Hosted apps retirement

At SourceForge, we’re continually pushing the developer experience forward, trying to provide you with the tools and services that you need to develop on your projects.

Sometimes this means that we need to retire a service that has outlived its usefulness, and is no longer maintainable. Today we’re announcing the end of life of the Hosted Apps platform. Effective immediately, we’re not allowing any new creation of Hosted Apps, and we’re asking you to migrate those hosted apps into your own project web space.

Some of these apps were taken offline temporarily a few weeks ago, and two apps – WordPress and phpwebsite – remain offline.

Hosted Apps will go offline permanently on September 1, 2012. This gives you all Summer to plan and migrate your data. UPDATE: we’re pushing the date on this back. Move detail on the new timeline is on our Hosted Apps Retirement information page.

There’s a variety of reasons that this is necessary, but what they come down to is that the effort required to maintain this feature has come to outweigh the benefits. Furthermore, with a single installation of each of these apps, we weren’t able to offer you the flexibility of configuration, plugins, and themes that many projects wanted and expected.

For those of you that are using the Hosted App functionality, you can already get backups of that data for your own uses. That data is yours, not ours, and we want to be sure that you have a way to get it out.

For Classic projects, you can get a backup from: Project Admin > Features > "Backups" row > "Hosted Apps"

For new or upgraded projects, it’s in: Admin > Tools > Hosted Apps, Admin Hosted Apps > backup link.

At this time we have detailed migration documents for moving WordPress to your project web space. Docs for the next most popular apps (phpBB, MediaWiki and Trac) will follow shortly. Because these were customized versions of these applications, there’s a few tricks in migrating your data.

One major aspect of this customization was the ability to authenticate against SourceForge.net accounts, and we’ll be adding OpenID support very soon in order to replace the functionality that you’d otherwise be losing here.

Also, our new Allura platform has many core features that were provided by the Hosted Apps platform. You can migrate your project to the new platform by going to https://sourceforge.net/p/upgrade/ and pressing the “Upgrade” button.

We also have a data API which could be used to migrate your data directly to your upgraded SourceForge project. If you write such a migration script before we get around to it, please let us know.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you, but we’re confident that the time and resources that this frees up will allow us to move forward even more quickly on developing features to make project development even better. As always, please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.

Please continue to check back for ongoing updates on this issue. We’ll be posting updated migration documents as soon as they are completed and tested, and we’ll continue to update you on the status of the OpenID implementation, as well as other features that will smooth the path of migration.

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47 Responses to “Hosted apps retirement”

  1. Robert Munteanu Jun 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Let me start by thanking you for SourceForge and all the services you’re offering at no cost to the open source community. I’ve find them to be of great help and allowing me to focus on the product and the community rather than the infrastructure. So THANK YOU.   I understand that the Hosted Apps initiative was an ambitious one and that at one point it no longer made sense for you. It’s good that you allows us to retrieve our data, otherwise it would have been a catastrophe. What I’m concerned about is that all the links to my project’s support forums, issue tracking and knowledge base will be broken and I will have no way of fixing that.   Do you plan on offering a redirect service? I hope that just sending a ‘moved permanently’ redirect to one page per hosted app is not so hard to do and will allow us to retain our historical search results.   Once again, thank you.

    • ctsai Jun 20, 2012 at 11:12 am #

       @Robert Munteanu 

    • ctsai Jun 20, 2012 at 11:14 am #

       @Robert Munteanu We do in face have plans to set-up redirects (and/or give projects the option to), though we haven’t planned exactly how this is going to work. We’ll keep this post updated with more detail on that as we have it.

      • Robert Munteanu Jun 20, 2012 at 11:19 am #

         @ctsai  @Robert Munteanu Great, thank you.

  2. tfry Jun 20, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    Admittedly, I do have a hard time trying to look at this without too hard feelings. But, well, I think I can follow your reasons for deactivating the hosted apps platform.   Either way, however, I would really like to ask for a significant extension of the transition period. September, 1st is just ten weeks away. I can understand that you want to move on, ASAP, but keep in mind that most of your users are volunteers, and some have made real life plans for “all Summer”, already. Also, in particular, as long as details such as OpenID integration are not worked out in full, and documented in well-tested step-by-step instructions, any deadline sooner than end-of-year looks rather drastic.   Thanks!

    • ctsai Jun 20, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      We’re passing this feedback on to the team, though, I don’t think we’ll be able to extend this timeline, but if we are, we’ll definitely update this post to reflect that.

