It has been an agonizing process over three frustrating years, but I think I have finally found The One. The Project Management software that meets my (apparently) strict criteria. Readers of the blog may have read this post about my search for Bug Tracking and Project Management software. While I’m still using FlySpray for bug tracking dispite the fact that the project seems dead, my search for project or task management software has till now been a dead end which left me using the excellent, but too basic TaskFreak. I didn’t think my criteria were all that stringent:
– Must be Open Source.
– Must have a Free version (I will donate if I like something).
– Must be written in PHP.
– Must allow management of tasks and projects grouped under clients.
– Must not force due-dates on tasks.
– Must be flexible as far as fields and use of the software itself.
– Must look good and be intuitive.
– Must allow me to have a summary of all my tasks and other items.
– Would be nice if it had granular permissions and allow clients to log in with a restricted view.
– Must not have too much feature-bloat (ex invoicing module).
I’ve installed and tried close to a dozen OSS PHP projects and while some were terrible, and some were too difficult to install, most were either hideously ugly, too restrictive or did not meet my needs.
And Then Came Feng Office
And then I came across the Community Edition of Feng Office. About 30 minutes into trying it out and I was convinced. It has everything I want plus a Calendar and a Contact Management module which is lovely. The Notes and Links modules are a bonus. I hide the Mail and Documents modules and that’s it. The design is clean and appealing, the data fields are flexible and you can easily add fields to data objects (I added a ‘Percent Complete’ field to tasks). It is not overkill on features but is just right.
The concept of workspaces allows you to structure your organization exactly how you want. I use this format:
- Client 1 - Change Requests - Support - Project 1 - Project 2 - Client 2 - Client 3 - Internal - Personal
This is not a review but rather an announcement of a new OSS self-hosted PHP project management option out there so I won’t get into details. Try it yourself!