Releasing Five Products in 2021, Part 2: moniter

Both a free opensource npm tool, and an enterprise dashboard!

Posted on November 7, 2021

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This "Products of 2021" series will be a total of six posts. The first is the introduction to the series itself. The five product links will be updated throughout 2021 as I release the products to the world. These links will be pinned to the top of each post in the series.

These product posts will all have the same format for readability. They will always have the same three sections:

1. 'Product Overview', where I describe the product itself.
2. 'Key Takeaways From Launch', where I discuss everything I've learned from before and after launch.
3. 'Next Steps', where I mention what I am planning to develop further for the product.

Product Overview

The moniter logo.

The product, stylized as moniter, comes in two formats. The first is an npm package, which, because i'm using markdown in my blog here, I can embed the shield directly:

npm version

pretty cool, eh? Please consider starring the GitHub repository as well!

The second format, for those who don't have their own server instance perhaps or don't want to deal with all the config files (which are fairly extensive for a tool like moniter), we have built moniter.org (don't cringe yet, that was built in only about 20 hours at a Hackathon!).

Our real first goal here is to provide a better feature set to our perhaps goliath competitor, UptimeRobot - basically to be frank we are going to undercut their free plan (50 moniters with 5-minute checks) with something like 100 moniters with 1 minute checks. 😄

The cool thing to note here: moniter.org is nothing more than GUI over the moniter tool! This is also the first time I've released a product that is mixed-source. That is, the moniter.org website and server code is private, but the tool that we use server side for that GUI is identical to the moniter package - that means that whatever improvements are brought to moniter, our enterprise product can also benefit! We'll see how this model goes into the future, but I know I'm not the first, and many SaaS products are starting to adopt this model.

Key Takeaways From Launch

Well, as for the launch, you're looking at it. 😅 I haven't really promoted it, and the website is fairly broken. I'll probably return to this post at some point to update with all the correct information. Just wanted to get my thoughts down on this product now that it is "released" hehe.

Next Steps

There is a wide variety of TODOs for this tool. To keep it simple, I'll just list them here:

  • Actually get payment flow working 😅 something weird happened with the stripe connection and accounts in general. That needs to be written up and fixed.
  • Support regexs for sites or setup moniters automatically from a sitemap.xml - I would guess this is also a feature that UptimeRobot doesn't have
  • Charts and graphs for the data - right now moniter is only strong in it's alert model. It doesn't yet have a data creation module for creating data lists that could be used for charts.
  • Creation of a precison tier for the enterprise - this will be tricky as some servers may detect such fasting pinging as essentially a DDOS attack.

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