Soft Launching InvenHost

Matthias Mair,project

Staring a new project is a catch-22. You have to start somewhere but you know that the current state is not what you aspire it to be. Getting feedback is a bit hard if you do not show anything.

Therefore, I am soft launching the InvenHost project. Feel free to reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or feedback.

What is InvenHost?

InvenHosts goal is to provide enterprise plugins for InvenTree (InvenTree (opens in a new tab) is an open-source inventory management system with a focus on electronics manufacturing).

This entails developing plugins and providing the infrastructure to develop, test, document, license, distribute and maintain open and closed plugins.

Who is InvenHost for?

The main audience are companies / commercial users of InvenTree that need functions that make sense for a company but not for hobby users of InvenTree. This includes things like:

Why InvenHost?

InvenTree is a great project and I have been contributing to it for a while now. However, it is a MIT licensed community project and as such it is hard to get any feedback from users.

The project does not even know how many people use it. This makes it hard to justify spending time on features that are not used by the core team, their employers and friends. We tried surveys, enabeling discussions, creating social media accounts, making a website, etc. but nothing really worked.

InvenHost is a way to experiment with other models of licensing (less permisive), distribution (required telemetry) and monetization (subscriptions, support, consulting, custom development).

My goal is not to make money but have the freedom to experiment without exposing the core project to any risk. The only time you seem to get feedback is when users tell you they do not like something.

Inven ... Host?

I already owned the domain + GitHub org and it has a good standing with the big email providers, so I chose to keep using it. The host refers both to the hosting of instances for friends and family (which I have been doing for a while under this domain) as well as the hosting of plugins and tools.

Instance hosting is a friends-only thing and nothing I offer to the public.

My History with InvenTree

I have been active with the InvenTree project since Mar 2021 when I became aware of them through Stephen Hawes (opens in a new tab)’ discord server (he runs a fantastic company (opens in a new tab) building OSS PnP machines). At the time of writing, I have 2,234 commits in the main branch of the repository, which places me second after Oliver, the maintainer. Some of the features I have implemented/contributed towards are:

Outside of that I wrote the current website and plugin repo, helped with docs, the brother integration, social media handles and various funding opportunities.

I am currently taking it slower with the project to focus on InvenHost and getting the first 3 plugins out.


InvenHost is not affiliated with InvenTree other than I work on both sometimes.