      • Jarek Czekalski Jul 3, 2012 at 11:21 am #

         @ctsai Hi Chris. It’s not fair that you (not personally you) specified a date for quitting hosted apps, but for openid support you only write ambigous “soon”. Please explain in some easy accesible place if we’ll still be able to have these great things that hosted apps were bringing to us:   1. no spam because of using sf accounts 2. no need to create new accounts for the apps   I suggested ability to integrate 6 months ago: https://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/sourceforge/ticket/23790 No answers yet. Maybe it’s time to provide one now?   If we are to patch the apps to make them fit sourceforge best, what is the place to talk about it? Maybe there should be projects like “MediaWiki for sourceforge”? Anyone can start such a project, but it makes sense only if it’s linked from sourceforge pages for ex-hosted-apps-admins.

    • jeff_drobick Jun 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      I wanted to drop a quick post to say thanks for the feedback on the dependencies and as Chris noted, we’ll do what’s right to support your and the broader community’s needs.  Beyond more time, perhaps there are other migration tools or support we can provide as well.  Ideally, we want to get through that migration on a timely basis without causing a ‘firedrill’ for anyone!  Chris (ctsai) will be helping from the SourceForge side and we’ll get back to everyone on possible additional schedule once we understand dependencies.

    • dchassin Jul 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      I agree that Sept 1 is much sooner that you think, particularly when you consider that your tools aren’t all lined up yet.  We’re in the middle of our own product release cycle with deliverables due this fall.  The nature of our funding does not allow us to change these dates easily.  We understand the need to do this, but we simply can’t afford to make it happen before Sept 1.  We would greatly appreciate more time to get our resources deployed in a cost-effective way that doesn’t compete with our normal product cycle.  Our new budget cycle begins Oct 1, so something like Jan 1 is much more realistic anyway from a cost standpoint. We just don’t have the funds to do anything like what needs to be done before Oct 1.  Besides, I suspect it’s going to be a mad rush, mistakes will be made, data lost, and money wasted.  As I have said before in other similar situations, this looks like something where there won’t be enough time to do it right the first time, so we’ll end up doing it twice.   Thanks for all you do.  SF is a great resource.

  3. tfry Jun 20, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    What does this mean for the short url service? Technically that seems to be a hosted app, although the urls themselves have a domain of their own (p.sf.net). Will these continue to work?   We started using shortened urls for links to key project pages (also from external pages, and from inside our software). Our idea was that this would allow us enough flexibility to keep such links working for all time, even across changes of the infrastructure. So I would really appreciate, if the short url service could be kept functional, somehow.

    • ctsai Jun 20, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      We use the Short URL service quite extensively ourselves, so we’re definitely going to work something out for this. The planning for just exactly how we’re going to manage it isn’t complete yet, I’ll make sure the team working on that sees your feedback. More details when we have concrete plans for this service.

  4. lkid Jun 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Hi – we just tried to get a backup of our piwik database, but all we get – regardless of the chosen file compression – is an empty page. It takes longer for the empty page to load, when a compressed format is chosen. Downloading a backup of the piwik files is possible, but that only contains the settings of the program.

    • ctsai Jun 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Please log a support ticket for this and I’ll get it passed along to the proper team: https://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/sourceforge/newticket

      • DaveGarratt Jun 25, 2012 at 3:17 am #

         @ctsai Probably the same issue as I logged about 8 months ago ?   http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/sourceforge/ticket/22622    

        • ctsai Jun 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

           @DaveGarratt Yes, I’ve gotten confirmation that the team has set backups for Hosted Apps as a priority item.

  5. Florian Jun 24, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    Additionally it would be great if you could provide a migration of contents directly from hosted apps, e.g. Media Wiki or Mantis BT, into equivalent Allura tools.

  6. DaveGarratt Jun 25, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    Shouldn’t this Blog remain at the top given the crucial nature of the announcement ?

    • ctsai Jun 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

       @DaveGarratt This doesn’t affect all projects, there are many where this just doesn’t apply. That said, I agree it is crucial that all affected parties are aware. Our next step is that to send out emails to all the project admins with Hosted Apps enabled.

  7. St3v3 Jun 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Man this is bad! All good things come to an end, even sourceforge. Oh well, thank God we still have wiki-like pages to which most people will move over to with their own dedicated forums and stuff. Goodbye!

  8. Social Media Jun 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    I guess all good things must come to an end! :[

  9. qubodup Jun 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    It seems like the only app many game developers are going to miss is Trac :) http://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3217

    • jeff_drobick Jun 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

       @qubodup Hi There – I have asked the team to make sure we offer a script or some painless way to port tickets into Allura’s tracker.  If there are any significant feature gaps, please let us know via Chris Tsai and he’ll get that into development.

