I’ve started to use Redmine a bit in my personal business to help manage the few projects that go through my doors. A buddy, Brian Wigginton, turned me on to it. We have spent several nights looking for a good app that can manage, tasks, issue and project workflow from beginning to completion. After trying out several different ones ( i.e. OPProject, Trac, Achievo, and even dokuwiki ) based on multiple technologies ( i.e. java, python, php, and ruby). We ended up with Redmine, which is based on Ruby on Rails. The install wasn’t too bad (we spent most of the time working with phusion passenger, which being a fan boy of mod_fcgid, I highly recommend.) The database design seems pretty straight forward and it has all the features we were looking for.
OnePoint Project (OPProject) was an amazing it. It was java based and we deployed it over a tomcat-6 server. For a strict project management app, I think this one wins hands down. The interface is clean and sharp. Even know little about Project Management, I was able to find my way around the system and get some basic things set up. It manages resources and time. And again, the Gantt charts were very easy on the eyes.
Trac is more of a software management portal. It is based on python, and I deployed it in the past using mod_python (before I knew about mod_fcgid). It is a very strong app for managing software development. It has a strong integration between the repository, bug tickets, and a wiki. It was missing a few of the project managemenent aspects we were looking for, but it works great for basic management of software development.
Achievo describes itself as a flexible web-based resource management tool for business environments. And I would have to agree with that. It doesn’t tie into a software repository like Trac does, but it does provide more project management tools such as gantt charts. One piece I did like, was it’s ability to add clients, and manage projects and task for assigned to those clients. If we were looking for a general business or department management tool, this peice of software would of probably won out.
DokuWiki is just a wiki, with the ability to add plugins. We started using it in the interum as we were trying to find a software package for us to use. You could use this as a basic project management for a group of people, especially a decentralized group. Collabrating on pages for ideas, managing picture, and providing revisions is essentional. There wasn’t any strong project management tools, but getting going, it was extremely usefull. I love the fact that it doesn’t use a database for it’s wiki pages and revisions, but instead plain text. This has always been my love of dokuwiki, and will always make it my first choice for small to medium sized wiki’s.
Redmine is really a plethora of applications rolled into one. It provides Repository integeration, bug ticketing, wiki, forums, customer management (via plugin), and project management tools. We are able to track our time for each project, and with a plugin, see a resources time across all projects. We have a wiki, document section, and file upload for each project. Wiki pages can cross link to other projects, and any one section can refernce another. I.E. a wiki page can reference both a ticket number and a repo revision. We are also able to provide some basic project planning through gantt charts as some of our customers request. Security is strong, and development still seems very active.
We’ve been happy with our initial testing of Redmine, and look forward to really running it thorugh it paces on our next project. I’ve also started installing Redmine at my office as management is now starting to ask for project schedules on some of my long term projects .. woohoo :/. With our personal install, we were able to get LDAP Authentication working with our Zimbra server. At my office, I am trying to get it working with Active Directory. It seems to be working, but is failing on the search. Debugging Ruby is something I am new at .. which is a topic for another post another day!