🔥 Introducing the new Forge client app now in ALPHA testing

I am very excited to announce that the new Forge client will be available to you very soon, as we expand our limited release testing into production.

In this post, I want to explain a little about the thinking behind the new Forge client, new features and open the roadmap discussion. Lastly I would like to let you know how you can get involved with the all new Forge.

Background

Forge was originally built around 10 years ago (wow - :exploding_head:). It was built as a simple rails monolith, with an older ember.js front-end, which still serves the app today. Over the years, it became increasing difficult to maintain and add new features to the Forge client and as a bootstrapped self-funded company, feature development activity happened in waves.

It has long been my mission to extract out the client app side of Forge - the customer-facing administrative UI part - so that we could have much more flexibility and autonomy on improving the experience for thousands of developers that are building and hosting their websites, blogs, apps, plugins and extensions on Forge every day,

Finally after many stops and starts, I’m pleased to say we are now running in production a Forge backend API with legacy support for old and new Forge client apps so that we can really test and improve the new experience while continuing our day-to-day work in the existing Forge app and without impacting existing Forge customers prematurely.

Tour the new Forge

Improved Dashboard Experience

You will notice that our new Dashboard is designed to be much more useful than the current version, surfacing key information about your sites and account, content discovery through templates and quickstart projects and navigation support, with shortcuts to your most recently active sites.

Company Accounts

Today, all member accounts are scoped to a personal or individual user. In reality, Forge customers are part of teams, that collaborate within companies to produce websites, web products, ecommerce stores, extensions and plugins for numerous technology platforms.

In order to improve how we enable companies to adopt Forge at scale, we have introduced Company accounts, company member management and a list of other Enterprise features:

This is the first step towards more identity and access management features for companies, including:

  • SCIM / JIT provisioning
  • SSO (SAML 2.0)
  • Two-factor auth
  • Audit Logs
  • IP Allowlisting
  • Idle timeout
  • Security reviews and MSA

Social Login / SSO

Instead of only using basic auth in Forge, we are enabling social login via Google, Github and Atlassian identities.

Companies can enable allowed domains to manage members to join the company account with their company google-based email accounts.

Projects

Screenshot 2022-04-12 at 13.18.17

Active Forge members have to manage hundreds of sites, which in the current Forge app is a very poor experience. Projects will help to group and manage sites around a particular topic or initiative for clearer collaboration workflows, navigation, control and information management.

Environments

Every Forge site now gives you three for the price of one. That is, every Forge site now has three available environments out of the box - Production, Staging, Development. Each acts like a Forge site, where you can deploy code and link to a specific branch of your repository.

This way you can deploy, share and test different versions of the site at different stages of the development lifecycle easily within a single site.

Forge Apps

We will be expanding our BETA of Forge Ignite and Chisel CMS, a solution for building backend API’s for Forge sites with minimal fuss and maximum power. We will be adding more Apps for Forge sites to enable your Jamstack workflows.

Version Comments

We want to up our game on enabling Forge developers to collaborate in their work - that’s where the best moments happen.

To start with, we will enable comments in the version timeline, to enable collaborators to inform each other about deployed versions.

We don’t want to replace the collaboration that already takes place in-code, in Github, but we feel there’s an opportunity to collaborate between dev and non-dev colleagues in this environment and we are keen to learn and try out different ways to bring this to life.

Plugins

We want Forge to be an Extensibility-first product. Forge is enabling SaaS product companies to deploy UI Extensibility (E11Y) and Plugin marketplaces and ecosystems at scale. So it is important that Forge defines and drives what it means to be “E11Y”.

You will be able to build, test and deploy plugins and extensions that can be used in Forge, but also in other target platforms, such as MURAL, Trello, Shopify and others to come.

As I mentioned, the new Forge client is now in Alpha testing, while we continue iterating, testing, fixing issues - the usual stuff. We’d love to get your feedback though!

If you would like to try it with your own existing or new Forge account, you can do so at https://app.getforge.com

Disclaimer: This is an ALPHA version and will change, break. Only participate if you are prepared for this!

Please leave feedback in this thread :point_down: