- Collaborative Software
- Version Control System
- Document Repository (with versioning abilities)
- Issue Tracking Software
A Google search reveals at least 8 quadrillion project management and issue tracking apps out there (an estimate of course). For the purposes of this talk I’m going to stick with the tools that I’ve personally worked with that I think can do the job for which they are designed. I’ll be excluding closed source garbage apps I’ve been forced to use in a few engagements that are parts of large “solution suites” that companies feel compelled to make and purchase without good sense. Out of the small universe of applications out there, my personal top few are:
- Jira – Like Confluence, Jira is another Atlassian product that is trying very hard to become the standard for issue-tracking / project management applications. It’s a java application (amazingly stable, though), with a huge community that contributes plugins that do all sorts of amazing stuff. It’s biggest downside is that it’s not open source, but they try to overcome at least some of that stigma by offering Jira for free to open source and some other types of projects. They also have a 10-user/$10 license where the $10 goes to charity that is GREAT when starting up a new project.
- Trac – I’ve mentioned Trac before, because it has some aspects of collaboration software built-in with its wiki (it can serve double-duty for smaller/more straight-forward projects, even). But at its heart it’s an issue tracker. There are now plugins that give you a more Agile look and feel in Trac (my personal fave), as well as the traditional milestones / versions, etc.
- Bugzilla / Mantis – I’m putting these two together not because they are the same thing but because they fill the same role in a project. They are bug trackers, plain and simple. While some people use them to do it, they isn’t really a project management component to these applications. Mantis is written in PHP and Bugzilla is written in Perl. Both are open source. Bugzilla certainly has the edge in users, with a HUGE community that includes Mozilla, RedHat, the Linux Kernel and others.