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Menubar app that monitors cronjobs on servers


#1

Hi,

I’m currently working on a prototype for a desktop application that makes it easy to monitor cronjobs locally. Beta page is at https://cronbar.io

This is an (early) mockup how this might look like:

My goal is to make the app super easy to set up and use. You download the app, add a server via SSH -> done.

There are multiple competing products out there. All of them are subscription based SaaS apps:

Cronitor
https://cronitor.io/

Starts at $24/mo.

Healthchecks
https://healthchecks.io
20 checks are free, $5 for unlimited checks

Dead Man’s Snitch


Starts at $5 for 3 checks.

Steward
https://steward.io/
3 checks are free, $5 for 20 jobs

WDT
https://wdt.io/
Starts at $3.50 for 4 jobs


I’m currently evaluating if there’s a market for this type of app. Would you consider using it?


#2

I would have no need for the product but I think the design of your site and the app is wonderful so I would go ahead and give it a try.

With apps like this you really do not know if they will be a success until you try it.

To me SAAS seems to make more sense as I could get email alerts when something is wrong but having the desktop versions is a good way to differentiate you from the competition.


#3

I’m not sure I would use it for my personal projects, but I can see how it might be useful in an enterprise setting or for someone with a larger amount of servers.

Howwever, for (internal) enterprise use it would need to be something you can install on your own servers which gives you a web page you to see all cron jobs on all (other) servers. Desktop clients are more tricky to scale/distribute in an enterprise environment, desktop app is maybe mostly useful for a single person or a small team.

I think the app (as it looks from the screenshots) adds a nice convience compared to checking crontab manually via SSH, but for me it’s not a big enough pain that I would pay to have it solved. If I had a larger amount of servers and/or was more heavily relying on cron jobs, it might be a different.

However, my biggest concern (for me, as a potential user), is not whether I would need tha app or not (as it would probably be quite useful), but whether it actually is easy to set up and use.

Cronbar uses SSH to check your servers cronjobs. No clients you need to install. It just works.

Will this statement be true for my setup, with Cygwin, OpenSSH and key-based login to servers? Will it use Cygwin’s OpenSSH and read ~/.ssh/config from the correct Cygwin home directory?

On Windows there are multiple ways to set up SSH (Cygwin, PuTTY, MSYS/MinGW, Git, WinSCP, etc.). To actually require “no” setup, one would expect the app to work with the user’s existing SSH tools, whatever they may be.

If you have actually solved these various SSH setup scenarios it would be a big selling point, so make sure to inform about them on the marketing page.


#4

These are good points. My main concern is that the market is too small for this kind of app. As you already pointed out it won’t work for larger teams as it’s to hard to make the app distributed. For smaller teams or single devs it might not be a big enough pain point or they just use one of the free alternatives.

I need to reconsider my phrasing. It just works refers to the cronjob setup process. If you add/edit/remove one of your cronjobs on your server it will sync automatically with the app. This won’t work with the competing products as they just accept a webhook.


#5

I don’t know if Server Density supports this but let’s take it as an example since there are conceptual similarities.

I use Server Density to monitor the services I run. While I occasionally go into their dashboard to verify that my services are up, I rely on their email (and push) notifications to notify me when they are down. I suspect that as the number of services I monitor increases, I will eventually stop checking against the dashboard and rely on the notifications.

Though it might help if there’s a daily reminder that everything has been running properly the last 24 hours?


#6

I’m building a menu bar app mostly for educational porpuses. I don’t expect to make millions with it. But in my case won’t take too much time to build either.

Given the limited functionality and the price tag this kind of software usually have (9$-19$) I think it fell inside the “nice tool to have” and not in “this fix a painful problem.” bucket.

I will give it a try, for $9 or $19 if it saves me from entering into the terminal, type ssh, crontab log, etc. I think is a no brainer for a person managing a few server


#7

Specifically for PHP Laravel framework, recently this was launched which is kinda similar. And free.
https://horizon.laravel.com/


#8

I have just built a very similar side project. but it is a SaaS.

Would love to chat with your privately.


#9

I’ve started a little test balloon earlier last week by placing some ads on reddit. Results were not that good, so I won’t go further with this idea.