
        we get this information.

        We all hope that you accept this invitation.

        The DB Project Management Committee.

Once there are 3 positive votes and the response to the above letter has been received, the Contributor must sign and submit the Contributor License Agreement (CLA) as described on the ASF Licenses page. Once the CLA has been received and processed, the PMC chair should request that a new account is created. See details here. If the new committer already has an Apache account, the appropriate SVN access should be granted by the PMC chair by following the instructions here.

Note 1: All committers will be given access to the db-site module on request. In other words, committers should be able to update the main DB website.

At times, Committers may go inactive for a variety of reasons. A Committer that has been inactive for 6 months or more may lose their status as a Committer. Getting access back is as simple as re-requesting it on the project’s Developer mailing list.

A list of some of our current Committers can be found in our Project Credits.

Management Committee (PMC)

Committers who frequently participate with valuable contributions may have their status promoted to that of a Project Management Committee Member. This committee is the official managing body of the DB Project and is responsible for setting overall project direction. In order to become a Member, someone on the PMC must nominate the Committer. The individual may then be approved with a 3/4 majority of the PMC.

To view the Project Management Committee bylaws, click here.

A list of our current PMC Members can be found in our Project Credits.