Introducing a new free tier for Collaboration Engine

Kavish Weerawardane
Kavish Weerawardane
On Feb 18, 2021 4:48:02 PM
In Product


When we first announced the launch of Collaboration Engine last year, we received an overwhelming response from our community. Scores of developers were eager to try building real-time collaboration features into their Vaadin apps with just a few lines of code.

Until today, Collaboration Engine was free to develop with, but you needed a commercial Vaadin subscription (and a license file) to use it when your Vaadin app was configured for production mode.

The previous pricing model was structured so that:

  • Each commercial subscription received a free quota of end users based on the number of developer seats.
  • All commercial Vaadin subscribers could purchase additional end-user quotas based on their needs, priced at $1 (or 1 EUR) per end user per month.

Our product marketing team has been diligently soliciting feedback from our community—and feedback we did receive—in heaps! 

What's changing?

A sizeable majority of you asked us to introduce a completely free tier of Collaboration Engine for developers relying on the open-source Core Vaadin offering. 

As always, you asked and we answered: to address this, from today, all developers using Vaadin Core with a registered account will receive a default quota of 10 end users / month when the app goes to production—for free. 

This free quota is tied to a "Universal" license, which can be downloaded for free from our documentation. A Vaadin application can only have a single license. This means that a single application can only offer Collaboration Engine-powered features to 10 end users, even if it is built collectively by multiple developers with accounts.

How can I start building with Collaboration Engine?

The steps for incorporating Collaboration Engine into your apps have not changed. 

Simply visit the Getting Started section of our Collaboration Engine documentation and follow the instructions to add the relevant dependency to your app. 

The main changes occur when you take your app into production. To learn more about installing the free license, read the Taking your app into production section of our documentation.

Can I purchase a larger quota of end users without a commercial Vaadin subscription ?

Extending the initial free quota of 10 end users requires a commercial Vaadin subscription—Pro, Prime or Enterprise. Each subscription comes with a bundled quota of end users, based on the number of developer seats. In addition, a commercial subscription allows you to purchase additional Collaboration Engine end users at $1 / end-user / month. Our most affordable subscription option, Vaadin Pro, is aimed at smaller teams and priced at $119 / month

If you’re not ready to commit to a subscription plan, one alternative is to enable real-time collaboration features for only a subset of a given app’s users.

How can I get support for Collaboration Engine?

Simply reach out to our team for free, directly on the:

What can I build with Collaboration Engine?

At present, Collaboration Engine consists of the Concurrent Editing module, which allows developers to easily build collaborative form editing features using the intuitive high-level APIs and specialized UI components. 

Advanced developers can also opt to use our low-level Topic API to build scenarios for more custom use cases.

Are there any new features coming soon?


Our team is hard at work on the first of our Live Discussion features, which include high-level APIs and components to easily implement real-time audit logs and Google Docs-style commenting. 

Here’s a sneak peek of an application running an internal prototype of our Live Discussion module:

zFeb-18-2021 13-02-37

In addition, clustering support is planned for Q3 this year. This will allow you to link multiple apps, or a single app in a clustered deployment, to a single instance of Collaboration Engine deployed on a separate server within your infrastructure. 

Finally, Collaboration Engine currently ships with Java (Vaadin Flow) APIs, but we are working on TypeScript APIs for Vaadin Fusion. We expect to ship this towards the end of the year, or in Q1 2021. 

Following this, our team will continue working on more advanced features, such as rich-text editing and real-time notifications powered by Collaboration Engine.

Get started for free with our Collaboration Engine quick start guide.

Kavish Weerawardane
Kavish Weerawardane
Kavish leads our product marketing team in bringing exceptional developer and enterprise focused products to market. He is particularly passionate about design systems, UX & real-time collaboration technologies.
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