Heptapod commercial service enters free public beta

Posted on Mon 20 April 2020 in announcements

We're proud to announce the launch of heptapod.host, a joint effort by Octobus and Clever Cloud. This is a general platform to host any Mercurial project, private or not.

The service starts with a free public beta phase until June 1st, 2020. With the demise of Bitbucket nearing, heptapod.host is the ultimate Mercurial Bitbucket replacement.

How to use the service

Once they have registered to the Clever Cloud platform and have created a Clever Cloud organization, users may sign in to the Heptapod instance.

Once signed in, users will find that their organizations have been mapped to Heptapod groups in which they can create projects, or just import some from Bitbucket (see below).

This is covered in more detail in the registration tutorial.

Pricing

Even though heptapod.host is in free beta until June 1st, 2020 a draft pricing policy is already available, together with concrete simulations.

This tentative pricing policy is based on the number of active users and bandwith above a given threshold. It's there because we like to do things in the open, and because we need to get your feedback. So, please come talk to us about it.

A powerful and intuitive Bitbucket import capability

Importing from Bitbucket is a standard Heptapod feature. On heptapod.host, it works exactly as explained in our tutorial.

It is in the inherent nature of distributed version control systems not to suffer data loss upon disappearance of a central service, because client repositories usually include the full history. Mercurial is of course no exception to that.

But a modern collaborative plaftform for software development is about more than source code repositories. What will happen with task management (issues), and code review (pull requests)?

On top of the repository itself, Heptapod's import takes care of Bitbucket issues and pull requests. Not only do they become Heptapod (GitLab) issues and merge requests, but they also keep their original numbering.

This latter feature will help keeping the disruption low for lots of project: it is indeed common that commit messages reference issues or pull requests by number, be it in an explicit form (#123) or as a link (https://bitbucket.org/my/repo/issues/123). How many of us developers have been frustrated, trying to understand a change done a while ago because such references have become useless in the meanwhile? How many emails or spreadsheets turned into useless noise because of that? After an import to Heptapod, these references will still be understandable.

The companies setting up this service

Octobus: development

Octobus is a company focussing on commercial support for the Mercurial source control system. Besides providing most of the work force in Heptapod development, their work ranges from workflow consulting to ad-hoc development for companies needing performance boosts or custom features.

Most of Octobus development happens upstream, so that Octobus provides a significant part of current Mercurial core development. In particular, in the last couple of years, Octobus has been driving the ongoing effort to use the Rust programming language in Mercurial, improving both the performance and the robustness of the codebase.

Clever Cloud: hosting

Clever Cloud is a Europe-based PaaS company. They help developers deploy and run their apps with bulletproof infrastructure, automatic scaling, fair pricing and other cool features. They aim to make an easy-to-use service, without any vendor lock-in and able to grow with customer needs.

On top of their strong admin and ops expertise, they are actually are a developer first company and a software vendor themselves. As such they know and understand the value of end to end delivery and the importance of the right Software Factory.