GForge joins other tool makers in offering wares for free to help companies collaborate during the Coronavirus

NOTE: This article was originally published Computerworld

Major collaboration and video conferencing software vendors are now offering products to users for free in response to the spread of the coronavirus. 

Concerns about the COVID-19 virus have led to a worldwide boom in remote working, as organizations encourage or require employees to stay home and cities, states and even some countries go on lockdown. 

While many companies have seen their stock prices take a battering due to disruption caused by the virus, some software vendors that enable remote work, such as videoconferencing software provider Zoom, have seen their share value climb dramatically.

Read more…

How GForge can keep the coronavirus threat from killing businesses

NOTE: This post was originally published on Engineering 360, An IEEE GlobalSpec publication. View the original article here.

GForge is helping businesses adapt to the coronavirus threat by making it easier to use a collaboration platform

For organizations new to using collaboration platforms or new to GForge, the company is offering GForge in both software as a service (SaaS) or on-premises formats for free for up to 12 months. GForge can be installed on-premise in one minute, or users can get started instantly using the SaaS platform.

Both options provide:

  • A messaging system to help facilitate online meetings
  • Ways to plan, distribute and track teamwork
  • Document sharing and knowledge management
  • Team collaboration tools like integrated chat, notifications and email support

To support the teams that are suddenly transitioning to remote work, GForge is also offering the following on a complimentary basis:

  • Ability to identify the best hosting options for an organization.
  • Ability to configure GForge to conform to the processes of an organization.
  • One free online training session for users.
  • One free online training session for administrators.
  • Weekly reviews to ensure that teams are getting the most out of GForge.

GForge is used globally by large and small organizations, and most of its features can be used by any kind of team looking to put an affordable solution in place. To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@ieeeglobalspec.com

Big Changes Ahead for GForge in 2020

Big Changes Ahead for GForge in 2020

With 2020 well underway we are hard at work on a bunch of new features that will take your collaboration to the next level. Before we cover what’s in store, be sure to checkout a recap of the “Top 8 GForge Features from 2019” 

OAuth Support – Not only will GForge support OAuth, over time we will include support services like Google, ADFS and GitHub.

Conferencing Support – GForge will be looking to add support to conferencing solutions like Zoom.us and WebEx allowing you to launch meetings right from within GForge.

Auto Tagging – There’s a lot of information in a commit. In 2020 GForge will harvest information from commits to provide better analytics. For example, a commit including Java, Javascript and SQL changes will add tags with those technologies to both the project and the author. Similarly, GForge will tag individual tickets in the same manner.

Git Improvements – GForge will be adding Git Large File Support (LFS) this year allowing individual files of up to 2GB to be included as part of pushes.

GitHub Migration – GForge will allow you to import projects from GitHub into GForge which will migrate the Git repository and GitHub Issues.

Workflow Improvements – GForge will add webhook support to ticket workflows allowing for deeper integration. Additionally GForge will include support to lock tickets as part of the existing workflows.

Document Thumbnails – Anywhere you add documents in GForge including tickets, Docman, etc GForge will generate thumbnail images you can preview before deciding if you want to download them.

Survey of 2020 Features

Top 8 GForge Features in 2019

Top 8 GForge Features in 2019

It’s the end of February and while we are hard at work adding new collaboration features to GForge for 2020, this seems like a good time to quickly reflect on what was accomplished in 2019. To help set the stage here’s some raw numbers for you!

  • In total we added 138 new features to GForge.
  • 255 bugs were squashed
  • We pushed over 1100 commits

What’s missing in those numbers are the key accomplishments from 2019 so let’s take a moment to cover the top 8 features from last year!

  1. Dark Mode!
Screenshot of GForge in “Dark Mode”

We admit, while Dark Mode adds little in the way of true business value, those who use Dark Mode in other applications and spend a lot of time in GForge will appreciate this.

2. Sprint Retrospectives

Add a Retrospective to closed sprints.

When closing sprints in GForge you can now add a retrospective to document what went well, where problems arose and you can begin identifying the steps needed to make improvements going forward.

