Best Open Source Tools for Staying on Top of Projects


Best Open Source Tools for Staying on Top of Projects

The sort of organizing instruments you employ to plan your tasks could make your work routine extra environment friendly and enhance your productiveness. A undertaking administration utility is an important software in some enterprise environments.

This week’s Linux Picks and Pans takes a deep dive into some of the most effective undertaking administration software program options out there for the Linux desktop. Project administration functions are subtle and feature-rich. They duplicate some of the instruments and exceed the most effective productiveness options present in our current roundups highlighting Time-Tracking, Task Management/To-Do List and Personal Information Manager functions.

A key requirement for use of any undertaking administration planning software is familiarity with Gantt charts and different sorts of chart shows. The Gantt idea is to design a graphical rendition of a undertaking task-by-task with dependencies drawn into the tree and undertaking milestones outlined.

The Gantt chart is a undertaking administration commonplace developed in 1917 by Henry Gantt. In its most simple kind, the Gantt chart reveals duties on a collection of horizontal timelines. The timeline measures progress for both short-term or long-term intervals.

Several of the undertaking administration functions on this roundup embrace Gantt-style shows. Here are another components to contemplate in deciding on undertaking administration software program for the Linux OS:

  • How the appliance handles useful resource administration
  • The utility’s ease of use
  • How the software program handles third-party integrations
  • What allowances the software program makes for agile workflow and efficient time-tracking

The functions included on this roundup are usually not introduced in any ranked order. Some could also be out there in distro repositories. Other packages could also be out there solely with guide set up.

Some of the open supply merchandise on this undertaking administration roundup present the core characteristic bundle together with important companies for free. You might need to pay charges for extensions, extra complete service, and help packages.

Planner: No Nonsense Project Structuring

Planner is a undertaking administration software primarily based on the work breakdown construction (WBS) idea. Planner’s objective is to be an easy-to-use, no-nonsense undertaking administration utility. It shops undertaking information in XML recordsdata and could be printed to PDF or exported to HTML for simple viewing from any Web browser.

Planner project management open source software

Planner’s binary releases are supplied by the assorted Linux distributions.
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The WBS method supplies a standard framework for the pure growth of the undertaking’s total planning and management. It is the idea for dividing work into definable increments. From that framework, you’ll be able to create a workflow assertion that features technical, schedule, price, and labor hour reporting.

This method defines and organizes the overall scope of a undertaking. It helps you to compartmentalize subordinate prices for duties, supplies, and such into their successively larger degree “parent” duties, supplies, and many others. For every aspect of the work breakdown construction, you generate an outline of the duty to be carried out.

Planner is organized across the major merchandise of the undertaking (or deliberate outcomes) as an alternative of the work wanted to supply the merchandise (deliberate actions). It consists of two main show parts:

  • A Gantt chart helps you to visualize the undertaking in time segments. You can alter the time wanted for duties or outline dependencies between them with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
  • Task view reveals the whole breakdown of your undertaking together with the estimated price and energy wanted. This helps you notice project conflicts so you’ll be able to rearrange schedules.

Other useful options show you how to observe useful resource utilization. You can print to a PDF file or export to an HTML. Either approach, Planner provides you a helpful abstract in a single file which you can ship by way of e mail to undertaking members who can view the report with a PDF viewer or a Web browser somewhat than an put in copy of the Planner utility.

Binary releases are supplied by the assorted Linux distributions. The final new launch is model 0.14.6 in December 2011.

GanttProject: Packs Planning Power and Portability

GanttProject, in comparison with different undertaking administration instruments for Linux, akin to TaskJuggler and Planner, delivers fewer planning options. However, what it does have out there could also be all that you simply want if you’re not in a big company setting.

GanttProject screenshot

GanttProject’s software set gives a simplified method to planning and controlling assets and schedules to satisfy a undertaking’s targets.
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GanttProject’s toolset gives a simplified method to planning and controlling assets and schedules to satisfy the targets of a undertaking. What you get is a spread of process constructing, undertaking charting and milestone implementation instruments. These come at you in a collection of bars, graphs and charts.

Salesforce Commerce Solution Guide

A GPL open supply utility, it gives undertaking scheduling as its predominant operate. It is a file-based undertaking administration software that comes with an excellent beginning set of options, together with useful resource administration by means of useful resource load charts. It helps MS Project recordsdata and produces experiences in PDF, spreadsheet and HTML codecs for simple distribution to crew members.

This primary characteristic set is probably not the most effective answer for seasoned undertaking managers trying for a administration product that’s not so limiting. Still, GanttProject is the go-to alternative for small companies that don’t want high-end additional options present in different undertaking administration packages.

