Top 5 open source project management tools in 2014

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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.

More on open source project management

ProjectLibre edges in on Microsoft Project dominance

ProjectLibre edges in on Microsoft Project dominance

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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46 Comments

Jason's picture

Thanks for the review it's interesting to read. We use Dooster (Dooster.net) collaborative software and it also makes project management available to the whole team not just the project manager and also is for teams from 10 upwards. I know there's a daunting amount of packages to choose from and would like to say that Dooster is one that has made life easier for us.

AC's picture

Dooster is not OSS. It's not even free. That said, it looked like a fairly decent product, but the OSS tools on this list are just as good, if not better.

Jackie's picture

I agree. I don't know why people are posting closed source here. Suspect they are self-promoting!

Pascal BERNARD's picture

I'd like to complete this list with top 5 from SourceForge (reference on opensource).
https://sourceforge.net/directory/business-enterprise/project-management...
1) ]project-open[ : see above
2) ProjectLibre : see above
3) Ganib : very beautifull, well thought : worth to try
4) ProjeQtOr : not the most beautiful but one of the most complete and most intuitive and easy to extend (PHP) : my favorite ;)
5) FengOffice : seem to have limited functionalities, but well thought : worth to try

robinmuilwijk's picture
Open Source Sensei

Thanks for this addition Pascal.

David6729's picture

Ganib is the one that fulfilled our need of managing teams spread across three countries. Ganib.. Free and easy to use for everyone.

Jackie's picture

That is just all time downloads and not a real indication I think since some are very old and many can be downloaded from their own sites plus hosting auto installs.

Marina's picture

Very nice and concise list, interesting to check out tools I didn't know about. We use Tracker (tracker.pm), however, and are pretty happy with its functionality (also the good thing is that the UI is under reconstruction J). It allows not only collaboration amongst the project-specific team, but also clients can see all the activity, track the progress and get involved in a discussion at any point. Works for us and clients love its simplicity, so perhaps we'll stick with Tracker for now :)

Sarah's picture

Thanks for the list! We are actually using teamwork in my company (http://www.twproject.com/) that is not open source but they provide complete sources to all customers, so if you are developers like us, you can access them and may add some functionality you need.

We are quite happy with it!

bincostar's picture

v.good

Thomas Nilsen's picture

Another good OSS alternative that should be mentioned is http://www.web2project.net. Its a PHP based solution and very easy to get up and running.

robinmuilwijk's picture
Open Source Sensei

Thanks for this addition Thomas.

Sri Ram's picture

Thanks a lot for the informative idea about top 5 open source project management tools.

Keep more sharing...!!!!

Aseem Sharma's picture
Open Source Champion

Very informative and helpful article.

Thanks and Regards,
Aseem Sharma

Jen  O'Brien's picture

I would never included Redmine.

How about qdPM or more to the point qdPM Extended. Both open source and highly augmentatble as well as configurable.

Compared to the other others qdPM is the best option we've found.

Frances Habana's picture

I will try it. http://www.qdpm-ex.com is right?

Frances Habana's picture

I buy this now. this is very very good solution. thank you for the advice.

Jackie's picture

I bought it too!

Brian Kenyon's picture

You should also consider www.project.net who was on the Gartner 2013 Report MarketScope for IT Project and Portfolio Management Software Applications http://www.project.net/content/projectnet-gartner-2013-report They have both managed private and packaged installations you can install yourself and have been around for years.

Frances Habana's picture

How much does it cost?

Brian Kenyon's picture

The open source software is free and can be installed by anyone. project.net also offers hosted solutions with maintenance as well with per user per year pricing options.

robinmuilwijk's picture
Open Source Sensei

Thanks for that suggestion Brian.

Adam E's picture

Isn't it inactive project. Last version way back in 2011.

David.Smith's picture

You are right about that Adam. I did some more research and found out that they are active & they provide trial account on request. The latest version seem to be 9.4.

