Over the years, I've watched with interest the arrival of a new thing in the world of the open source software: the forge. I'm not quite sure whether SourceForge was the first – it dates back to 1997 – but it's certainly the first that I remember (anyone recall anything earlier?).
It took a while to get going, but nowadays no self-respecting open source startup would be without its attendant forge, which seems to be some kind of badge of community commitment and respectability. MonitoringForge, which launches today, is different in that it spans a whole category of open source products:
GroundWork Open Source, Inc. (GWOS), the leader in commercial open source systems and network management software, today announced the launch of www.MonitoringForge.org, the epicenter of all open source projects that relate to IT monitoring.
MonitoringForge is designed to appeal to IT administrators who want to compare and understand the differences between various open source monitoring tools and plugins available today, facilitating the selection of open source monitoring software over proprietary offerings.
Additionally, MonitoringForge provides a unified, professional project and plugin listing for all open source solutions involving monitoring. This web platform is designed to give the project developer control of how their material is presented and managed.
Now, it's pretty obvous why GroundWork Open Source is doing this – it presumably wants to place itself at the centre of the monitoring ecosystem – but that doesn't really matter. Provided the forge is run in a neutral fashion – and if it's not, it will wither soon enough – it will perform a useful function.
What I'll be interested to see is whether other open source companies follow suit, setting up an ECMForge, CRMForge, ERPForge etc. etc. Meta-forges, anyone?