3. Automated Release Notes

Import Release Notes with the Click of a Button

When you close a release you can import a table of all closed tickets in the release and then edit the Release Notes before publishing them.

4. Service Desk

GForge Service Desk in Action.

We added the ability for you to add user groups to your projects. In addition to making access control easier, this means you can now use GForge as a Service Desk solution complete with email integration.

Other Key Features

In addition to the highlights above, there are a few other features from 2019 worth noting.

  • Authentication Improvements – Last year GForge added SSO support along with the ability for GForge admins to moderate new user accounts even when using LDAP or SSO.
  • Offline Installations – Need to collaborate on projects inside a protected network without outbound internet access? GForge now supports offline installs and upgrades.
  • Portfolio Management – You can now organize all your GForge projects to match your organizational structure. Not only does this improve analytics, now when you assign users to organizational units they will only have access to private projects within their organization (public projects are still accessible).
  • Subversion (SVN) Improvements – GForge now allows you to restrict access to specific paths in your SVN repository on a role-by-role basis. We also added code review support for projects using SVN.

As excited as we are about what we’ve accomplished in 2019, 2020 will bring a lot more collaboration features to the table. Whet your appetite by reading the “Big Changes Ahead for GForge in 2020”.

Use GForge Now with a Free Account!

Download GForge Now!

Small Iowa Tech Inked Deals with Microchip, GE, Raytheon, BAE and Siemens

Small Iowa Tech Inked Deals with Microchip, GE, Raytheon, BAE and Siemens

Despite the technology industry being hyper focused on the next great start-up darling, one small Iowa technology company has managed to quietly ink deals with tech giants like General Electric, Siemens, Raytheon, BAE Systems and Microchip. The GForge Group, Inc, based in West Des Moines, Iowa,, has built an impressive list of clients for their collaboration platform, GForge. According to President Tony Bibbs, the success of GForge can be attributed to thinking like their clients, making sure GForge provides them the right combination of collaboration features, itching unique enterprise needs and leveraging their size as a selling point.

Enabling Real Collaboration

While the collaboration industry has long been deployed at scale to the cloud, The GForge Group has gone back to focusing on their roots of on-premises collaboration. Microchip, a global provider of microcontrollers, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP circuits is using GForge to collaborate on multiple levels, addressing the unique needs of their disparate teams and customer base.  Specifically, Microchip uses GForge to:

  • Collaborate across internal Microchip organizational groups.
  • Collaborate internally on Microchip products and services.
  • Collaborate externally with Microchip partners and customers.

Microchip achieves these varied levels of collaboration by leveraging GForge’s portfolio management features which allow them to organize teams, projects and customers with varying degrees of visibility.

Another key feature of GForge is the fact it is an all-in-one solution which overcomes two key problems faced in the on-premises collaboration space:

  1. Ala Cart Features – Some collaboration solutions sell similar GForge features ala cart with each having its own pricing and requiring work to configure those features to work in unison. This approach is inflexible because it means you need to know what features each project needs ahead of time.
  2. Best-in-Breed Features – Other organizations, often times unknowingly and over time, end up buying multiple products from multiple vendors providing specific features. This approach shares the same inflexibilities of ala cart features from a single vendor but this also makes integration difficult, fragile and expensive. 

GForge’s all-in-one approach makes all features available to a project but gives its customers the flexibility of scaling with the project. At Siemens, for example, they enjoy the flexibility of taking a proof-of-concept, using a few GForge features, to a full scale, mature project that has expanded to use more of GForge’s capabilities.

The all-in-one approach is paying off because large organizations recognize that not all projects are created equal and with GForge scaling with their needs they are able to focus on their strategic goals without the hassle of renegotiating pricing when the needs of a project changes.

GForge Enables True Enterprise Collaboration

While GForge gives project teams modern collaboration features (like sprints, standups and team chat), it really shines when deployed across an enterprise. For example, General Electric (GE) uses GForge to manage over 16,000 global employees, all collaborating on GE’s vast array of products and services. 

With GForge, GE is also able to specify the export control classification of every GE project, to ensure export control policies and procedures are observed in a consistent, auditable manner.

