Software Nuggets

“The more ridiculous the deadline the more money will be wasted trying to meet it”

dotProject Vs PHProjekt

Both of these open source project management web software propositions, at first sight, offer the same benefits. The ability to plan, monitor and collaborate on projects with multi-user and roles.

We tried PHProjekt first and hit an installation issue immediately with "Magic Quotes". Our shared web hosting solution apparently turns this on by default, but PHProjekt requires this feature to be turned off (an error message is presented on initial page).

This stopped us for a few hours untill we eventually found a way of turning magic quotes off locally (no .htaccess solution possible with the web host). This involved placiing a local PHP5.ini file with the required switch-off command in the installation folder.

All was OK after this, but we have to say we were pretty disappointed with the features available once we did get logged in. Can't complain really, it's open source and the guys who build it are great for releasing it to us all. But if you're after anything half-way sophisticated for managing projects then this isn't the solution (yet). It was also very slow ... initially we thought this could be down to the hosting solution, but after installation of dotProject and the great speed it ran at on the same host, we had to change our opinion .. it probably is too slow to use without great frustration.

Next we tried dotProject, no installation issues here - got logged-in quickly and were blown away by the speed (in comparison to previous PHProjekt) of operation. This system lets you set up companies with projects. Users, Roles, Tasks per project or company were easily set-up. The gantt charts look great too. Forums, 'tickets' (issue management to you and me), calendars, events ... all easily set-up. We've yet to test this thoroughly, but it is the solution we're going to keep and use for our projects. The only thing we couldn't find, is a way to print off the information - this would be really useful - not all clients will want to log-in to view the projects (though it's accepted that is one of the main reasons for using this type of collaborating project management system), some will like to see printed documentation.

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