GanttProject’s consumer interface is structured clearly so it’s simple to know. Despite this ease of use, first-time undertaking supervisor app customers might want to familiarize themselves with how Gantt charts and comparable instruments operate.

GanttProject helps you to break down a undertaking right into a tree of duties to assign out there human assets to work on every process. This makes it simple to ascertain dependencies between duties. This method prevents you from beginning one process till an important prerequisite process is accomplished.

One of the nicest property is GanttProject’s portability. You can export some or all of a undertaking’s parameters in .xml format with ease. Also, you’ll be able to import and export undertaking data to and from MS Project recordsdata or textual content recordsdata.

Portability is simplified by the power to export GanttProject charts as PNG pictures, or to generate PDF and HTML experiences. Similarly, GanttProject can import tasks from and export them to Microsoft Project codecs. This sort of performance usually causes information inaccuracies in some data-heavy applications.

The newest model is 2.8.10, a DEB package deal for Ubuntu, Mint and different Debian-based Linux distributions. Java Runtime shouldn’t be included within the package deal however is listed within the dependencies.

TaskJuggler Makes Balancing Project Tasks More Flexible

TaskJuggler makes use of a unique method to undertaking administration than conventional Gantt charts use. Its objective is to plan and observe undertaking particulars with extra flexibility. It covers the whole spectrum of undertaking administration duties and focuses on undertaking scoping, useful resource project, and price and income planning, in addition to threat and communication administration.

TaskJuggler screenshot

TaskJuggler’s versatile scheduling method permits you to plan your undertaking as you go.
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TaskJuggler optimizes scheduling by computing your undertaking timeliness and useful resource assignments primarily based on the undertaking define and the constraints you present. It does this utilizing a built-in useful resource balancer software and consistency checker. This helps you get rid of irrelevant particulars and alerts you if the undertaking will get out of hand.

This versatile method permits you to plan your undertaking as you go. It makes a perfect answer utilizing new administration methods akin to excessive programming and Agile undertaking administration.

Written in Ruby, TaskJuggler is definitely installable and usable. It doesn’t want a graphical consumer interface. A command shell, a plain textual content editor (no phrase processor!) and a Web browser are all you want for your work.

TaskJuggler’s options embrace parts to handle duties, assets and accounts of your undertaking. It features a highly effective to-do record administration software and an in depth reference guide. It additionally has superior scheduling instruments that embrace computerized useful resource leveling and process battle decision.

The scheduling course of helps you to use an infinite quantity of baseline situations of the identical undertaking for assessing what-if evaluation, versatile working hours, and go away administration. It additionally has help for shift working and a number of time zones.

Accounting points are a key half of TaskJuggler. It tracks preliminary prices and ending prices. It addresses assets by means of usage-based prices and useful resource base price fashions. It helps revenue/loss evaluation.

TaskJuggler has scaling and enterprise options that allow you to mix associated smaller tasks with bigger tasks. It consists of help for a central useful resource allocation database and manages roles and sophisticated reporting traces.

TaskJuggler is a little more trendy than some of the opposite undertaking managers on this roundup. Version 3.6.Zero was launched on in March 2016.

OpenProj: A Microsoft Project Replacement

If you might be acquainted with MS Project and need a clone-like different for Linux, try OpenProj. Its consumer interface may be very comparable. OpenProj opens present MS Project recordsdata and is interoperable with Gantt Charts and PERT charts.

OpenProj screenshot

OpenProj makes it simple to outline the undertaking’s targets and specify the work particulars.

OpenProj is available in three choices: Community (free), Cloud and Enterprise. The options are extra important for the latter two choices. The neighborhood model gives a formidable characteristic set and in lots of instances works effectively for particular person and SMB use instances. More skilled productiveness options can be found for customers who subscribe to the Cloud and Enterprise Editions.

OpenProj’s design is clear, uncluttered and effectively organized with an intuitive and easy-to-use graphical consumer interface. It comes with superior characteristic instruments. It covers important enterprise necessities: CRM, HRM and monetary administration, in addition to workflows that may be arrange for approval.

Like Planner, OpenProj helps the graphic view of work breakdown construction. Unlike different choices on this roundup, OpenProj has no useful resource leveling operate and can’t export information to a spreadsheet.

However, OpenProj makes it simple to outline the undertaking’s targets and specify the work particulars. It is simple to investigate the required actions and create an in depth plan that reveals how and when the undertaking will present the deliverables outlined within the undertaking scope.

Other parts embrace time monitoring, price reporting and budgeting. Team members can create the undertaking wiki to assist handle undertaking documentation, references, pointers and consumer manuals.