  10. godmod23 Jul 3, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    With dropping the hosted apps, you should activate external connections for the project-web again. The reason for that is that we (the admins of the tool) should be able to maintain (and with that keeping our tools secure) and update our tools in the easierst ways. For example, WordPress allowes a one-click update. And many other tools like Contao (fka Typolight) or Woltlab Burning Board do have Live-Update-Features, too. And many tools need externals connections to check if there is an update. To sum up, we need external connections for keeping our tools up-to-date. I think it would be enough to limit the connections to specific servers, but then you should provide a process to add new servers.

    • BeniBela Jul 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

       @godmod23 Agreed. There are so many amazing things you can do with external connections (e.g. mail notifications for the wiki or synchronization with other wikis) that they really should be enabled. If security is so important, you could limit the connections to  servers white listed by the project admin or a  maximal count/day.

    • andrewz Jul 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

       @godmod23 SourceForge, please allow external connections!!!  With a Drupal forum I have such trouble with forum and comment spam, but I cannot connect to external anti-spam services. Also it would help a lot with keeping Drupal up to date.   I know you have trouble with security too, so I would pay a small fee, or send you a copy of my driver’s license, or do something else to prove I am not going to abuse the system.

      • Dave Brondsema Jul 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

         @andrewz We will be looking into opening this up for certain remote hosts.  What anti-spam service do you use?

        • lkalif Jul 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

           @Dave Brondsema the biggest problem for me is inability to use OpenID, to say let google or facebook or other popular services be used for logging into forums/trackers, etc.

        • andrewz Jul 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

           @Dave Brondsema  None.  :)  The problem is with SourceForge web hosting I cannot use or try any authentication or anti-spam services.    If SourceForge were to change firewall policies, I would look into Akismet, Mollom, reCAPTCHA, OpenID, Google authentication, and Facebook connect.   Thank you.

        • godmod23 Jul 4, 2012 at 10:18 am #

           @Dave Brondsema  @andrewz  Here are the ones I would need: – Recaptcha (*.recaptcha.net) – Contao (http://www.contao.org for Repository, http://www.inetrobots.com for LiveUpdate), hosted his files on https://sourceforge.net/projects/contao/ – Woltlab Burning Board (Live-Update *.woltlab.com)   Thanks in Advance

    • godmod23 Jul 6, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      I would also suggest the availibity of SSL for the project-webs, for better protection of the user credentials, e.g. if they are using open WLANs.

  11. pyritie Jul 3, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    https://sourceforge.net/p/upgrade/ just gets me to a page that says “Error 403 – Read Access Required”

    • mpkossen Jul 3, 2012 at 10:29 am #

       @pyritie I get that as well, unfortunately.

      • ctsai Jul 3, 2012 at 11:14 am #

        We found a major bug in the forum upgrade, so we’ve disabled access to upgrades in the meantime.

        • ctsai Jul 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

          Bug is fixed, upgrades are re-enabled.

  12. Don Jul 3, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    I’m not a sourceforge expert so I need a bit more guidance.  The email I got said “One or more of your projects use the Hosted Apps service.”   1) Is there a way to find out which of our projects are affected?   2) When we originally created our project(s) on SF, we do not recall if there was a choice of Hosted Apps or something else (is there anything else)?  Most of our projects were created simply to get version control, bug tracking, etc.  Is this what is meant by Hosted Apps?  Or is HA something that goes beyond?

    • ctsai Jul 3, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      Hosted Apps specifically refers to applications which are installed to http://sourceforge.net/apps/<appname>/<projectname>/   If the URL of the tool in question does *not* match that, then it’s not a Hosted App.   If you’d like to me to check on your project specifically, please let me know what project you’re curious about.

  13. BeniBela Jul 3, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Is it possible to migrate the ideatorrent to the webspace? Last time I checked, the ideatorrent only worked with PostgreSQL, but the webspace only had mysql.

  14. bungeshea Jul 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    Is there a way to set up a redirect from the hosted app to the project web so links don’t 404? Like from https://sourceforge.net/apps/phpbb/mindboards/ to http://mindboards.sourceforge.net/forums/ or somthing like that.

    • ctsai Jul 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

       @bungeshea Not yet, but setting up redirects is part of the plan.

  15. ctsai Jul 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    For those who missed it, we sent an email out today with some clarification and updates. The info in the email can also be found here: https://sourceforge.net/p/forge/community-docs/HostedAppsRetirement/   In short, 1) We’re extending the deadline, see the info page above for a more detailed timeline 2) we clarified what we mean when we say “Hosted Apps”, and now have a page that lists all your Hosted Apps: http://sourceforge.net/help/hostedapps/

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