Package Anki Backend for Private Industry

One of the things that I’m actually surprised about is that Anki’s backend hasn’t been made into a package or binary available to private organizations to use.

This has massive potential for profit and could easily offset the costs of running and developing Anki, even removing the need to have a revenue source from iOS.

The backend wouldn’t even need to be open-source and Anki could easily be modified to point to a different backend instance (I vaguely remember seeing some modifications in Anki to allow this to happen).

Personally, the reason I even came up with this is because several of my coworkers have asked me basic questions for things that they should just know or have just totally forgotten. I realize that if we had a common shared deck this wouldn’t be a problem. Heck, if it were encouraged to use this product, we’d significantly increase our productivity. The value of onboarding new employees and having them up-to-speed with the entirety of our platform in just a few months would help us in reducing issues and increasing our output.

Is this a non-starter? Would the Anki owner consider this route?

Why don’t you create a deck to share with coworkers then? AnkiHub is in development and will allow collaborative deck creation.

Anki, from my viewpoint, has the potential to become an enterprise-level piece of software. In fact it’s the solution to a significant number of problems plaguing several industries.

The problem is that enterprises like to be in control of all data and rightfully so. If Anki could be packaged as a solution that can be deployed in a company without any need for interaction outside of a corporate network, I could see it as easily being purchased as a subscription by a tech company, for example, for several figures a year for one company alone. You multiply that by several hundreds of corporations around the world and you get the idea.

The work that I do, for example, doesn’t necessarily require remembering the several hundred commands that I can use, but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve typed something which is trivial on the screen only to have a fellow coworker tell me “I didn’t know you could do that…”

Had they had a deck, and we could all share our company-specific decks between us in a nicely-packaged format (AnkiHub sounds amazing for this purpose), we would be able to share our own decks internally and point to our own instance for syncing our profiles (in case our work PC died with all of our data on it (very much a possibility)).

I’m wondering if this was ever a thought of the creator. Maybe I’m just talking off the cuff, but I do see massive value in this.

I suspect it would take a lot of effort to turn Anki into something other than what it currently is. Knowledge transfer in companies and other organizations is hard, there are numerous solutions, all of which have advantages and disadvantages (and are often not used adequately). From my own experience, I can tell you that Anki only appeals to a fraction of people. I think your best option is to create a manageable sized deck for aspects of your work life and let people try it out.

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But it would have to be. Anki is licensed under AGPL3, which states that any distributed version of the software must disclose the source code and is subject to the same license requirements.

Maybe I’m too inexperienced, but I don’t really see the appeal here. Corporations are free to use Anki or fork its codebase for whatever they want, so they already have full control.



I have to agree with @kleinerpirat in that Anki already has a backend, to some extent, since the library functionalities of Anki are written in Rust, and are separate from the interface, which is written in python (plus HTML/CSS/JS/TS for the webviews).
But I don’t see the point: since Anki is open source, any company can already fork it to adapt it to its needs, or simply use Anki as-is and open PR when they want to improve something…