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Demonstration of the OpenProj GUI
|Developer(s)||Marc O'Brien, Howard Katz, Laurent Chrettieneau|
|Initial release||August 6, 2007|
OpenProj 1.4 / 2008
|Type||Project management software|
|License||Common Public Attribution License|
History and current status
OpenProj was developed at Projity by Marc O'Brien, Howard Katz and Laurent Chretienneau in 2007. It moved out of beta with the release of Version 1.0, on January 10, 2008.
In late 2008, Projity was acquired by Serena Software. As of early 2009 support for OpenProj and communication about development of OpenProj seem to have been suspended. There were actually regressions with a few commits to the CVS, There has been no improvement in the past four years, and it is no longer compatible with Microsoft Project.
In 2012, the founders of OpenProj forked the abandoned code base of OpenProj and started development for a new release. The initial release of this fork occurred in August 2012. The name of the new fork is ProjectLibre. (See section Derivates below)
The current version includes:
- Earned Value costing
- Gantt chart
- PERT graph
- Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) chart
- Task usage reports
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) chart
It has been downloaded over 4,000,000 times in over 142 countries. Three months after the beta version release, on SourceForge an average of 60,000 copies a month were downloaded. With a SourceForge activity percentile of 99.964, at number 15 it was listed just ahead of the popular messaging application Pidgin. In May 2008 the total number of downloads on SourceForge reached 500,000.
As of version 1.4, bugs in the software generally only manifest for users who are attempting more advanced features. For example, tasks may mysteriously start at a certain time (they behave as if they have a 'Start no earlier than' constraint even though none exists, and the project start date is not a constraint), links show gaps, fixed cost for summary tasks neither sums nor is editable, etc. Sometimes these errors are solved by restarting the software, but others are persistent. Compared to Microsoft Project, which it closely emulates, OpenProj has a similar user interface (UI), and a similar approach to construction of a project plan: create an indented task list or work breakdown structure (WBS), set durations, create links (either by (a) mouse drag, (b) selection and then button-down, or (c) manually type in the 'predecessor' column), assign resources. The columns (fields) are the same as for Microsoft Project. Users of either software should be broadly comfortable using the other. Costs are the same: labour, hourly rate, material usage, and fixed costs: these are all provided.
However, there are small differences in the UI (comments apply to version 1.4), which take some adaptation for those familiar with Microsoft Project, i.e. OpenProj can't link upwards with method (c), inserting tasks is more difficult than in Microsoft Project, and OpenProj can't create resources on the fly (have to create them first in the resource sheet). There are also several more serious limitations with OpenProj, the chief of these being the unavailability of more detailed views and reports typical of Microsoft Project. For example, though the fields exist for cost, there is no quick way to show them other than to manually insert them. This requires a relatively advanced user: someone who knows what the fields might be called and how to use them.
Some features of OpenProj are limited to users acquiring a purchased license; for those users using OpenProj for free, a slightly limited feature set is provided. For example, OpenProj(v1.4) does not allow the in-house exporting of PDF output, though the usefulness of such a feature is questionable[original research?]. It is possible to circumvent the reduced feature set using external software, though as with all paid software, donation or purchase is appreciated by the developers.
The original founders of OpenProj started to develop a complementary server for OpenProj in 2012, comparable to Microsoft Project Server for Microsoft Project. During development they realized, that the fact that OpenProj had not been updated anymore by Serena Software during the last four years will become problematic to their goal, so they needed to develop first an significantly updated version of OpenProj. This version was released as a fork called ProjectLibre in August 2012. The complementary server will be called ProjectLibre Server. ProjectLibre corrects many issues of OpenProj and introduces significant features such as:
- import/export with Microsoft Project 2010
- PDF exporting (without any restrictions)
- new ribbon user interface
- Full compatibility with Microsoft Project 2010
- many bug fixes and correction of issues that OpenProj encounters that are mentioned above
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to OpenProj.|
- "OpenProj 1.0 Released". SourceForge.net. 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- "Serena Software Acquires Open Source Alternative to Microsoft Project". Serena Software. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
- Heck, Mike (2007-10-09). "Preview: OpenProj brings free, robust project management to the desktop". InfoWorld. International Data Group. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- "Most Active Projects - Last Week". SourceForge.net. 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
- "OpenProj hits 500,000 download milestone". SourceForge.net. 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- ProjectLibre Website