Dear all, A lot has happened since March when we Introduced the Wikimedia Enterprise API and began community conversations about the project’s development. Now is an important milestone to give everyone:
1) an update responding to community advice we’ve received;  and
2) to describe what is happening next.

The idea of an API for the specific needs of the commercial sector had been discussed for more than a decade (both for the purposes of improving user experience, and also to diversify revenue). The announcement in March introducing the Wikimedia Enterprise API generated a lot of Wikimedia-community and mainstream-media attention - most notably in WIRED. Since then, the team has been hard at work building the actual product and hosting many conversations (regular public meetings and participation in events including SWAN, Wikimania, EMWCon, Clinic) - as well as a considerable volume of discussions on our meta talkpage. All of this has generated lots of suggestions, which we have endeavoured to incorporate and respond to before the actual commercial launch. On behalf of the whole team, I thank the many many people who have been willing and able to share constructive feedback with us over these months. Links to recordings from those meetings/presentations can be found on our meta homepage:

1. To that end, here are some updates in response to community advice:

WMF Board statement.

Subsequent to the most recent WMF Board of Trustees meeting, a statement reaffirming their support of the project, and in particular its operating principles relating to its future revenue, has been published. You can find the board Statement here, and the Enterprise operating principles on Meta here. Consistent community feedback was that our published principles were good and sensible, but for such a new and unusual thing in our movement, an overt statement from the Board of Trustees was requested. This statement affirms that:

  • Revenues of the WMF obtained from commercial activities shall not surpass 30% of the total planned revenue via all sources (including donations) in that fiscal year, and no further revenue would be sought beyond that limit;
  • The Board of Trustees will be notified in advance of any large commercial agreements, giving them time for review - exactly mirroring the procedure for large gifts; 
  • Revenue obtained from Wikimedia Enterprise services is under the oversight and control of procedures for revenue raised by the Wikimedia Foundation and the revenue will not be earmarked for a specific program. 

Each of these things were already noted on-wiki, but they were very much worthwhile re-stating formally. Equally it bears repeating: the existing APIs and methods of accessing Wikimedia sites remain. The creation of this optional commercial service, designed for those with specific high data-volume demands, does not change the experience (legally or technically) for anyone else.
Relatedy, and also in response to community suggestions, the formal contracts which define the legal relationship of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation to this commercial activity, have now been published on the governance wiki and linked from the related section on the project’s FAQ.

Free technical access for the community. 

You will soon be able to access a copy of the Enterprise dataset, refreshed each fortnight, at the Wikimedia dumps portal. Furthermore a ‘daily dump + hourly diff’ version is also already available, via Wikimedia Cloud Services to any users of Toolforge, Cloud VPS, or PAWS. Both of these are provided to anyone, for free (in both ‘gratis’ and ‘libre’ senses of the word). Importantly, and consistent with community feedback, neither of these access methods require any special request process to access them, other than the existing terms of service on those platforms.

Software development updates are published monthly on our page on MediaWiki (as is the API documentation), and the work is coordinated on our Phabricator board.

Next public meeting.
As mentioned, the team has been holding regular public calls. If you would like to meet with, and ask any questions of, the Enterprise team (a.k.a. “Office hours”):

Friday October 22 @ 1500 UTC on Zoom. If you would like to arrange a conversation about this project with a group in the community that you are part of (at a time, language, and meeting-software platform of your choice), please contact me directly.

2. What is happening next: 

The launch of the project’s standalone website, denoting the service as “open for business”, will take place early next week

In parallel we will also be announcing the first customers - both from the commercial and non-profit sectors. We expect this will generate some attention in the media. Despite our best efforts to be visible across the wikiverse, reading about the Wikimedia Enterprise API in the media will probably be the first time that some Wikimedians hear about it - which might be surprising for them. So, next week, if you see any Wikimedians asking about this project on community forums, please notify me by email, on-wiki [as user:LWyatt (WMF) ], and/or direct them to the project FAQ on Meta (currently available in 7 languages).

Once again, thank you to all who have been involved in the development of, or given feedback to, Enterprise. It’s been a long road getting from there to here... 


Liam Wyatt [Wittylama]

Program Manager for Enterprise, WikiCite, and Newcomer Experience

Wikimedia Foundation

On Tue, 16 Mar 2021 at 17:02, Liam Wyatt <> wrote:

Dear all, 

Over the last few months, a small team at the Wikimedia Foundation has been working on a project that has been discussed by many people in our movement for many years: building ‘enterprise grade’ services for the high-volume commercial reusers of Wikimedia content. I am pleased to say that in a remarkably short amount of time (considering the complexity of the issues: technical, strategic, legal, and financial) we now have something worthy of showing to the community, and we are asking for your feedback. Allow me to introduce you to the Wikimedia Enterprise API project – formerly codenamed “okapi”.

While the general idea for Wikimedia Enterprise predates the current movement strategy process, its recommendations identify an enterprise API as one possible solution to both “Increase the sustainability of our movement” and “Improve User Experience.”[0] That is, to simultaneously create a new revenue stream to protect Wikimedia’s sustainability, and improve the quality and quantity of Wikimedia content available to our many readers who do not visit our websites directly (including more consistent attribution). Moreover, it does so in a way that is true to our movement’s culture: with open source software, financial transparency, non-exclusive contracts or content, no restrictions on existing services, and free access for Wikimedia volunteers who need it.

The team believes we are on target to achieve those goals and so we have written a lot of documentation to get your feedback about our progress and where it could be further improved before the actual product is ‘launched’ in the next few months. We have been helped in this process over the last several months by approximately 100 individual volunteers (from many corners of the wikiverse) and representatives of affiliate organisations who have reviewed our plans and provided invaluable direction, pointing out weaknesses and opportunities, or areas lacking clarity and documentation in our drafts. Thank you to everyone who has shared your time and expertise to help prepare this new initiative. 

A essay describing the “why?” and the “how?” of this project is now on Meta:

Also now published on Meta are an extensive FAQ, operating principles, and technical documentation on You can read these at [1] [2] and [3] respectively. Much of this documentation is already available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

The Wikimedia Enterprise team is particularly interested in your feedback on how we have designed the checks and balances to this project - to ensure it is as successful as possible at achieving those two goals described above while staying true to the movement’s values and culture. For example: Is everything covered appropriately in the “Principles” list? Is the technical documentation on clear? Are the explanations in the “FAQ” about free-access for community, or project’s legal structure, or the financial transparency (etc.) sufficiently detailed?

Meet the team and Ask Us Anything: 

The central place to provide written feedback about the project in general is on the talkpage of the documentation on Meta at:

On this Friday (March 19)  we will be hosting two “Office hours” conversations where anyone can come and give feedback or ask questions:

Other “office hours” meetings can be arranged on-request on a technical platform of your choosing; and we will organise more calls in the future.

We will also be attending the next SWAN meetings (on March 21), and also the next of the Wikimedia Clinics 

Moreover, we would be very happy to accept any invitation to attend an existing group call that would like to discuss this topic (e.g.  an affiliate’s members’ meeting).

On behalf of the Wikimedia Enterprise team, 

Peace, Love & Metadata
-- Liam Wyatt [Wittylama], Wikimedia Enterprise project community liaison.





Liam Wyatt [Wittylama]

WikiCite Program Manager & Wikimedia Enterprise Community Liaison
Wikimedia Foundation