Home SourceForge Announces Hosted Applications

SourceForge Announces Hosted Applications

SourceForge.net, a longtime provider of open source code and applications, has announced a new service for developers that provides virtualized access to open source apps. With the new Hosted Apps service, you’re able to install an app within your own web space, and it’s managed by the SourceForge team in a dedicated and secure web space, including any necessary maintenance like updates and patches.

The New Hosted Apps Service

At this time, there are only three applications available in the new hosted format:

However, any existing application can now be enabled as a hosted app, too. This can be done from the new “Hosted Apps” Project Admin page, a link to which can be found under the “Admin” project navigation menu.

According to Ross Turk, director of community at SourceForge, “developers can be much more productive when they don’t have to worry about maintaining their infrastructure, and this new offering allows them to use the tools they know and like without the burden of maintaining them.”

Benefits Of Hosted Apps

This service was actually launched quietly a few weeks ago, as SourceForge insiders may already know. The announcement was then made via a forum posting which clued in members to the new service. But since the news only hit the mainstream channels today, we imagine this means that they’re now ready for primetime.

That earlier announcement touted several benefits to using Hosted Apps, including the following:

  • Eliminates the overhead of deploying supported applications; simply opt-in and begin using the application right away. No need to deal with config files and install procedures.
  • Served from a dedicated database and web server pool, separate from the project web servers — so you don’t need to cope with the security limitations of project web’s shared hosting environment, or project web’s outbound mail and connectivity restrictions.
  • They maintain the application code for Hosted Apps and will deploy updates as they become available from the vendor. This should reduce the risk from vulnerabilities found in the Hosted Apps and eliminate a major administrative burden (installing updates) to projects.
  • They perform regular backups of the Hosted Apps data, but also provide you the ability to easily make application backups on-demand.
  • They perform application testing, tuning and monitoring to ensure Hosted Apps operate properly. If service faults occur, they respond and fix the issues. If defects are found in the application (either through our own testing or through end-user report), they will repair the defects or raise the defect to the vendor for repair.
  • All Hosted Apps make use of our centralized authentication infrastructure (users login with their SourceForge.net usernames and passwords) but retain the permissions (authorization) of the application (so, for example, existing users of MediaWiki will find permissions handling exactly as they expect).
  • Since this offering is centrally managed, any improvements they make either to the infrastructure or to the Hosted Apps themselves will immediately become available to all projects. The Hosted Apps offering reduces their overhead for adding major new functionality to their offering, since all applications share common integration points and common infrastructure.
  • Since Hosted Apps are available under an Open Source license, this centralized service has the potential to rapidly increase the user base of Open Source applications and drive high quality feedback for the further improvement of those applications.

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