This utility began out as a Java-based open supply undertaking administration software developed in 2007. Serena Software acquired the product in 2008 and stopped its growth. Micro Focus in May 2016 acquired Serena. In 2012, the unique creators of OpenProj forked the deserted code and developed ProjectLibre (see under), which initially was launched in 2012.

OpenProj Version 1.four is the most recent launch, up to date on March 10, 2019. It is now not suitable with MS Project, nonetheless. As far as I can inform, it’s out there solely as an RPM package deal, so it’s not universally out there for all species of Linux distros.

dotProject: Browser-Based MS Project Alternative

dotProject is a undertaking administration answer for small and mid-sized companies that shouldn’t have to focus on in depth monetary administration points as a component of monitoring undertaking processes. Its largest benefit is an easy-to-use interface. Other pluses embrace the power of a number of customers to work collaboratively, which makes issue-tracking simpler.

dotProject screenshot

One of dotProject’s largest benefits is its easy-to-use interface. (Image Credit: LinuxHelp)
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dotProject is a Web-based framework that features modules for corporations, tasks, duties (with Gantt charts), boards, recordsdata, calendar, contacts, tickets/helpdesk, multilanguage help, consumer/module permissions and themes.

It was developed initially as an open supply alternative for Microsoft Project. It has an analogous consumer interface plus further undertaking administration performance. Critics and reviewers regard dotProject as one of the best-maintained open supply undertaking administration functions out there. It has an intuitive browser-based interface and gives a full assortment of superior undertaking administration instruments for a number of customers, in addition to time-tracking instruments.

Task Management options embrace Task Description, Task Assigning, Project Scheduling and Task Duration. The utility has nodal consumer permissions, dialogue dashboards, Gantt charts, contact lists, file checkout, reporting, and user-based or list-based process options.

dotProject suffers from a number of potential drawbacks. One is the necessity for superior experience for set up. Another makes it much less sensible for small companies and residential customers: It should run on a Web server and isn’t a standalone utility.

The newest secure version is model 2.1.8, launched in July 2013.

ProjectLibre: Mapping the Critical Path

ProjectLibre is one other open supply different to Microsoft Project. ProjectLibre is suitable with Microsoft Project 2003, 2007 and 2010 recordsdata.

ProjectLibre screenshot

ProjectLibre makes use of an analogous ribbon interface to MS Project, which helps new customers simply transition to this different.

This is a free Web-based open supply utility. ProjectLibre is a perfect undertaking administration utility for small to mid-sized companies which have single undertaking necessities.

An enterprise cloud model coming quickly can be provided as a easy month-to-month subscription. The cloud model is greatest for groups and for managing a number of tasks.

ProjectLibre makes use of a ribbon interface that enables customers acquainted with MS Project to transition simply to this different. For instance, making a undertaking plan includes the identical method: List and indent a process record or apply a piece breakdown construction.

The utility helps setting durations, hyperlinks, predecessors and assets in an analogous method to MS Project. Also supported are creating budgets and managing bills.

ProjectLibre’s core performance consists of Gantt charts, community diagrams, work breakdown construction charts, useful resource breakdown construction charts, earned worth costing and useful resource histograms. These are corresponding to options in Microsoft Project.

ProjectLibre helps you to set dependencies, create a undertaking baseline, and use a number of calendars to outline working and nonworking days for totally different assets. It additionally has reporting performance, akin to for displaying undertaking particulars, useful resource data and process data.

Released below the Common Public Attribution License, ProjectLibre qualifies as free software program.

The newest model, 1.8.0, was modified in May 2018.

Bottom Line

Project administration functions for Linux supply an overlapping vary of options and consumer interfaces. I intentionally prevented rating these Linux merchandise. I additionally suspended the same old star score for each on this roundup.

Project Management software program for Linux, very similar to Time-tracking, Task Management and To-Do List software program for Linux, is more and more overshadowed by cloud companies. That is one cause open supply functions out there for the Linux platform lack many new non-cloud contenders.

Most of the open supply merchandise on this roundup can be found for Windows and Mac computer systems as effectively. Even the Web-based open supply platforms for product administration functions can be found for free. With the exception of the Web-based merchandise, they share one attribute: None of them has a really current new launch.

Want to Suggest a Review?

Is there a Linux software program utility or distro you’d wish to recommend for overview? Something you like or want to get to know?

Please email your ideas to me, and I’ll think about them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

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Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His predominant areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open supply applied sciences. He has written quite a few opinions of Linux distros and different open supply software program. Email Jack.

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