Announcing CloudForge – CollabNet’s new development PaaS

It’s Monday April 30 here in San Francisco, and we have officially just launched CloudForge in Public Beta- CollabNet’s new development Platform as a Service (dPaaS). This is something we’ve been hard at work on since early-2011, so we’re glad to finally be in production.

Our History & Philosophy

Since the early 2000s, we at CollabNet have envisioned that developing software in and for the cloud would be the mainstream way of working. Today, mobile, web, collaboration, and social apps have exploded, and PaaS/IaaS vendors like Amazon, CloudFoundry, and Force.com are now first-class citizens alongside Enterprise IT. Agile development organizations are developing faster, more nimbly, by using a heterogeneous mix of process and tools, provisioned on-demand and paid per use, with teams working remotely around the world.

With CloudForge, we were given the opportunity to reimagine our vision: providing an easy-to-use agile platform that offers the tools and services collaborative teams need to deploy to any production environment (private, PaaS, cloud). As a company who practices agile development and continuous deployment compulsively, we ourselves leverage a range of tools and environments, and so flexibility, interoperability and scalability are critical for us to be able to deploy to production dozens of times each day. We have incorporated many of these principles into CloudForge.

 

What is the CloudForge dPaaS?

CloudForge is a new development Platform as a Service (dPaaS) for developing, deploying and scaling application services. It’s fast, self-service, and designed to meet the needs of Enterprise scalability and security. It provides the broadest range of hosted tool services, platform services, integration services and deployment services available.  The CloudForge dPaaS differs from an application PaaS like CloudFoundry or Heroku, in that there’s no runtime environment for application hosting.

Cloudforge is built in Rails on the same battle-tested, multi-tenanted infrastructure that has powered Codesion.com since 2004. CloudForge can be managed via the UI, or control can be customized using our REST APIs. Large customers like Devfactory (a Trilogy Inc. company) manage access controls (authorization) using our APIs, while channel partners like Elance and CloudBees are offering development services to their users from their local environment.

What programming languages and frameworks does CloudForge support?

CloudForge is a true development Platform as a Service (dPaaS) which means it is programing language and framework agnostic.  It does not matter what type of application (mobile, web, cloud etc.), CloudForge provides the platform you need to code, manage, deploy and operate your next development project.

What environments can CloudForge deploy to?

CloudForge Publisher provides a direct deployment framework to any PaaS/IaaS and private datacenter environment.  To help you make deployment as easy as possible, CloudForge already has preconfigured deployment target recipes for all major PaaS/IaaS (Like VMware’s Cloud Foundry, Joyent, Force.com, Google App Engine, Amazon EC2, etc.)

What are some of CloudForge’s key features?

The CloudForge UI simplifies routine tasks for managing and scaling your development environments. This includes adding/removing users from a central user pool, setting up tools and project workspaces, defining role-based permissions across multiple tooling environments, configuring email notifications, defining deployment recipes and targets, and integrating with popular tools like JIRA, Pivotal, and Rally. A typical customer scenario would be setting up the London-based R&D team with SVN integrated with JIRA, enabling the Boston UX team to continue using Git integrated with ScrumWorks for agile management, while enabling the Bangalore team to deploy testing and staging environments in Amazon.

 

Real-time activity feed in one place

The CloudForge Activity Feed is prominent in all Account and Project dashboards, and aggregates development activities within a single location. You can facet and search the feed, for example to see SVN or Git commits made to my branch by a certain team member. In coming months, we will be opening up the Feed to 3rd party applications using our Data APIs. This might include build or test results, app downtime alerts, and artifact updates that can be pushed/pulled into the Feed.

 

Select and connect your apps instantly

The new App Center enables customers to host or integrate SCM and agile tools from the “My Services” zone, or activate integrations to a range of 3rd party tools like Basecamp, Rally, JIRA, or Pivotal. Note that we have built-in best practices and tips into the first-time user flow, to help get up and running quickly. The “Marketplace” section allows the account admin to browse and link to certified CollabNet partner applications, all of which are either compatible with or integrated with CloudForge.

 

View reports & integrate into your workflow

The CloudForge reporting center provides insight for development leaders into coding activities, project progress, and user contributions, while enabling security and IT Managers to access system logs for compliance purposes. Customers can set up numerous integrations, using Web Hooks APIs (for example to fire off a build from a coding commit), commit-hook integrations (to update artifacts across a range of third-party services), and CloudForge Publisher for deployment.

How do I buy CloudForge services?

CloudForge is currently available as a Public Beta, which is free. Monthly or annual subscription plans will be available for purchase when CloudForge is made Generally Available (GA), in the near future. Again, the platform is built on established, highly iterated infrastructure, and we invite you to try it out and provide feedback. Please read our Beta FAQ to learn more.

Guy Marion is the VP & General Manager of CollabNet Cloud Services. Guy was previous CEO of Codesion.com, which was acquired by CollabNet in 2010. Connect on Twitter @guy_marion.

 

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