FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Forge.mil Program?
Forge.mil is a DISA-led activity designed to improve the ability of the U.S. Department of Defense to rapidly deliver dependable software, services and systems in support of net-centric operations and warfare. Forge.mil will:
- Enable cross-program sharing of software, system components, and services
- Promote early and continuous collaboration among all stakeholders (e.g., developers, material providers, testers, operators, and users) throughout the development life-cycle
- Facilitate the resolution of issues and challenges by connecting users, team members, program and community leaders, and subject matter experts making a difference in Information Technology Acquisition
- Allow users to share knowledge, experience, and lessons learned on how to improve and accelerate software development and deployment
- Rapidly deliver effective and efficient development and test capabilities for DoD technology development efforts
- Help protect the operational environment from potentially harmful systems and services
- Encourage modularity so that large programs to be developed, fielded, and operated as a set of independent components that can evolve and mature at their own rates
- Eliminate duplicative testing and improve dependability by adopting common test and evaluation criteria supported by standard testing tools and methods
The Forge.mil family of services today consists of three offerings - SoftwareForge and ProjectForge and the Forge.mil Community. SoftwareForge is a free service available on both the NIPRNet and SIPRNet. ProjectForge is a fee for service capability currently available for unclassified use. The Forge.mil Community is a collaborative content and knowledge management site available on the NIPRNet and offered free.
Read the Forge.mil Brochure: Transforming the Way DoD Innovates IT.
What is the Forge.mil Community?
Forge.mil Community is a collaborative content and knowledge management site for Forge.mil users to connect and share information using social collaboration tools such as group blogs, discussions, wiki, documents and polls. While the project teams on SoftwareForge and ProjectForge are focused on their individual project or projects, the Forge.mil Community site provides teams/individuals working to solve similar problems and/or discuss similar challenges that transcend a single project or set of projects a means to self organize around these challenges to develop common solutions.
The Forge.mil Community site provides a 'social' collaboration layer to augment and integrate with the current capabilities in Forge.mil. Group associations with a project or a set of projects provides a more holistic view of software development activity and allows project teams and individuals to better connect, collaborate, share information and expand the discussions within a wider audience.
Forge.mil Community also provides a forum for teams, and individuals who are not necessarily working on the development of software but who have knowledge and experience to contribute and share with a wider community. Forge.mil Community allows for the formation of groups built around communities of interest, organizations, mission areas, or specific technologies as well as groups created around topics of interest to the Information Technology Acquisition Community such as Section 804 Compliance, general CAC/PKI information, Software Development Best Practices to include Agile, and contract strategies for the use of Forge.mil and Agile.
Advantages/Benefits of the Forge.mil Community
- Connect with other Forge.mil users
- Find Software and Projects
- Discover and join sub-communities or Groups
- Improve Collaboration
- Share Ideas or find Ideas to act on
- Share Knowledge, Experience and Lessons Learned
- Find Answer and Solutions
- Expand the Discussions and Cast a Wider Net to Find an Answer
As with other Forge.mil capabilities, the Forge.mil Community site is available to U.S. military, DoD government civilians and DoD contractors for Government authorized use. Access to Forge.mil requires a valid DoD Common Access Card (CAC) or a PKI certificate issued by a DoD approved External Certificate Authority (ECA) with government sponsor.
What is SoftwareForge?
SoftwareForge enables the collaborative development and distribution of open source software and DoD community source software. For open source and community source development projects within the DoD, SoftwareForge provides software development tools such as software version control, bug tracking, requirements management, and release packaging along with collaboration tools such as wikis, discussion forums, and document repositories to enable collaborative development amongst distributed developers.
SoftwareForge is currently built on the open source Subversion version control system and CollabNet TeamForge application life cycle management tool.
What is ProjectForge?
ProjectForge provides the same application life cycle management tools to DoD projects and programs as SoftwareForge, but for programs and/or projects that are not doing DoD community source development and/or need to restrict access to specific project members. While SoftwareForge comes free to valid users, ProjectForge is a fee for service capability.
ProjectForge is hosted as a multi-tenant application meaning that the application infrastructure (servers and mass storage) are shared by multiple projects and users. Although the infrastructure is shared, visibility and access to the information contained in each project is protected and controlled strictly by the project owner.
To accommodate requests from the community for project space for smaller software development teams, ProjectForge now has two additional offerings for teams of up to 10 or 25 users. The cost for ProjectForge is as follows:
- 100 users for $60K/year
- 25 users for $25K/year
- 10 users for $15K/year
Cost includes up to 10 GB of storage, service desk support, basic project administrator on-boarding, platform maintenance and security. Additional training and support is available at an additional cost.
If you need additional storage, training, support, or a different license/user package than those offered above, please contact the Forge.mil Business Office at email@example.com for a quote.
Read the ProjectForge Information Data Sheet.
What is difference between SoftwareForge and ProjectForge?
SoftwareForge and ProjectForge use the exact same tool suite (CollabNet TeamForge). The main difference lies in the mission of each site, and how the default project permissions are configured. SoftwareForge is functionally equivalent to http://sourceforge.net (the Open Source software sharing site), except that it is within the DoD firewall, and only accessible to authorized DoD users with a CAC card or ECA certificate. The default project permissions are locked to 'open' for view access – any authorized site user can view any project on the site. Write permission to each project is controlled via roles that project administrators can assign.
SoftwareForge is intended to promote cross-team and cross-service collaboration, and projects that can operate within these parameters are welcome to host projects free of charge on the site.
ProjectForge, by contrast, is designed for those teams who want to utilize the TeamForge tools with more restrictive view and write permissions. The default permissions on this site are set to private, and project admins have the ability to customize the access controls for their projects based on their needs. ProjectForge is a completely separate instance of the tool suite, and is a fee-for-service offering.
The decision on whether to host a project on SoftwareForge vs. ProjectForge comes down to whether you are willing/able to operate in a 'DoD-internal/public' environment where your project is viewable by authorized DoD CAC and ECA certificate holders (SoftwareForge), or you require 'closed' collaboration with tighter view/write access (ProjectForge).
Where do I go for more information and to join the Forge.mil Community?
Visit http://www.forge.mil for more information, the latest Forge.mil news, additional FAQs, and instructions on how to get access and join the community.