Project Management

activeCollab giving up on free edition, open-source


The project management tool activeCollab, previously mentioned here, has just announced their pricing structure for the forthcoming v1.0 release. The key point you'll notice is that they're no longer going to have a free or open-source version available, instead they're pushing their paid releases while they "keep [the old version] 0.7.1 around." There will be two versions available, a "small biz" release for $199 that doesn't have the calendar, trouble tickets, time tracking or static pages, and a $399 version that has these. At this news I'm even more satisfied in my choice to move all my work to using Redmine.

Improve Redmine's client management options


Out of the box Redmine doesn't look like it has a lot of options for managing clients, but you'd be wrong - with a little customizing you can at least fake it. There are two parts to this - set up a new user group and add some custom fields for users.

The first step is to create a new user group called Client:

  • Log into the Administration -> Roles & Permissions page and click on New Role
  • Set the name to "Client" and give them the follow permissions: Issues - add, add a note, change status, new file, new relation; News - add a comment; Documents - add, new file; Files - add. (adjust as you see fit)
  • Save what you've set and assign a user the Client role for a project.
  • Next time you view that project's Overview page it'll list them on the Members block as a Client

Simple but useful.

The second step is to round off the user information options by adding some custom fields.

  • Go to the Administration -> Custom Fields page and click on Users link.
  • Click on New Custom Field, set the name to "Company", leave the format as "text", set the min length to 0, the max length to e.g. 30, leave the regular expression field blank, leave the required option unchecked, and click Save.
  • Repeat for any other fields you want, e.g. Work Phone, Cell Phone, Work Address, etc.

Now any time you add a user you can give them the above information.

Putting these two together, now when you go to the Project Overview page you can see who the client is and by clicking on their name see their contact information.

Tip: Moving RedMine to another server, don't forget the files


This past week I moved an install of RedMine from one server to another, or rather I just moved the database over and checked out the SVN code again. After getting it going correctly I promptly forgot about the fact it was at a new location and just worked away on my assigned tasks. Well, as it turns out I'd completely forgotten about the uploaded files, which now wouldn't download anymore. The problem was that I forgot to verify where the attached files were stored, and it turned out to be in "files" directory, so now I have to manually copy those few files over and all will be well.


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