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Top 5 open source project management tools in 2014

Last year, Opensource.com covered some popular open source project management tools (ProjectLibre, ]project-open[, and OpenProject.) We found these articles to be valuable to our readers, so here we take a look forward at what we think 2014 holds for these open source project management tools.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but each tool listed here has been deliberately selected based on a rich feature set.

ProjectLibre

In our interview with Marc O’Brien, co-founder of ProjectLibre, we featured a tool with support for task management, resource allocation, tracking, Gantt charts, and much more. ProjectLibre is a good alternative to a commercial software product like Microsoft Project.

In December 2013, ProjectLibre released version 1.5.8, and a full rewrite of the codebase towards an Open Services Gateway Initiative (OSGI) modular architecture is ongoing. This will allow connector modules for better integration with enterprise solutions such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

ProjectLibre is a Java based client tool. During their 2014 Q1 this year, they will release version 2.0. It is not clear yet when the SaaS version will become available.

ProjectLibre was awarded InfoWorld’s “Best of Open Source” in 2013 and ranks in my personal top 3 favorite open source project management tools.

LibrePlan

LibrePlan is a web based application, making project management available to not just the project manager, but the entire project team, and if necessary across organisations. LibrePlan is licensed under the AGPL. This is another full featured tool supporting resource allocation, Gantt charts, financials, and more. These features coupled with a web based application make LibrePlan a great collaboration platform.

LibrePlan ranks in my personal top 3 favorite open source project management tools because of its modern design and balanced user interface, as well as, good and complete documentation, built in reporting, and professional support.

View all of the features on this page.

I did not note any newly released features or version release dates for 2014.

OpenProject

“Team collaboration redesigned” is how we introduced our interview with Birthe Lindenthal, Chairperson of the OpenProject Foundation’s Board of Directors.

OpenProject is released under the GNU General Public License Version 3 and runs on Ruby on Rails. I happen to agree with their tagline that this tool has “everything you need for collaboration” to support the entire project life cycle. There are two big features that deserve to be highlighted: OpenProject supports Accessibility and a Scrum plugin supporting Agile methods and Scrum teams.

OpenProject is currently working on a major upgrade ready for release during 2014 Q1. Version 3.0 will support Ruby 2.0 and Rails 3.2. See their full roadmap here.

OpenProject ranks in my personal top 3 favorite open source project management tools because of their user interface, documentation, and rich feature set.

]project-open[

In our interview with Frank Bergmann, founder of ]project-open[, he gave readers insight into what this tool, ]po[ for short, is meant to do:

“We’re not dealing with individual project managers, but focus on organizations with 10 – 1,000 users that earn their money by executing projects.”

]po[ is said to be used by over 6,000 companies worldwide. A full installation is based on over 100 open source packages including a Linux distro, Postgre SQL, TCL as it’s main language, Perl for system integration, and many more. It supports integration with 30+ packages such as OpenLDAP, OpenOffice, ProjectLibre, and others.

]po[ is an enterprise project management tool with many features, including support for Agile. The software is released under a mixed source model, or a “dual license”, meaning that at it’s core it is open source, with additional modules released under a commercial license. ]po[ runs as client software on both Windows and Linux, depending on a stack of open source packages.

In 2014, ]po[ hopes to release version 4.2 which will bring a full AJAX GUI, integration between collaboration features and project management, and more.

Redmine

Redmine is a web-based project management tool that I actively use. It’s powerful, runs on Ruby and Rails, and is licensed under GNU General Public License v2 (GPL).

Where it lacks enterprise features, compared with the other project management tools I’ve mentioned above, it has strong web applications. Along with basic project management features, this Redmine includes a wiki, repository, and issue tracker. View the full feature list here.

Redmine also has an advantage in access: it is available to project managers, other team members, as well as, the clients.

In 2014, the Redmine roadmap shows a steady flow of releases that continue to improve the quality of the tool.

BONUS TOOL: Agilefant

Agilefant, as its name implies, is based on Agile methods. However, this open source project management tool also supports product portfolios, projects, sprints, and multi-team development. See the full feature set in the Agilefant user guide.

Agilefant offers a free and open source product that can be downloaded and deployed into your own private cloud. They also offer a SaaS solution. In 2014, they will add a paid service.

Agilefant runs on Java, Tomcat, and MySQL. The source code and license can be found on GitHub.

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