On October 3rd, we announced that we will change the Forge license. As of January 1st, 2020, the free version of Forge will be licensed for non-commercial use only. We want to secure the future of Forge. Long-term investments in the product require a sound business model.
Since the announcement we received a lot of feedback from you, our users, and we thank you for your commitment. It is clear that Forge is important to you.
In our previous blog post we answered questions that we imagined you would have. In this post we respond to additional questions that we collected over the last month.
What does ‘non-commercial use’ mean? Does that include use by non-profits?
Non-commercial only applies to the use of Forge, not the type of organization you are working at. If you are working on a project, for a non-profit or otherwise, we consider this commercial use. In that case we ask you to get a Forge license before Jan 1, 2020, if you want to continue using Forge.
Non-commercial use is personal use or educational use. Examples of educational use are learning FHIR, learning FHIR profiling, and evaluating Forge. If you are the HL7 Affiliate for your country, please contact us about the HL7 Affiliate Plan.
In case of doubt, please ask for permission.
I am a FHIR trainer. Can I use Forge for free for training purposes?
Yes, educational use is considered to be non-commercial. You and your students can use Forge without a commercial license, as long as you wish.
I am a consultant with multiple customers. What do I do?
You only need one license to be able to use Forge, regardless of the number of projects you are involved in. You can either use a license owned by one of your clients, or you can purchase your own license (may we suggest the Professional plan?).
Can I buy Forge without a paid Simplifier account?
Currently, we don’t offer any plans outside the three paid plans listed on our pricing page. We are convinced that the combination of Forge, Simplifier and Torinox offer a better experience in authoring a FHIR project or Implementation Guide. And you will continue to see improvements on that front, making the suite more than the sum of its parts.
If you are only interested in Forge, then choose the Simplifier Plan that has the right number of Forge licenses. The Professional Plan has one single Forge user. The Team Plan starts with three Forge licenses, Enterprise with ten. Both Team and Enterprise have the option to buy extra seats.
Can I buy a license only for the duration of the project I am working on?
A license has a minimum duration of 1 year. However, you are allowed to transfer a license to a different user before the year is over, for example when a project ends and a new project is started, with different users. See also below.
Is the license fixed to specific computers? Or people?
Soon we will launch a new feature in Simplifier, that will enable the admin of a Plan on Simplifier to assign Forge licenses to users. The admin will be able to change these assignments at any time. So if the team working with Forge changes over time you can transfer a license to a new team member. The amount of Forge users in your plan only needs to reflect the maximum number of Forge users in the license period.
What are alternative tools for editing profiles?
HL7 International maintains a list of all FHIR profiling tooling solutions available. We would be sad to see you go, but we support choice to give everyone the best fitting solution.
When is this going to happen?
The start date of the new license is January 1st, 2020. Soon we will launch a new version of Forge, that will log in to your Simplifier account automatically, as a next step of integration between our tools. With the new version we will also change our Privacy Statement, reflecting the communication between Forge and Simplifier. 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.
Rien Wertheim, CEO
Ward Weistra, Product owner Simplifier & Forge