While this question isn't directly related to the normal questions posted on Doctype, I think it's something that all of us who are professionals will run into from time to time:

For the last few months I've been evaluating several project management software packages to find one that's "Just Right" for my current job. Here's a little background:

I'm the Lead UX/IA Designer for a 22 person website-and-software design & development project. We're contractors and we're working for a fairly large US Federal Agency in DC that services about 500-600 people internally. We've designed/maintained about 80 websites and about 14 small to enterprise scale web-based applications on top of that. While we're "technically" a C#.NET shop (currently using 2.0 Framework), we do some PHP and Java development.

Anyway, like I said above I've been evaluating COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) software for project management for the last few months and it's been a real pain trying to find "just right" packages. Basically, I'm looking for something that has:

  • The ability to create "tickets" which can be used to assign individual work tasks to individual developers or groups of developers. The tickets must also be able to handle multiple iterations of changes and hold onto conversations between the developer and the requester.

  • Should have the ability to support 10+ "projects", as well as have hierarchical categorization for projects and tasks.

  • Must be able to handle over 250 users.

  • Must have a built-in, modifiable workflow.

  • The ability to generate metrics based on input/output, open/close rate, iterations, length of ticket life, etc.

  • Web-based interface.

  • Must be enterprise level and hosted on-site (NOT off-site like Basecamp).

I know it seems like a lot of stuff but it's really not. I've evaluated large and small packages like Jira, RightNow Web, MS Project, Merant PVCS Tracker. We're currently using an old version of PVCS Tracker and it's just not cutting it. My developers didn't like Jira, nor did my clients. RightNow Web was the closest I've found to what we're looking for but our clients balked at the $40k+ price tag.

Any help you could offer would be most appreciated.

Thanks much.

8 answers

Magix 291
This was chosen as the best answer

I recommend activeCollab (It isn't very expensive). I use it myself. It is nice-looking and has great functionality. It is also very easy to skin. You can see a nice skin at my site, right here. ActiveCollab's website is right here. Some other ones you might want to look into...

The ones I listed are all commercial except for 1 or 2. If you want a free project manager, check out this page on Wikipedia. Also, check out this awesome website for many more choices.

I hope this helps.


Answered over 9 years ago by Magix

Check out Trac... Most likely overkill for most projects, but it sounds like you're in need of an enterprise solution... What I like the most is that it provides integration with your version control of choice via post-commit hooks, and offers a nice interface to browse your code and history/revisions.

My current employer uses Bugzilla, but I'm not a big fan.

Even if price were no issue, I would advise one to stay far, far away from anything by RightNow. I've had the misfortune to have to work with their CRM solution (supposedly the cornerstone of their business) and would not hesitate to deem it one of the most miserable experiences of my career to date.

Answered over 9 years ago by Dwayne Anderson

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the excellent FogBugz yet.


Answered over 9 years ago by Phil Cady

Check out Intervals, a web-based project management / bug tracking app our web design and development agency built. It's geared primarily towards web developers so you may find it useful.

Answered over 9 years ago by John Reeve

Excellent suggestions so far! I've actually checked the wikipedia page and the Project-Management-Software.org site, but both contained excellent information. Also, we tested out both Trac and Bugzilla.

I'm not a big fan of Bugzilla as it really only serves one purpose: Bug tracking. It's also not very friendly to the non-technical user, which I'll probably have a few of.

Keep the responses coming! Thanks much!

Answered over 9 years ago by Scott Savage

I've recently found out about Redmine which is an open source Rails application that is heavily inspired by Trac.

The main features it has over Trac that endeared it to me is the great mult-project tracking and Subversion/Darcs/Mercurial/CVS/Bazaar/Git source control integration (Trac is just Subversion currently).

Answered over 9 years ago by John Downey
  • citation needed re: Track only supporting subversion... :) Dwayne Anderson over 9 years ago
  • My employer uses Ruby/Rails. I sure wish I could get them to switch over from Bugzilla to Redmine. Dwayne Anderson over 9 years ago
  • These aren't very non-technical-user friendly though. You'll need something that looks aesthetic and has the same functionality as a Trac. Magix over 9 years ago
  • Trac supports SCMs other then Subversion only through unsupported hacks and 3rd party projects. Redmine has built in support for the state SCMs. John Downey over 9 years ago

FogBugz is excellent:


Answered about 8 years ago by Jason Wilmot

Trac has support for lots of VCS: http://trac.edgewall.org/wiki/PluginList#VersionControlSystems

Answered over 9 years ago by Martin Rio