Securing the future of Forge

On January 1st, 2020, we will issue a new license for Forge, replacing the current license. Forge will remain free for non-commercial use. Commercial use of Forge will be linked to the Simplifier pricing plans, which also give access to our support team and advanced features on Simplifier. Users signing up for a commercial license for Forge before December 1st, get the first 3 months of 2020 for free. We are also updating our Privacy Policy per November 1st, 2019, reflecting the way we store Forge usage data.

We started building Forge back in 2014, when FHIR was still in its infancy. “Profiling”, or the art of molding FHIR to fit a use-case, was already a key part of the standard, so the community needed a tool to build FHIR profiles. And so we created Forge. Forge soon became the de facto standard for profiling. Currently, Forge has been widely adopted, and is being used by consultants, students, big tech firms, startups and government agencies, as a key application in FHIR projects all over the world.

We positioned Forge as an important component of Simplifier.net, the publication platform for FHIR artefacts, like profiles, extensions, implementation guides and now packages. Our business model is in the paid plans on Simplifier. To ensure continuity of Forge, we decided to make Forge part of the paid plans on Simplifier.

Below we answered some questions that we think you may have.

Why are you doing this?
We want to keep improving Forge, adding new features, keeping up with the standard, adding more integration with Simplifier. To ensure long-term sustainability and continued development, we need a sound business model, not just for Simplifier but for Forge too. Similarly, we want to be able to see which features are most frequently used in both Forge and Simplifier, to allow us to improve on what matters most to you. We will update our Privacy Policy with language to reflect this data collection.

But hey, you made a promise!
Yes we did. We said that Forge would remain free. Which it will be, but not as unrestricted as before. So yes, we are breaking a promise and we sincerely apologize for that. But it’s either this, or cutting down our investments in Forge, and jeopardizing the continuity of Forge in the long run.

What’s in it for me, the user?
Paying for Forge through Simplifier will win you two things immediately: the features of the Simplifier plan you choose – including more and private projects, GitHub integration and issue tracking – and direct access to our support team. In the upcoming months, you will see a deeper integration between Forge and Simplifier, making collaboration easier and creating seamless workflows. In the long run, you will be ensured of a tool that will make your FHIR job simpler.

What is non-commercial use?
“Non-commercial” means personal or educational use. You may use Forge for free to learn FHIR or to assess Forge as long as you wish. Only when you are using Forge in real projects as part of your job, we require you to have a license for commercial use, regardless of where you are working (profit or nonprofit). In case of doubt, ask for permission.

How do I know if I am on a paid plan?
Soon, when starting up Forge, the application will connect to your account on Simplifier and establish if you are on paid plan or not. If not, or if your organization has used up all the Forge users on the plan, Forge will tell you that you are restricted to non-commercial use only. Upon the first launch of the new version of Forge, you can choose to accept or decline the new license. Only if you accept, you will be able to run Forge.

Can I still work offline with Forge if I have to log in with Simplifier?
You will need to log in with Simplifier to activate the new version of Forge. After that you can use Forge offline, as long as Forge has access to the internet once in a while to verify your license status.

What will the price be?
Forge for commercial use will be linked to the paid plans of Simplifier. Which plan fits your needs, depends, among other things, on the number of collaboration projects you need on Simplifier and the number of profile editors (Forge users) you have. Below are the prices per year for the Simplifier plans and the summary of included editors and projects:

  • Professional: € 2500 euro for 1 Forge user and 3 Simplifier projects
  • Team: € 7500 euro per year for 3 Forge users and 5 Simplifier projects
  • Enterprise: € 25000 euro per year for 10 Forge users and 10 Simplifier projects

Extra Simplifier projects and Forge users can be added to the Team and Enterprise plans for € 750 per year each. Note: the paid plans also give you access to essential features for teams and enterprises. Full details of the advanced features can be found on the Simplifier pricing page.

I am already on a paid plan on Simplifier. What happens to me?
Of course, current agreements will not be affected. As of the date of renewal, you can remain in your current plan or upgrade to a higher plan if you need more Forge users, more projects or advanced features.

I am a consultant working on a client project. Do I need a license?
Yes, you need a license, but not necessarily in your own name. You can use the license of your client, even just for the duration of the project, provided your client has sufficient Forge user licenses in his or her plan on Simplifier.

When is this going to happen?
The start date of the new license is January 1st, 2020. On November 1st, 2019, we will launch a new version of Forge, that requires you to log in with your Simplifier account, as a first step of the further integration between our tools. On that date, we are also changing our Privacy Statement, reflecting the registration of the Forge usage. If you sign up as a new customer to a paid plan on Simplifier before December 1st, you will get the first 3 months of your plan for free.

How do I sign up?
Please sign up to any of the plans using the Get Started button of the plan of your choosing on the Simplifier pricing page.

My question isn’t answered!
No problem. Reach out to ward@fire.ly and we will get back to you.

Rien Wertheim, CEO
Ward Weistra, Product owner Simplifier & Forge

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