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InfoQ Homepage News Npm, Inc. Announces Npm Pro for Independent JavaScript Developers

Npm, Inc. Announces Npm Pro for Independent JavaScript Developers

npm, Inc. recently announced the launch of npm Pro, designed for independent JavaScript developers. npm also rebranded its existing npm Orgs, which caters to teams of developers, as npm Teams.

The new npm Pro targets JavaScript developers who typically work on their own. This may include students and freelance consultants. This may also include developers in corporations who, in addition to working on large team-based projects, have smaller personal side-projects. npm Pro’s value proposition originates from the assumption that the needs of such independent developers are better covered by specific, simpler tools, which do not have the extra features needed for multi-developer projects (like managed collaboration or team-based permissions). For the latter team-based projects, npm launched npm Teams, formerly known as npm Orgs.

Developers subscribing to npm Pro will pay a monthly fee in exchange for an unlimited number of private packages hosted by the npm platform. Developers subscribing to npm Teams will additionally have unlimited team-based management options. npm continues to propose what is now termed "npm Free" for all developers, including developers who are open-source contributors to the free npm Registry. npm CLI and npm Enterprise (which focuses on productivity and security of JavaScript development for large teams at large organizations) continue to be a part of npm’s product line.

npm announced plans to further differentiate its product line, with each product specializing to its target segment:

Our future plans for both Pro and Teams include additional features and functionality specifically designed for each, and you can expect to see us rolling those out over the next year and beyond.

(…) with Pro and Teams now distinct products, we have the opportunity for further sharpening – two different paths for feature development, each aimed at a different user and set of use cases.

npm also anticipated new products in the general area of security and compliance, and it intends to announce more details about this in the coming months. This segmentation of npm’s developer base, and the corresponding monetization efforts, comes after an eventful year for npm. In January 2019, npm appointed Bryan Bogensberger as npm’s CEO, with the objective to commercialize npm’s services. Co-founder Isaac Z. Schlueter explained the move as follows:

Commercializing something like this without ruining it is no small task, and building the team to deliver on npm’s promise is a major undertaking. We’ve sketched out a business plan and strategy for the next year, and will be announcing some other key additions to the team in the coming months

In Bogensberger’s short tenure, npm experienced several high-profile exits, including co-founder Laurie Voss in July 2019. Former CTO CJ Silverio also exited npm and launched rival self-hosted federated package registry Entropic. In August 2019, a developer inserted what some deemed to be advertising in a package published on npm. npm subsequently banned the practice. In September 2019, npm changed its leadership to continue to pursue growth opportunities that would support its free offering.

Created in 2010 as an open-source package manager for Node.js, npm grew to host over 1 million packages in the public npm Registry. npm serves over one billion requests for JavaScript packages per day to approximately 11 million developers worldwide.

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