What Groupware Product(s) Do You Use?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by DavidRM, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. DavidRM

    Indie Author

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    I've started an investigation into groupware products (like phpGroupware and more.groupware).

    For those of you with virtual teams, what groupware products (if any) have you found useful? What features were you looking for? Did you pay for it? Or go with a free one?

    Thanks!

    -David
     
  2. brianhay

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    We use PhpCollab not so much for software dev but it is capable of that e.g. CVS and mantis bug tracking integration.

    Has dedicated "team" and "client" sites, gantt charting, tasks, subtasks, phases, calendar, invoicing, newsdesk, notes, project specifc discussions, file upload with versioning etc etc. Incredible user interface for a web app. Open-source and free. Modelled on Macromedia's Sitespring. Easy to install and customise.

    Highly recommended.

    Brian.
     
  3. etali

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    I can recommend phpGroupware - I used it extensively in one of my previous jobs and found it was easy to set up and did everything we wanted. I found it easy to get support too, although looking at their site again it seems to have slowed down somewhat these days.
     
  4. disaffected

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    another thumbs up for phpGroupware, ease of use and great features.
     
  5. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    My teams have always been virtual. I work with people all over the world and we rarely if ever see eachoter. For super special software to work together we use email and messenger. Other than that nothing.. and I've never really found much use. The only thing I'd actually like to have is remote source control that I can use on a server over the net. I know there are some good solutions available, but they're expensive and internet access in the parts of the world I got to is bad enough that it isn't terribly practical.
     
  6. Ryan Clark

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    Hm, have you looked at CVS, or its supposed successor, Subversion? Both are free, and you can use them to remotely check in/check out/merge source files.

    If you go for Subversion, and you use Windows, check out Tortoise. It's a Windows Subversion client that integrates tightly with Explorer... you can right-click on a file in Windows Explorer and perform Subversion commands on it. Handy!
     
  7. DavidRM

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    Same here. I've also managed a number of virtual projects with nothing more than email, IM, and the rare phone call. But a recent project that has involved a lot of collaborative effort on the same files made me start wondering if there might be better ways.

    It's possible I will go back to what's worked in the past. The idea, though, is to gather information about alternatives and actually give them a try.

    Sometimes software can actually make your life easier. Bizarre, neh?

    Thanks, everyone.

    -David
     
  8. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I only work with a few people. I think a lot of the tools people use like very detailed design docs, project management software etc... come into play when managing larger teams. I used project and other kinds of tools when managing a group of around 20-30 programmers. At those numbers is becomes necessary to structure and organize much more than you would in teams of less than 10 people.
     
  9. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Well. we already use sourcesafe extensively and so I'd want to use one of the remote sourcesafe apps. There's one semi pricey one I know of. But really the key thing holding me back is the net access problem.
     
  10. Kai Backman

    Original Member Indie Author IGF Finalist

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    I did a quick evaluation of some groupware applications a few years ago and ended up mixing different solutions instead. We are a core team of 2 currently (located on different parts of the globe), but a lot of players produce input to the process. Here is what we use:

    - Email, IM and Skype for direct communication. We have voice conversations twice a week for about 5 hours total.
    - FogBugz for bug and issue tracking. Also used to track concrete feature tasks before launch.
    - Subversion as server and TortoiseSVN as client for file sharing and versioning. The server is a separate machine in my workspace.
    - vBulletin for development and feature discussion. Very active board.
    - MediaWiki for sharing documentation and related design documents.

    I just evaluated tWiki last week and found their idea of workflow incompatible with ours. This seems to be a common trend with generic integrated solutions, you need to work exactly as they have envisioned. I know you can customize many software packages but why not use the best tools and customize them instead?

    For all of the above I've evaluated 2-3 viable alternatives (free, non-free and commercial) and those are the ones I personally found most supportive for our process. Here is a short list of alternatives you might look into (skipping messengers):

    - Bug/Issue tracking: Trac, Mantis
    - Version control: Perforce, CVS
    - Forum: phpBB
    - Wiki: MoinMoin, phpWiki, tWiki

    These are ones I have been using in production or evaluated extensively.
     
  11. otaku

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    OpenWiki for sharing ideas and discussions.
    FogBugz for bug & issue tracking.
    Microsoft Sharepoint server for sharing of documents, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel and Project primarily.
    Perforce for source code & asset control.

    Other than that, IM & E-Mail serve most of the day to day purposes of actually communicating with people.

    I'm always on the hunt for a better design doc solution. Something like Microsoft Word (with the same ability to highlight & format rather than the "obscure" formatting rules of a wiki) that works through a web browser, and lets you download the document and view it offline and print it out properly. That lets you embed images, and tables and spreadsheets. So if anyone knows of anything like that, please let me know.
     
  12. ManuelFLara

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    I use the Trac + Subversion combo offered at wush.net and I'm very happy with it. The only one thing I miss from it is Trac being able to handle multiple projects, having user rights per project. That would be perfection to me.
     

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