You can request for trial from http://www.project.net/content/try-projectnet

Adam E's picture

David, that's strange. I saw comments on fb/linked.in that project.net is more expansive than M$ Project and project.net new versions no longer open source?
Their OS community is killed and terminated. Do they have opened open source forum in last few years.

Frances Habana's picture

I buy qdPM Extended. It was only USD $195 one off price and it is open source. I am finding it very good. They have free version too but I want to try extra version since so cheap.

Brian Kenyon's picture

Project.net has actually restarted their forum here http://www.project.net/forum . Where did you see those comments?

David.Smith's picture
Newbie

Thanks for the link Brian. BTW I saw an announcement in the forum that they are going to come up with a new release of open source version soon.

cvanaken's picture
Community Member

Nice list. My personal favorite is ProjectLibre. I'm using this product for a year now and I never want to use something else.

Frances Habana's picture

I think that is is basically gantt chart. Project management is more than gantt chart. but look like good gantt chart like MS Project

robinmuilwijk's picture
Open Source Sensei

Thanks for the feedback. Any specific reason why you choose ProjectLibre?

louis bayle's picture

Another nice tool is CodevTT (http://codevtt.org).

Jackie's picture

Actually this looks like a Gantt chart too!

Dan's picture

If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

GTD Agenda.com

You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

Jackie's picture

This is not open source either.

Kevin Lacava's picture

Very heartening to know that some open source tools are doing a great job in the field of project and task management. But users simply want good results from the tools they use whether they fit into open source category or into any other. We also use an online project management application named proofhub http://www.proofhub.com/ for managing our projects. Has got some really useful features like online discussions, mobile feature, timesheets, calendar and Gantt charts. Quite Pleased with results.

Jackie's picture

I like to look around so I looked at proofhub. IT is not open source at all. Plusis it just another expensive hosted solution.

I actually bought qdPM Extended that the other poster talked about. It was only 195 USD one off fee. proofhub would cost me $149 a month for same options.

babynus's picture
Community Member

Have a look at ProjeQtOr : it is real Open Source, fully operational (not a 10% Open Source, pay for full version), and not limited to Gantt.
Moreover, it covers features often forgotten by Project Management tools (even proprietary ones) : Risk Management Plan, Mettings, Testing, Requirements, Decisions, Questions, Quality CheckLists, ...

Rampauull's picture
Newbie

When i wen through the other sites i found, ClockingIT, OpenGoo, KForge, etc.

Jackie's picture

I would not call any of them project management solutions.

Ivoyordanov's picture

Hello

I've been using Integria IMS to administer my proyects at my company and is very useful for handling tickets and giving technical support to clients. It's an opensource program and so it's free. For more information you can visit the following webpage: http://integriaims.com/Integria/projectman/en

Regards
Ivo Yordanov

Jackie's picture

The free version of qdPM looks better than that option.

robinmuilwijk's picture
Open Source Sensei

Hi Ivo, thanks for that suggestion. The open source version seems to have a lot of the features, that the enterprise version has. Looks interesting!

pilhuhn's picture
Open Minded

I tried ProjectLibre and at the start this looked good. But then I ran into an issue, where I am sure that this is a user error, so wanted to check out the documentation. Turns out that this is hidden behind a "you need to get a community account to see documentation" page.
If I can work around my issue I will continue using PL, otherwise just try the next tool and migrate my data. I do not want an account all over the place just to look at some docs

babynus's picture
Community Member

ProjectLibre is an "Open source replacement of Microsoft Project", so to summarize : a project planner.
I want to shout out loud ounce again that Project Management is NOT ONLY Planning.

ProjectLibre can be one of the tools to setup a Project Management platform, just like Mantis-BT can be, or Excel.

Please concider real Project Management tools.

Jackie's picture

I completely agree with you!

We're using qdPM Extended now as it meets all our needs.

We moved from Confluence + Jira because those tools are not PM tools ether just a fancy wiki + task tracking.

With qdPM Extended we can do all we need in terms of PM.