Raytheon uses two key GForge features to elevate their collaboration. Within Raytheon, there are strict security boundaries between various programs. To address that requirement, Raytheon can quickly deploy a dedicated, isolated instance of GForge for each program, giving their programs the collaboration tools they need. For projects that don’t have the same security requirements, Raytheon has a shared GForge instance for managing their entire portfolio. GForge allows Raytheon to classify shared projects for reuse readiness,to ensure systems achieve a level of maturity before they are reused elsewhere. 

GE and Raytheon rely on unique GForge features to increase productivity and reuse, and manage regulatory requirements and project risk.

GForge Leverages Its Size

Make no mistake, GForge runs at scale, and it has to in order to support such large customers. According to Bibbs, however, GForge’s true value is the fact they are a small, privately held company: 

“Being a small company, we are much more agile and far more responsive to our customer’s needs”.

 Bibbs pointed to their unique support model noting that all GForge engineers also provide direct customer support. 

“Our size allows us to use this model which has the benefit of engineers getting feedback directly from customers. Nothing gets lost or miscommunicated like you often see with multi-tier support models.” 

Another small business benefit GForge brings to the table their customers have the ability to have a direct impact on the product road map. “Listen, there’s a lot of competition in our market and there’s some big fish in our pond. Our success is tied directly to our ability to listen to our customers and, to a large extent, let them drive the direction GForge goes.” Bibbs goes on to point out GForge, despite its size, has been in the collaboration business as long, if not longer, than most of their competitors.

GForge v19.0 Released!

We’re happy to announce our first GForge release for 2019 is available! v19.0 adds a number of new features and comes with a number of bug fixes.

Download GForge v19.0 Now!

Take a tour of GForgeNext!

Getting Started with GForgeNext

Highlights in GForge v19.0

Sprint Retrospectives – For Agile and Scrum teams GForge already lets you create, track and manage the burndown of your sprints. In 19.0 can now assess and reflect on sprints with Sprint Retrospectives. Retrospectives include a report of key metrics and then allow you to provide a narrative to identify what worked well, what challenges you had and come up with actions and ideas going forward.

Tickets: Related Items – A challenge for all teams is reducing duplicated work. When creating new tickets, GForge will now identify related items allowing you to quickly determine if you are working on a problem that has already been identified and possibly fixed. GForge can show its own related tickets as well as possible matches on StackOverflow.

Offline Installation/Upgrades – If you need to install or upgrade GForge in a secure location in your network on a host that doesn’t have outbound internet connectivity GForge now supports offline installations and upgrades.

Moderated LDAP/SSO Accounts – You can now configure GForge to send new accounts registered via LDAP/SSO to a queue where they await formal approval by a GForge Administrator.

Organization – For customers with large project portfolios you can now organize your project into organizations. Organizations also provide the organization a place where they can collaborate across projects inside the organization.

  • The v19.0 ChangeLog will help you understand the changes you can expect.
  • The GForgeNext FAQ will answer most of your questions but don’t hesitate to send additional questions.
  • Just a reminder for customers still running GForge Advanced Server (v6.4.5 and prior) we are planning on officially dropping support in October of 2020. Please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation on the planning and upgrade paths.

Download GForge v19.0 Now!

GForge v18.1 Released!

Just a little over a month ago we ushered a completely revamped GForge platform dubbed GForgeNext and today we are happy to announce the release of v18.1.  Please remember we have changed our version numbering to reflect the year and the number of the release. Since this is the second release of 2018 this version coincides to v18.1 which should help customers quickly know how many versions behind they may be.

Take a tour of GForgeNext!

Getting Started with GForgeNext

The biggest change in 18.1 is the addition of SVN commit hooks. This means that all customers using both Git and SVN can safely upgrade to this version. For our remaining customers still using CVS we will be adding that support in v19.0 due out the first quarter of next year.

  • The v18.1 ChangeLog will help you understand the changes you can expect.
  • The GForgeNext FAQ will answer most of your questions but don’t hesitate to send additional questions.
  • We are still encouraging customers to reach out to us for a free consultation on the planning and upgrade process. If we don’t hear form you we will be reaching out to all our customers over the coming week.

Download GForge v18.1 Now!